It’s Friday, the end of Week 1, and I have met a little over half of the 700-some students I’ll be teaching this year. The classes have mostly been a blur of faces and “types” – the quiet students, the reluctant-to-participate students, the cocky students, the all star students – but each class definitely has a distinctive “feel” and atmosphere.
I’ve been trying to keep notes on each class as a whole (were they rowdy, quiet, high level, low level, etc.) to help me keep track, because at this point there’s no way I can match names to faces. Hopefully in the next several weeks (and months) I’ll start to recognize more students by name, since that really is essential for building relationships with them.
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One perk of having introduced myself to all the 3rd year students at my main school is that now when I walk through the halls, they recognize me and greet me by name – “Hi Teacher!” or “Hi Maddy!” There is still one boy who persistently asks for my number every time he sees me.
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Out of my three classes today, one was a really high energy class – the kind that acts like I’m a celebrity and everything I say is awesome. They’re willing to participate and excited to talk to me. This particular class had a boy who not only asked for my number, but tried to give me candy and changed his favorite food from chicken (which he’d already written down) to ice cream just because I said that was my favorite. His friends pointed this out and he assured me, “No Teacher, no, I like ice cream like you.” Haha.
Of course, that type of class makes it harder to transition to a quiet class, where the kids stare at me blankly and won’t speak in English. However, I’ve found that approaching them individually or in pairs helps, and a little prompting gets them to start speaking English. I haven’t had a flat refusal yet. I guess “yet” is the key word.
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Next week I start actually teaching from the textbook at my main school instead of just doing an introductory lesson. Which means lesson planning is on the agenda this weekend!