I only taught one class today. My 2.5 (low level, co-ed, second grade, approximately 25 students) class was cancelled due to a test, and because my co-teacher was busy and I’m awful at reading the schedule board I only found this out when I walked into their classroom and they were lined up in rows and were actually orderly for once. 2.5 is honestly my least favorite second grade class, and there have been many times where when preparing to go teach them, I wished that their class was cancelled. This is by far, according to all of the teachers, the hardest second grade class to handle. I actually get along well with most of the “bad” kids at my school, and I think that’s because I recognize when they’re acting out because they don’t understand versus when they’re trying to be disrespectful, and I can clarify the grammar and vocabulary one-on-one without getting mad, and thus correct their behavior. Many of the “hooligans” at my school turned out to be absolute sweethearts when they realized that if they needed help they should just ask. However, there are kids who act out because they don’t respect the teachers at this school and they don’t want to be at school, and it’s very difficult to get through to them. Class 2.5 consists mostly of the latter type of “bad” student. When redistributing students into new homerooms they took all of the worst behaved second grade girls and boys and put them in this one class, along with a handful of genuine sweethearts, and a few corruptibles. As a result, some of my favorite kids from last year became demons, the ones that I had issues with this year I have even more issues with now, the class captain is this cute small girl that tries hard but nobody listens to, and the handful of sweet kids kind of gets lost. Though it’s one of my least favorite classes, I’m genuinely sad it’s cancelled. I have no chance of closure, and I can’t say goodbye to the kids in there that I do like.
However I did get to say goodbye to class 1.3. 1.3 (low level, 1st grade, co-ed, 29 students) has always been fun to teach, but a bit bipolar. The class is split 50-50 between girls and boys. The boys are loud, for the most part have pretty good English for a low-level class, and dominate class discussions. The girls are quieter, goof off, chat, and check their hair and makeup in their mirrors constantly. It’s not that the boys are better than the girls, it’s just that the boys pay attention better and try harder. Some of my favorite first grade students are in this class.
It wasn’t the best of classes – I didn’t get the rapt attentiveness I was hoping for (it is, afterall, the last week of classes) and because of the letters we’re writing to the next Sapgyo High School teacher, class trickled over and ended awkwardly with students rushing towards me to give me their letters, others asking for more time, and others running out the door to go to music class. At the end of class I had one of my favorite students (we’ll call him Hapkido because one day he came in with a broken foot due to sparring in hapkido, then got super excited when I told him I did hapkido too. Turns out he’s a 3rd degree black belt – yikes!) who had rushed out of the door to go to music come back to find me so he could say goodbye.
“I.will.always.remember.me? is right?”
“I will always remember you?”
“Yes! also will send email”
“I will always remember you too, Hapkido. Thanks for being a great student. Please send me an email!”