Archive for the ‘1st grade’ Category


Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

It is lovely outside, and lovely inside my second grade classrooms with my kids, but not so sunshiney inside the first grade classrooms. It doesn’t help that I decided to wear a low(er) cut sweater to work today (you can see about two inches below my collarbone, heavens to betsy) AND a scarf to mask the top, while not realizing that in the classrooms you get all the glorious sunshine of spring with none of the ventilation, and I end up suffocating in my own modesty. Also, my hair is now slightly-awkward mullet length, which means that I’ve taken to wearing headbands, which inevitably give me a headache by the end of the day.

My second graders either clap, or greet me when I walk in… now I don’t ask for that, or expect that from my first graders, but I expect recognition. I expect students to see me walk into the classroom and get ready for class. Today when I walked into my first grade girls class they acted like nothing had happened. They went on chatting, and studying while I began my intro, then I stopped and stared.  They kept on chatting. I then called their attention to the front, and the captain half-heartedly had the students stand up and insa me, in Korean, after which they got right back to talking.

If there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s chatting. While I dislike when students study for other classes or sleep, I understand why they do it. They’re at a demanding, academic high school, and don’t sleep nearly enough. Also, they’re tested constantly, and I don’t give grades. However, when students are chatting, OPENLY chatting, faces turned away from me and talking to their partners in Korean, about mundane unrelated subjects, I get really, really upset. Because obviously the students are awake enough to focus, but they don’t deem me important enough. Now, this is not the same as when students ask their peers for clarification on a point I’ve made – of course I’m okay with that, but this is chatting.

I stopped the class, put on my ice-glare, didn’t name names but stared at people as I explained that it was English class time, and we needed to be quiet. I then confiscated an advertisement for school uniforms that a student was holding up in front of her face reading while I was saying this.

The rest of class was fairly uneventful, with a few bursts of chatting here and there, and at the end of class I explained that since I only saw them for fifty minutes once every two weeks, I wanted to make the most of our time but I couldn’t today. I then explained that I was disappointed with their actions. I then wrote “DISSAPOINTED” on the board for further emphasis, and realized after the fact that I had spelled it wrong.

I really hope the students realize that the takeaway from all of this is my message of disappointment, not that their English teacher can’t spell.


Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

I know I haven’t written in awhile… and I’m currently in the process of writing a nice long write-up about the epicness of my school’s Sports Day, but I have to break that for one of the nicest comments I’ve received from a student.

Thursdays are my horrible days. I have my two worst classes back-to-back first and second period. In most of my classes my students are fairly low level but I don’t mind… while it does make certain aspects of classes difficult, it also makes me feel more needed and like I’m making more of an impact. However if a student can’t understand anything that I’m saying, that means that they really have to try and focus. There’s only so much I can teach, if my class is sleeping, constantly chatting, throwing socks, making paper airplanes, getting into fights and throwing each other into headlocks, or having screaming tantrums (this has all happened). I can deal with low levels, and I can deal with behavior problems, the issue is when students have both and also don’t respect me as a teacher.

This morning I went to my first class (who seem to alternate from week to week between comatose and pixie-stick-injesting kindergarteners) to find that not only were they incredibly active today but the computer was missing. That’s right, not broken, but missing. I’m still not sure where it went and if I’ll ever get it back. Good thing my lesson was mostly tech-free this week…

After that super special class I was on my way to my other difficult class which normally consists of 25 hyper-active  first-grade boys (today they were practically catatonic, very strange. Also the computer was broken. Not missing, just broken) when I ran into one the “I miss you so much(e)” boy, who is one of my favorite students (I mean what? I don’t have favorites, hrum hrum hrum) and the class captain for my advanced second-grade class.

I Miss You So Much(e) Boy: “Hi teacher!”
Emily Teacher: “Hi!”
IMYSM(e): “I miss you so much(e)! I have not seen you for a long-long time”
ET: “I know! It is sad. However I will teach your class tomorrow!”
IMYSM(e): “Yes I know. I am inspire by your class. I wish we have your class everyday.”
ET: “You know what? I wish I had your class everyday too. Thank you, I needed that.”
IMYSM(e): “Bye teacher!”
ET: “Bye! Have a good day!”