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The School Festival and How I Became a Celebrity

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

The blog title is only slightly tongue-in-cheek.

Once a year, on a glorious day, class is canceled and students showcase their talents in a giant school festival. I love it,  because as a teacher I really only see my students’ in English class. It’s always wonderful seeing students doing things outside of academia, especially when your students don’t have very much time for it. We dedicated the whole day to it, cancelling all of our classes. The first part of the day (10 am to noon) showcased various free and low-cost activities sponsored by the student government and various homerooms, the proceeds of which went to charity. There were paintings in the hallways done by students, four first grade homerooms showed movies, there was a ring toss, an area where you looked at unlabeled pictures of babies, children, and teenagers and guessed which student or teacher it was, 2.5′s class captain had a tarot booth, there was a student-sponsored flea market, etc. I sadly, was only able to do the ring toss, because I was too busy doing last minute band practice.

That’s right, band practice. I performed at the school festival. As the singer for a band. A band made of teachers.

We practiced a few times, in the band club’s classroom. The teacher’s band was the worst kept secret, as some teachers told some students, and the students that didn’t know could hear us practicing because we used amps and we have a relatively small campus. I ended up singing “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles backed by two of the English teachers on guitar and bass, the music teacher and a Korean teacher on keyboard, and one of the science teachers on drums, then I hurriedly ran off stage and they played a really awesome Korean song.

The grand stage.

Such a hardcore rocker…

I hit all the notes, and I didn’t fall on my face, so though I’m not a great singer, I consider this a success. Of course, now I can’t get the male students to stop yammering about it. The female students seem content to tell me that I did a good job and leave it alone, or politely pretend like it never happened. On the other hand, almost every male class I’ve walked into at least one student has either quoted the Beatles at me, or sung random snippets. However no other class has taken it to quite the extreme that 1.6A did.

Class 1.6A exemplifies everything that is good and fun about teaching first grade boys. It’s one of my advanced classes, so it’s smaller and I teach them in a special classroom in the library as opposed to their homeroom. There are only fifteen students, and they are always energetic. One time due to unfortunate scheduling I didn’t see them for six straight weeks. The next time I saw them, when a student saw me walk into the classroom he fell to his knees and threw his hands up in the air. He proceeded to scream YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS at the top of his lungs for what must have been a straight minute.

I should have been expecting it, but it caught me by surprise when all fifteen students jumped out of their seats the minute I walked in and sang the full chorus of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” They then pointed at the whiteboard which they had come early to decorate.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when viewing this image.
1) This was drawn by fifteen year olds. When I say “first grade” I mean they are first year high school students.
2) The super stretched-out stick figure in blue on the left is me.
3) I never got a conclusive answer as to who the other figures were.
4) Please note the “Trick or Treat” on this board.
5) Please also make note of the “rock on” hands in the top left.

As it’s the week before finals, I’ve been giving all of the students half of the class to study individually. The students knowing that I do this, normally bring their study materials. After the surprise musical number, I settled the class down and noticed that not a single student had brought their books. I asked if they wanted time to study, and they yelled that NO they wanted CLASS. Also, they wanted TO HOLD MY HAND.

I don’t think I’m ever going to live this down.