Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Good Day

In Which Sometimes Things Just Go Well

Today was one of those days in which even the frustrating things added up to a harmonious whole. I had two classes today, a 1A and a 4A, at different schools. My 1A has five students, who are as rambunctious as the six- and seven-year-olds they are. They finally began to settle into the class routine today, and we didn't even lose much time of actual curriculum to acheive it. Even better, I think it's sustainable.

In my 4A class, we wrote silly questions as preparation for writing a paragraph, or set of paragraphs. My students will be writing about things like "Why do polar bears like chocolate?" "How big is the sky?" "How much water is there in the ocean?" and "Why does Joe laugh all the time?" During the break time, they drew a butterfly on my hand with facepaint sticks.

After the 4A class, I went to Subway to grab a very quick sandwich before the open house at the first school. The sandwich I got had very little on it, but it was sustenance. Nevertheless, I don't think I'll go back there at night. It occasioned a pleasant conversation with another teacher, however, who thought of me and wanted to know if I wanted anything when he went to get dinner. I declined, but the overture of friendship was nice.

The open house was even better. The parents of three of my students came in, listened to the general speeches and introductions, and then came to my classroom to talk to me. They cared about the education of their children. They asked pertinent questions and raised well-considered issues. They brought up the ways in which their children were feeling frustrated, and about what they felt confident. They were eager to participate themselves in their children's education, and when they left, one of them shook my hand and said, "We are lucky to meet you."

And after all of that, I met with the manager for Columbia Schools to talk about a proposed change in the presentation of the curriculum for my Saturday class. It's a group of teenagers, bored, on Saturday morning, with vastly different skill levels. Different kids are coming and going all the time, so it's challenging to keep the whole class on the same page, and would be even if they were willing to lift their eyes above the level of their knees. I want to make the class into a game like I have mentioned here previously. I described to our manager what I wanted to do, and when she understood, she said, "Yes. Please do this. And if it works at all, please let me know, because we want to watch it happen and see if we can use it for the other Saturday classes." I couldn't have been more thrilled.

I walked to the MRT station through the courtyard of the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and felt pretty good about life.

1 comment:

Hobbes said...

YAY! It's awesome when things work out like that :)