Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Last class

I had my last class with four of my 6th graders. (Actually the fourth showed up unexpectedly yesterday after three months of absence... I had scolded him in December and he chose to boycott my class.)

I've had these kids for 6 years. I've had their older brothers and sisters too! They will be entering Jr. high school in April and in my experience every Jr. high student turns ornery in the first year (my kids included!) and gets an attitude. I long ago decided I wouldn't teach Jr. high students... Jr. high is the start of formal, grammatical English and preparation for high school exams so most Jr. high students will start going to cram schools at night. Most of my students will quit my English to start attending cram school English. If they stay with me their grades don't go up! And another reason that Jr. high is a good time for them to quit my English class is because they will start formal school sports activities with practicing going until late at night. There is just no time for these kids!

So for the past couple weeks three of the kids worked on their Happy Villages as a remembrance of my class and I quilted them this week.

And yesterday the four kids came early and we cooked dinner together.

Hmmm. I should have spent a few more lessons on manners. I got a lot of grimaces and retching sounds from them and then refusal to eat whatever we'd made because of some reason or another. Giggles about grace before the meal, complaints about helping clean up. I couldn't see ending English on a bad note with me scolding them again so I let them say what they wanted. Let's say that though I have some great memories of being with these kids, it WAS TIME for them to quit.

I honestly don't think these kids gained a lot of English in the 6 years that they came to me (why was that boy still stumbling over counting to 16?) If nothing else, last night I realized that they were comfortable with me. Hopefully they will encounter more foreigners and overseas situations and will remember me harping over the same sort of things or having the same customs.

I should have been able to do more with these kids. Move on and try to do more with the ones who are still coming.

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