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First Days of school…=O September 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — taiwantara @ 5:13 pm

On Monday I started at Nanhua.  I started with the 6th graders, then down to 3rd, then 4th, then 5th.  I found it difficult to keep them quiet!  They chat chat chat, and I have no idea what they’re saying.  After I went through my rules presentation I stayed on them about talking out.  One kid I had to keep saying “Are you teacher?” “No?… then ssshhhh” hahaha, I really had to improvise with how to get things across to them.  My last class, the 5th grade was definitely the worst.  They were literally yelling as the came in and sat down, hitting and kicking each other, being ridiculous!  The third graders are cayoooottt, though, oh my, haha.

Today, I started at Shoufong.  I had to start making stuff up stat! with these kids.  I did the same thing with them, rules presentation and name learning activity, but there were a few in each class who just couldn’t keep it together.  The first class of 6th graders was decent, definitely manageable, but the second…..aaahhhhh

My second class of sixth graders, the bell rang and I was still missing 5 or 6.  I asked my co-teacher and her response was alarming!  She very casually stated that they are often late and they are “naughty” boys.  They do not pay attention in class and just do what they want.  She told me this as if she was saying the sky is blue.   WHAT?!?  Because of only teaching at one school prior to this experience, I have these Tindley expectations embedded in me and I had to realize, especially with the language barrier, that I would need to, not entirely let go of my expectations, but adapt them.  However, I was not going to stand for disrespectful, careless behavior, whether you understand me or not.  After she told me they are often late I shut both doors and locked them.  We started the presentation and 2-3 minutes later there is some banging on the door and I look over to see one kid trying to climb through the window!  Seriously?!  I told him, back, went out the door to greet them and shut it behind me.  I told them they were late (pointed to my wrist) and could NOT be late to my class or they would not get in (pointed to locked door).  I’m going to have Doris ask the principal for me if next Tuesday I can send the ones who are late (I’m certain they will test me) to the office and not let them in the room.  I don’t know if this will go over well because I’ve noticed a massive lack of discipline here.  There are good kids, and bad kids, and that’s that.  If I have to take care of it myself, then I’m thinking about bringing a treat to pass out right as the bell rings, and when the other kids get there, they won’t have one.

Another situation I had to deal with was a student who just absolutely wouldn’t shut his mouth.  I moved him up front. still yelled out.  I walked over to him and said “did you raise your hand?”  (raised my hand) he said “no” and I said, “well then SSSHHHHH” he literally laughed and turned around to talk some more.  Now I KNOW he understood ssshhh so I went to get a piece of paper, wrote out “I will raise my hand before talking” numbered 1-10 and gave it back to him.  It took him exactly until the bell to finish it, perfect =)  He didn’t talk anymore while he was writing.

I had to try that again the next period, but this time I had to take a desk from the back carry it up front, face it in the corner, and sit him there.  I gave him a sentence with numbers also but he kept turning around to talk even more during it!  OMG it was so frustrating.  I just walked over, turned him around, ssshhh at him again, and added more numbers.  These classes took far more redirecting than yesterday’s.  I was told that my co-teacher, who was the English teacher last year, is not much of a disciplinarian, which I witnessed today.  Her idea of discipline is to actually hit the child, like bop them upside the head, which they find very amusing, it’s ridiculous.  I know she was trying to help me but it made it worse.

This is going to be a struggle.  It’s one thing to get kids in line at the beginning of the year when you’re in an environment where their other teachers are doing the same thing, but here, here I’m trying to get behavior out of them that does not seem to be expected anywhere else.  I’m still going to try though because I refuse to just allow, disruptions and lack of effort in my class.

Any creative advice teachers (or anyone haha)????

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6 Responses to “First Days of school…=O”

  1. Molz Says:

    Hahahaha….so Asian kids are just as loud and annoying as American kids…good to know!! I’m sure you’ll whip them in to shape soon enough, or get really frustrated trying!!

  2. Siri Says:

    You will succeed, because of your quick adaptability. Already you are coming up with quick, on the spot responses to different situations, and keeping a clear goal of how you expect these students to behave. The language barrier will make it a little harder, but once they understand the expectations, and recognize the rewards of meeting them, and the inconvenient consequences of not meeting them, you should have the behavior under control.

    Meanwhile, as they begin to learn, master and experience success with the material, as long as this is a clear positive experience (ala positive reinforcement), more of the “bad” students should start to come around. You have created and experienced critical mass before. It may take a little longer, but I think that your ingenuity and responsiveness will lead to similar (or more) outcomes. Keep working the room and the room will start working for you!

    It is very interesting to read/see your adventures. Thanks for sharing them!

  3. roomie Says:

    advice: get to boppin on the head!!! I wish I could do that!! hahaha

  4. Greg Says:

    Wow, I’m wondering what I will get into next week when I start teaching at Wuci Junior High. This week the students are taking review tests and the English teachers are figuring out how the schedule will work. I will start classes next week. The students are very curious and want to talk to me, but their comprehension is limited. I’m learning (or relearning) that you have to slow down, use simple sentence structures, repeat yourself often, and try not to go crazy. Sometimes you will have to preteach your preteach if you follow the drift. And avoid phrases like ‘follow the drift’–keep it simple. Anyway, I had a Taiwanese English teacher tell me the other day, “there are many cultures, but kids are kids.”

  5. Greg Says:

    Hi Tara, I posted a comment but I’m not sure if it posted…maybe you are screening them first. In any case, I thought of something else that might help. Print (in a large font) simple English words on sheets of paper with the translation below. I have two sets; classroom/question words, i.e Listen, Repeat, Sit Down, Write, Who, What, Where, When, etc., and grammar term words; i.e. noun, verb, preposition, etc. Just raise it up and say the English word. It will also get you in the practice of keeping it simple. Single words or simple phrases printed out with a Chinese translation make it hard for students to misinterpret. Try to stay positive, but you know they’re gonna test you.

  6. Terri Says:

    Tara, I think (for what it’s worth) the “treat” idea is a good one. I would think all kids, of ANY culture, prefer to be praised or rewarded, rather than be “bopped” in the head, or otherwise degraded. Perhaps if you could find simple “gifts” or “treasures” to be awarded for good behavior, proper attention paid to the subject matter, ect. , you will find in time that your verbal praise is as important, if not more, than the material stuff. Keep at it. Trying to teach children respect, where there has been no respect previously, is going to be a daunting task, but well worth the rewards.

    P.S. If you think I’m out of my tree, or just plain naive about this whole thing, sorry.


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