Laura is teaching full time right now so I’m spending five 45-minute periods a day at the back of my room. I would be going crazy except that this week, I started bringing Nik’s dad’s laptop to school and so I’ve been able to accomplish a lot of work. Particularly, my electronic files were a huge mess – mostly because I didn’t have time to go through them at the end of last year. (A big prize for the first person who leaves a comment saying why I didn’t have time!) So I’m well into going through those. I’ve also been creating worksheets and improving stuff that I’ve wanted to do but just haven’t seemed to find the time for.
I’ve also been going through a stack of papers that’s been on my desk all year. It consists of every paper that I know I should keep but isn’t easily categorized and so hasn’t gone into a file folder. (I hate that kind of pile.) In that pile, I found a paper that one of my very sweet students, “A” from Mongolia, wrote last year. It was about all of her teachers and this is what she wrote about me, “Ms. J is very sweat [sweet], intelligent, clever and nice. She helps with our studys and explain a lot. She is paishent and all ways know that a person can change to be nice.”
Notice that last sentence. Let me tell you about the class she was in last year. It was my hardest class. I dreaded it every day. It have several boys in it who were constantly pushing, pushing, pushing at me. There were some who were widely known throughout the school (or at least among the ESOL teachers) as troublemakers. They were persistent talkers and also were fairly constantly picking on each other, starting fights, etc. As some of you may remember, last year was a tough year for me all around. So it’s no wonder that A wrote that I knew that a person can change to be nice. That’s because I felt like I was constantly talking to the whole class about being considerate, kind, not fighting, being nice to each other, etc. I’m glad to know that at least the nice kids heard me! And really, most of those tough kids are better this year. I even teach a couple of them and they’re fine this year. They still talk all the time but at least they’re not so mean. I’ll guess I’ll carry on with my attempts at character education!