Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Attrition & Class Switcheroos

I got some sorta good & some not-so-good news yesterday...

The sorta good first. I am getting another class. Shelley, one of the Chinese teachers just isn't cutting it. Her husband doesn't want her working so much and her English really wasn't up to par in the first place. She is really cool, I hope we stay in touch. I will be taking over one of her classes. It's a good class with some students that I have bonded with so I don't anticipate any difficulties making the transition. The thing that makes this sorta good news is I am going to have to give up my mini-class in order to teach this one...they are at the same time. Carol, the boss, feels I am better suited to take on the bigger class than the other foreign teachers in the office. I am pretty bummed out about leaving the mini class, they are fun and we were doing very well in there. I was just getting into a groove with them...oh well. Nothing is written in stone at work. Stay tuned.

The not-so-good news. Last night I had my Superwriters class. Everything was hunky dory until about 10 minutes before the end of class. That's when I was talking with the "back row/backbone" of my class. These are the most experienced kids I have in the class, they feel compelled to sit in the back row. They are too cool to sit up They are all friends from outside of English class, great kids. The four of them have been solid throughout the 16 weeks of the class. Anyhow, Matthew related to me that all of the kids in the back row won't be returning after the next class...ugh. Matthew, Andrew, Amy, and Jennifer are no longer going to be taking English classes. They have a million other school-related things that are not as solid as their English abilities. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I was stunned. I didn't know how to react. I immediately questioned their decisions, which was a mistake. After I thought about it for a few minutes, I realized that these kids are under an insane amount of pressure and the last thing they need is me freaking out. Each and every one of these kids is wonderful and I trust they are doing the best thing. I think I reacted negatively to the news out of selfishness, I need these kids in my class!!! It's gonna be interesting adjusting my approach to the group without the four of them, especially Jennifer & Amy. Jennifer was the one I counted on to bail me out when the rest of the kids were stumped. She always seemed to be willing to give it a shot, an ideal student. Amy was as quiet as a mouse but my best student as far as grades are concerned. She aced everything I gave her, a parents dream. Losing these kids is going to leave a void. I suppose this is just another scenario I will have to learn to deal with if I plan on making a teaching a career. I have to learn to not let my emotions get too much of me. I become attached to my students, it's a curse on teachers!

The stuff I mentioned above tells me that it's time to start yet another chapter in this odyssey. I am not discouraged, just a little taken aback by this weeks events. Knowing that you folks out there are reading this is cathartic for me.

On a lighter note, check out this quote from the goof-ball in the Oval Office:

"I've asked Jeff Brown to join me. He is a professor. He can tell you where-where do you profess?"
--March 10, 2005 Speaking at Auburn University on the subject of Social Security reform.

shocking, hilarious & scary. sorta like his presidency...

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