Monday, November 12, 2007

A Two, Three, Four and Five Year Old

About 2 months ago, I started teaching a kindergarten class. I had never taught a K class before, so I was skeptical. The Dunhua Rd. branch, where I am currently working, is pretty small. We have about 200 students compared to about 1000 at the Shulin branch so I was wondering if we could get any kids to sign up. My question was answered when one little girl showed up for the first day of Monica, my only student, is great. She is a very receptive 4 year old.

Everything was hunky-dory until about 5 weeks into the class, that's when the boys showed up. Ethan and his brother Evan signed up for the class. They are 5 and 3 years old, respectively. So I had an interesting mix of levels. I was a bit freaked out, but thought I could manage because Evan, although being only 3 years old, seemed to have a pretty good level of knowledge.

The next few weeks were hectic, but I found a way to integrate the boys into the existing class plan. After just a few classes I came to the conclusion that boys are about a million times more difficult to handle at this level than girls. It was everything I could do to keep the boys from bouncing off the walls while Monica sat nicely in her seat and was the perfect little student. I love the silliness the boys possess, but man it's tiring trying to harness their energy.

While the class wasn't perfect, I did have them all marching to the same drum. We work at a brisk pace and the 3 of them seem to be able to grasp the material pretty well.

Last week, that all came to a screeching halt! Just before class started I was informed that I had a new student. Adding students mid-stream is never easy but it's part of my job. Not all kids are able to join the class from day-one. It frustrates me but I have done it a million times and after a few speed bumps, the kid is usually up to speed in no time. This particular situation is a wee bit different...

My new student is 2 years old...ugh. Two freaking years old! I understand that it's great to get your kid started early learning languages, but this is ridiculous. Sakura, the new student, is tiny. She spent the entire first class clinging to her mother's leg and crying whenever I tried to get her to participate.

Just to clarify the situation, that makes a 2, 3, 4 and 5 year old in the class. The comprehension levels of each one of them is profoundly ya get the idea that I am a bit frustrated by this scene?

I have decided to talk to Carol this week about this. I can't get any rhythm in the class if I have to on one hand, keep a 2 year from bursting into tears, and on the other, keep a 5 year old from burning the school down...arg!

I am going to ask Carol to suggest the 2 year olds mother find a more suitable class. The curriculum is not appropriate for a 2 year old. Also, I seriously doubt that she could keep up with the program.

This situation is one of the primary reasons I haven't had much time to blog in the past couple of weeks. Work has been very challenging lately and I look forward to getting this crap under control so I can go back to making myself look silly on this here blog...

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