Last Thursday was my absolute last class with my graduating third graders at the JHS. Most of the third graders had to go to the high school for something, but the kids that stayed behind I think were the ones who are either not going to high school or going really far away. There were only about fifteen students in the class, and we played review games. It was a lot more fun than regular class because the students were actually having FUN. No one rolled their eyes or fell asleep during that class. They even got super competitive about winning, so everyone WANTED to do their best at the English games. I wish that class could be more like that more often instead of memorization, translating, quiz, memorization, translating, quiz. I think back to whenever I was learning Spanish and German, and my gosh! Had I learned those languages the way the students are learning English, I probably would have given up on day two.
I ate lunch with those students that day. Since most of the class was gone, everyone just brought their own lunch. Without the homeroom teachers there, the atmosphere seemed much more relaxed, and we goofed off a little more than we would have had there been an actual teacher there…..
The winning team in class earlier in the day was instructed to come and see me during break time to get a prize…..only my English teacher didn’t tell me this. When I got back to the teacher’s room after lunch, I saw them huddled by the door, and we had this awkward stare-off, but nothing was said. When I sat down at my desk, they approached me and mumbled something in Japanese. I couldn’t understand them, and being the polite Japanese that they are, they wouldn’t come out and ASK for what they wanted. Finally one girl said “prize,” but another girl swatted her as if to say how dare you ASK for something. Anyway, it FINALLY dawned on me what they wanted. Since they were graduating and I like them, I gave them the best stuff I had. I have random American trinkets that I keep in a desk drawer for such occasions. There were red, white, and blue leis, patriotic post-its and pencils, and other American things. Once they were done selecting, one of the best English speaking girls told me that she was going to California to visit family in two weeks and asked if I could recommend some places to visit. I’ve never been to California, but I wrote down a few things. After they left, I googled the heck out of places to visit in California and made a much better list for her, organizing it by what to see in each city. I even color-coded it and everything. I found her later in the afternoon and gave it to her, and she was so excited about it!
Thursday night was our night class. I’m happy to announce that I’m exactly one class away from not having it for almost a whole month! Woo-hoo! That’s right. After tonight’s class, I won’t have my class again until April 19th, and I’ll have all new students then. My current fifth graders will become my sixth graders and will be in the class. My fifth graders are turds, but I get along with them so much better than my sixth graders. Anyway, last Thursday we played gestures and Pictionary with professions (ie, doctor, nurse, teacher, etc.) Gestures went well, but apparently during Pictionary, ALL of the boys were making very inappropriate drawings on the board. Ian noticed it, but I didn’t and told me after class “I thought they were pretty clever to get penises in all of their drawings.” I said, “WHAT???” He then explained to me that in each picture the guys did there was a penis. Imagine my dismay. He said, “Melissa, we were all laughing. What did you think we were laughing at?” I said, “I thought the lesson was working out and everyone was just having a good time!” EPIC FAIL. This is what happens when you trust a twelve-year-old boy.
This is a shorter blog, but I think that I’ll end here.