Today marks the end of summer intensives and another bittersweet goodbye. When I first discovered I was about to teach a class of three boys, I was a little intimidated, but as the days progressed they really impressed me and I found myself excited and grateful to start my mornings with them. They were such a great class with only an occasional groan of “too much homework” thrown in every now and then.
Some of my favorite recollections of the class include:
-Our class Ironman obsession. Whenever any of the boys would finish an assignment early, they knew to draw me an Ironman. I’m going to miss that.
-Pencil drawn flowers from Leroy, which included previous chapters’ vocab. It melted my heart.
-Drama class when I required everyone to create different voices for their characters and the boys’ creative sides exceeded my expectations. It was to the point where all three boys would argue over obscure characters like the evil witch, Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother and others just so they cold use their “crazy voices”.
-When they’d use vocabulary learned in prior lessons during regular conversations and they didn’t think I was really listening or during other class assignments. Yesterday they learned “feast” during a random conversation about thanks-giving and today Sean used it in his final journal entry.
-Bryan’s Birthday. We were down in the kitchen and Leroy had disappeared. Then I realized he ran out of the kitchen to write a birthday card to go with the various gifts he had brought for Bryan.
-This class is the first (of probably many) that asked the “Santa question”. Not knowing how to respond, I dodged answering it by asking if they’d ever seen the “Santa tracker” and they were lost in fascination. phew.
-The “I KNOW I KNOW, TEACHER I KNOW” moments
-The day I walked into art class and told them to draw the craziest picture of themselves and Sean replied: “Oh, you mean a picture Picasso would draw, teacher?” (He’s seven years old)
-Remember the pongs of the 90’s? They’ve made a come-back in Korea, kinda. More accurately, the concept. The “pongs” themselves are more like rubber-y, neon plastic pieces of various shapes. One day, I walk into class and Leroy hands me one.
Leroy: “For you, teacher!”
Me: “I can’t take this from you, it’s yours!”
Leroy: “You have to take it, it’s one of the best ones and I have many!”
I later put it back with his collection in his backpack. The gesture meant more to me than any cute little pong.
Finally, today: not the celebratory last day you would think, it was mostly just a test day. The boys weren’t too pleased about the amount of writing thrown at them, but they got through it. It really didn’t hit me that it was my last day with them until the bell rang for them to leave:
Bryan (reluctantly walking to the door to line up): “I’m sad”
Bryan: (pouting) “We eat lunch and never see teacher again”
Sean: “OH MY GOSH!”
My eyes welled up and a huge group hug ensued.
I’m really going to miss them. Each student brought a different energy to class and the four hours we spent together each day never really seemed like it. The days flew by with these kids. I could really get used to this whole teaching thing, but it’s the goodbye’s that make it rough.
Next week I take over a full-fledged kindergarten class, wish me luck (and many more Ironman drawings?)!