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Archive for July, 2009

Yesterday was my last day of work. I didn’t know that when I got up that morning. I thought that today would be my last day however, today they’re going to the zoo, and field trips don’t require my assistance, since they’re largely Chinese based not English based. It felt very strange to sit there and here my students chant for the last time, “Good morning Teacher Jennifer”. The last, “What day is today? Who can say the whole date?  How are you this morning?” The last apples written next to names, or erased for people jumping off desks (not cool Justin).
I feel like I’ve learned so much. Yesterday was just going through the motions, not stopping to think about later. Do your worksheet…what is this number (32,356)? What words make the short o sound? Who needs a drink of water? Ephraim quit picking your nose, your finger will fall off. Michelle will you go get my stickers from my desk? Team Dinosaur Race Car wins the spelling bee with 12 points. But beyond this mundanity there is so much more. A deeper understanding of language, how it’s put together, how people learn and think and remember. How strange children act and how complex they are. How Asian culture and its relationship to learning is so vastly different from America, and how to constantly adapt, rethink, and rework things to make sure the kids are excited about what they know at the end of the day. “Teacher, give me a really hard spelling word…I want a really really hard one” “Umm, how about supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” ….”Aw…umm…s-u-p-p-….-r..Ai-ya teacher, not that hard…” “Ok, delicious.” “haha, so easy d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s”.

I told them that it was my last day and next week they’d have to be good for Teacher Jessica (the new lady hired for a month). Their eyes got really big and they all simultaneously moaned Noooooooooooooooooo. “We don’t like Teacher Jessica” (her teaching demo last week was a bit boring). “Will you come back after you go home?” “Why? Why are you leaving us?” It was killer. I explained that my mommy and daddy missed me and that I was going back to be a student again just like them. Michelle asked, “But teacher, why can’t your mommy and daddy come live here?” “Why do you need to be a student, teacher? You know everything already”.

It was so weird finishing the day. It doesn’t really feel complete yet. I’ll go back in August one last time during orientation when hopefully all my old students will be there to say a real good bye, but it won’t be in a teaching capacity…just plain old Jennifer.

…“But…but…teacher who will give us our spelling words?”

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I had my students help me write a story…I was going for a zebra theme but apparently Spongebob has infected the whole school. I’ll let you guess which sentences the girls told me and which ones the boys told me (the silly bizarre ones)…I just wanna know…what happened to the tired angry elephant? Did he ever get to take a nap?

Suzy Zebra escaped from the zoo. Zowie! She yelled as she jumped over the fence….

She met her friend Spongebob outside. He was with an angry elephant. He was angry because he hadn’t slept for two days. They all went to Patrick’s house. Patrick was having a loud party. Mr. Krab was coming to the party too! All the people at the party were eating hamburgers and speaking Chinese. Mr. Krab came and was proud of Patrick’s Chinese. He gave him one thousand dollars, which Patrick put in his belly button. Patrick was so happy.
The whole party went to Squidward’s house, but Squidward was busy taking a shower. Then, Squidward got out of the shower and skateboarded away from all the party people. They were too noisy. But then, Squidward returned home. He was mad and crying. Spongebob said, “Don’t cry, come party!” Squidward yelled, “I don’t want to! Get out!” So everyone went home. It was a very fun party.

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Last Friday I had the day off but my students were going to Big Tom to make ice cream. I decided to tag along and make ice cream too. Mmmmm. They did it old fashioned style just like I used to do at my grandma’s house when I was very very little. Ice, salt, milk, and lots of cranking. Here are some photos of those silly kids. (I also deleted about 53 photos of shoes, chairs, and posters on the wall that my students took when I let them borrow my camera…be more creative kids).

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New bizarre tshirt sightings:

“Fisherman do it better in the dark”

“I happy work success love”

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So, according to comments, stories about my students are always the most popular. So here are a few golden ones from my last week of teaching:

We’re studying about 2 alphabet letters a day. For my older class, this is definite review since they can read and write and everything. The letter for the day today was J…can you name me some things that start with J class?…Usually they tell me some pretty interesting ones…it just goes to show that different age groups and cultures remember different things more specifically. However towards the end of jellybean, jump, juice, jog, Jason, Jennifer, Justin, and jar Ephraim pauses for a second and shouts MICHAEL JACKSON!! Then adds the side note…in case I don’t know, “He is America people, teacher, but he died and is in the sky. All the America people were cried” –This is the extent that pop culture influences Asia and five year olds.

The same day we were having a conversation about the Spongebob (commonly refered to as Hai mien Baobao) cartoon we had watched the day before.

This episode was the one where Spongebob and Patrick spray miracle grow on Squidward and he becomes a giant. I asked them, “If you could have one extra body part what would it be?” Michelle answers that she wants an extra eye…Eric wants an extra heart in case he dies..Justin doesn’t want anything extra he wants very very long arms. “Why? Justin…wouldn’t they be hard to move? How would you eat?”

“I want long long long arms so that I can be at home and then reach in the toy store and bank and take money and toys.”

“But Justin, what if someone trapped your hand. Couldn’t the police follow your arm and find you at your house?”

“No, I would grab the toys with one hand and use the other to hit them with kung fu” –Justin then proceeds to show his “many” kung fu moves with his best-friend Eric. These include poking out eyes and throwing them, tv-wrestling body slam moves, and lots of high kicks that come dangerously close to Jason’s face…who is day dreaming out the window.

Ok, ok…lets see…mutant body parts for stealing and kung-fu…Check.

And finally, the next day after lunch, the kids are running around wild in the 15 minutes before nap time (and by nap, I mean lay in the dark rooms and talk while we intermittently threaten them). My boss is talking with a parents and the kids are obviously not making a good impression. “Hey, hey sit down I have a game to show you”

Having exhausted my repetoire of “new, exciting” games a long long time ago I wrack my brain for something to play. Knowing what a hit patty-cake was a couple weeks ago, I settled on Slaps. After showing the older kids how to hold your hands and fake people out, and the rules for only 2 pull-aways, they started playing. After getting my hands violently slapped by uncannily strong little kids I was starting to think this wasn’t such a good idea. 15 minutes later with very very red hands and some younger kids who still didn’t understand and would repeatedly just hit me randomly…it was thankfully nap time, and hopefully while sleeping they’d forget all about this game and wanting to play with me.

Updates of pictures taken when I brought my laptop to work to show my older girls I tutor some videos to chat about.

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From left: Ephrain, May, Me, Howard

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May, Ephrain, Me

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Howard, Jason, Justin

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Allan, Jason, Justin, Ephrain, Athena, Howard, Michelle

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Howard

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Me and Connie (one of my second grade level kids…almost as tall as me)

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Cindy (5th grader I tutor…we both love cheese and cute puppies haha)

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85 C…the bakery/coffee shop near our house has these cakes shaped like teddy bears or pandas…so so cute.

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