Our new school year started this week. This means that last week at our graduation I sent off the kids I'd been working with for a year, the ones who could discuss train collisions and soccer tournaments and recite all four stanzas of The Road Less Taken verbatim. I've replaced them with a group who are two years younger and can recite the phrase "Ah, Ah, Apple" ... with prompts.
One of the biggest challenges is that I have cryers this year. Even when my kids couldn't speak English and had no interest in what I was trying to get them to do (or not do) they never cried last year. A couple of these don't stop crying. We've had two full days now, and I can happily report that for at least 30 non-consecutive minutes of that time every eye in the class was dry.
I have a couple of trouble makers, too. Anna's already had a time out. I didn't give her the time out for jumping on the table (after all, who doesn't want to jump on a table every now and then?) I gave her the time out for yelling no at me when I asked her to get off the table.
Danny says no, too. He says no perpetually. No matter what we're doing as a class you can assume that we are doing it over a stream of "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!" That and Ann and Dylan both hysterically sobbing "Omani, Omani!" ("Mommy, Mommy!") Actually, Dylan's mom is my supervisor. I think that's his biggest problem: he knows that if he could just get past the giant, white woman and out the door, within thirty seconds he could be in the office by his mother's side.
The tiny bit of Korean I've picked up over the last year has been quite helpful. I don't generally speak it, but there are some phrases that it's been handy to understand like: "I have to go to the bathroom." "I'm hungry." "I'm finished, teacher." or the more specific "Jennifer is bleeding." and "I put the playdough in my pocket." I didn't actually get all of that last one, but the word pocket combined with a playdough cognate were enough to tip me off to the fact that I had a doughy, linty mess on my hands.
Anyway, it's been an adventure already and I'm only two days in. Only 363 to go before they have Robert Frost down!