Why I sometimes come home with a headache…
What? Another post so soon after posting yesterday? For starters I’m stalling. I’m getting observed this week, and I really don’t want to go back to creating differentiated packets. I have just two more to whip up, but damn I don’t want to. The other reason I’m in here is my head is pounding — even after two advil (and some Panadol from the school nurse earlier today). Today was not one of my better work days. Nothing horrible happened, and it certainly wasn’t my worst day at work, but the girls were more preoccupied with their social selves than their academic souls. I’m sure my headache exists for other reasons, but I’m blaming it on my girls.
The good news is my bad days here aren’t like bad student days I’ve had at home (but mark my words a tamer bad is still bad). No one will come to school here with a gun, girls don’t pass out in class because they’re drunk or pregnant (although they do sometimes faint), and they don’t knock over tables in the process of a beat down —- but they do occasionally throw water or pull hair.
As far as I know no one has cussed me out yet, but I’m still in the very early phase of learning Arabic, so maybe someone’s tossed a bad word or two my way.
A bad day for me is when they’re just not having it. For whatever reason English is not what they want to be doing, and since they’re from here and I’m from somewhere over there, it’s really easy to tune me out. I think because they also come from large families they’re just naturally loud —- with a capital L. OMG, when these girls get going it’s full-fledged shrieking and yelling. The chimpanzee section of the zoo is quieter.
Proximity teaching doesn’t help once they’re in full swing. I stand next to the talkative table, and as soon as I look at the rest of the class, boom! they’re at it again.
Thing is I can’t stay mad at them because a. I know they don’t understand much of what I say; b. they’re in the same class room all day long and just want to be girls; and c. they intersperse continual compliments with their unintentionally rude behavior.
Here’s a typical bad-day conversation:
Me: X why aren’t you working?
X: Miss you are so beautiful.
Me: Thank you. Did you know you’re even more beautiful when you’re working?
Y joins in: Miss you are so nice.
Me: Watch me get mean…get back to work.
Move on to another loud table.
Z: Miss your eyes are like the sky.
Me: Thank you, can you put yours to use and read that passage for me.
Z tries to read whatever and gets a few words right.
Her buddy stares at me (mind you they’ve had me for 6 months now my eyes should no longer be a novelty): Miss why you no put make up on.
Me: Child, let’s work on that sentence. How do you ask that correctly?
Another student: Miss I want your eyes. Give me your eyes (and I’m pleased she said your).
I move on to another table.
“Miss, I love you.”
First table now breaks out into the Barney song: I love you, you love me!
And it goes downhill from there until I raise my voice, make them stand, sit, stand … you know every damned shut-the-ef up tactic I know. I get them under control for five seconds.
“Okay girls now give me your verbs.” I think I’m so clever, but no that only gets them laughing.
And then it begins again.