Monday, November 10, 2008

Third Graders

Well, my third grade class was a disaster today. The kids are adorable. Oh my God, they are so adorable, all eager and excited, with grins about to split their face. There was this one tiny little girl who wanted hugs. HUGS! Whenever I walked past her chair she stretched her arms out for a hug and my heart just melted.

However, while tiny and precious, they don't actually speak English. According to the national curriculum, they're only suppose to have a vocabulary of about 100 words, and that vocabulary doesn't include directions for how to play bingo. Normally this isn't a problem. Their homeroom teacher is suppose to come with them and provide a Korean translation and make sure they understand the lesson. (I can say "No, you can't" until the cows come home; it doesn't mean they're going to understand me. I can usually pantomime the vocab, but grammatical issues are harder to get across when you don't speak the language.) Their teacher didn't come, however. We limped through the lesson, but when it came time for the game (with twenty minutes still left in class), there was nothing I could do. I finally gave them some paper and told them to color an activity they like to do, and I walked around and helped the kids who were struggling with the lesson.

After class, I talked to my usual co-teacher and she said the third grade teachers had told her they had told me they weren't coming to class anymore. Er, one of them did come by, but I thought she was saying that I should take charge of preparing the lesson. Now I'm going to have to swing by the third grade hall and try to explain that I really need them to come to class so they can translate for me.

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