So, today was the class of 7 year-olds that I had been dreading for so long. Most times when you dread something for a long time, you eventually find that the actual event is not so bad as you imagined it would be. That was not the case here. Last week I sat in and saw the outgoing teacher doing a great job of keeping the 4 young students in line…but just barely in line. They were rambunctious and chatty, but the lesson seemed to go basically as planned. Little did I know, they were practically being Buddhist monks last time. This time, they unleashed their full fury on poor unsuspecting me. Have you ever seen The Lion King? You know the pack of hyenas in it? You know how there was one mean hyena who was the ringleader? and really the other hyenas were just sort of along for the ride? Well then, you have an idea of what my class was like. Today the mean hyena ate an English teacher alive while the other three just laughed and had a good time. When people have asked me how lessons went in the past, I would often facetiously say “oh, no one threw things at me or anything, so it went pretty well.” That statement is suddenly not facetious anymore. This little girl threw balls and stuffed animals at me (within the first 15 minutes!), she rummaged through my teaching aids and handed them out to the other students, who became fascinated with every new thing she found and started running around like banshees as well. Then they took all my posters off the whiteboard and stuck them to the fogged window. “Magical!” the lead banshee proclaimed in excellent English. “Good vocabulary!” I praised, grasping at straws. Let’s skip ahead to the really bad part: first, she pinched my butt. I sort of knew this might be coming, mainly because I saw her do it to one of the other students first, so I basically kept smiling and ignored it. But she wasn’t done. Next, she poked me in the crotch. I think I probably reacted to that one, whether I wanted to or not, I just wasn’t ready for the sheer audacity of it. And for her grand finale, she took a mini basketball and punched me in the boob with it. Fortunately she is really short, so she didn’t have the right angle and trajectory to actually cause me any pain. But, she covered all the bases….literally. First base, second base, third base….all covered. This was only about halfway through class, so of course, the show must go on. Problem is, it was her show now. She climbed in the window and got another student to come up there with her. I got one student to sit on the floor with me and pay attention to a card game (to learn vocabulary), and she came over and began taking my hair out of my ponytail (while the other two were playing with my teaching aids). I managed to teach 2 of the students how to play a balloon game, where you tap the balloon in the air each time you say the vocab word, eventually trying to get it to land in a box, but lead banshee came and swatted the balloon away from the other kids every time. Swatting away my last hopes of controlling the class right with it. The other kids thought this was hilarious (the balloon, not my dying hopes…at least, I don’t think…). Things just kept falling apart from there. I tried to get them to play a puzzle game on the whiteboard, then discovered I had no marker. I wanted to appease them with the stickers they get for attendance, but I had forgotten those too. Fortunately, they did seem to be listening and occasionally even repeating the vocabulary and phrases, even though they did almost nothing else that I asked. They also all worked furiously at writing the letters in their books – even lead banshee. So, some English was in fact somehow learned. Magical!
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