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Monday, October 20, 2008

New school year -- day 1

That's right, it's like a brand new school year! OK, so I didn't have to worry or fret TOO much about moving to a new room or decorating it (though I'm sure that I'm supposed to have more up for my bilingual students now). But 40 brand new kids, along with all of their brand new names??!! Come on, it's completely like starting over!

Thankfully, I have just enough room in my cupboard classroom under the staircase (thank you Harry Potter) to squeeze in 20 students per class, and thankfully, the kids seem to be pretty sweet. It's entirely possible they're really little monsters who are still scared of me and are waiting to show their true colors, but I really don't think that's the case. I think they worst I'll have to deal with is some chatty cathys. Or, given the makeup of my class now, some chatty carlottas.

I think I spoke more Spanish today than I have cumulatively in the past 2 years. I know all of my numbers pretty well, so any time I said a number in English, I would try to say it in Spanish. Also, a few phrases came back, so I would say them.

In one class, I have a little boy who speaks no English at all. During the morning activities, I noticed that he was moving along at a VERY slow pace. The first question on the board for the day was 79 + 231. This boy had written "79 + 231 = _______" Then he had skipped a line, and was midway through writing out the second problem. Yep, without even solving the first one.

I had told all of the kids earlier NOT to try to solve a problem like that horizontally (I used more words, but simpler words, but hopefully we're all adults reading this blog) because that's the "baby (ie, First Grade) way." I told them they need to "stack it up" so they can align the proper place values.

So when I saw this boy hadn't even solved number one, I went over, and told him, "Escribe dos cientos trienta uno aqui." The other kids at the table immediately looked at each other in amazement that this white-bread teacher could throw down a little es-pan-yole. (also, the kid solved the problem in about 45 seconds. Maybe he just needs a Spanish-language kick in the culo each morning.)

My former class went crazy whenever they saw me this morning. Which was kind of nice. They like me, they really like me.


Ray said...

hehe too funny...As a Spanish teacher it's amazing to me that just because I'm not Hispanic that kids think I don't speak Spanish. Then I give them a swift "Spanish kick in the culo" and they figure it out as well...

I just wish I had your discipline to blog daily or kids young enough who would never read it. As soon as I told any of my stories, the whole school would know who I was talking about.

theinfamousj said...

Congratulations! Your post will appear in the Mole Day edition of the Carnival of Education. You can view the CoE here - - on 10/22 when the link goes live. Thank you in advance for any publicity plugs that you offer on your site.

Anonymous said...

I'm another anglo bilingual teacher. Mr. Teacher, I taught dual language and loved it. I hope you do, too.

Anonymous said...

yeah. You have to love when they're surprised you speak Spanish...even, in my case, when I'm the Spanish teacher.

I think it's amazing that the only time kids at like they like you or appreciate any of the stuff you do, is when you're not around...

Mister Teacher said...

Ray, I call it creative license... feel free to embelish, then you can call it "fiction." :)

Thanks, Anonymous 1 and Anonymous 2!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure which I like better, the fact you can laugh and remain positive, which must be a challenge under the circumstances, or the fact that a man is teaching in elementary AND seems to be doing an exceptional job. Well done and DISD is lucky to have you! I wish I could say the same for all those laid off. :o(