Today was the end of my contract. 18months with my kids, it’s been a tough week of goodbyes.
On Friday Ivana and Ivania brought me some presents they had made at home for me. Made me want to cry! Then yesterday they brought me a present that their mom had bought for me as well as some cards. Ivan had written me a sweet card as well and they all made a huge production out of giving me their presents. I had to still teach with the new kid in class and the trainee teacher so I sent them both out a little early to get a proper goodbye.
When we walked out their moms were waiting to take photos and say goodbye. Had me all teary eyed! The twins mom hugged me forever and then started crying. So sad!
To top it off Stella popped in with the sweetest goodbye present,Cherrie went out of the way to buy me something she new I would enjoy and Kelvin gave me an awesome speciality t-shirt. The presents were great but it was the thought and care that went into them that had me super sad. My manager and work colleagues have been amazing over the last few months and saying goodbye was super hard 🙁
Today my kiddies classroom antics were just plain cute, I had a princess in class, she was dressed in full court attire. No one knew who she was nor what she was doing in my classroom. We started my usual classroom routine when suddenly our owner knocks on the door and pops in with my dear Queena. I was busy with a little girl who was still shy so I didn’t even stop to hear what was going on and just had the little one sit down and kept going with my class. Queenas’ mom came in with her for a second to say hi and then left.
The little princess was not too happy with one of my boys, my little froggie, he kept trying to talk to her and get her attention but she just huffed and puffed in her corner. She gets a little jealous at times and with Queena coming into class she was very jealous which lead to a little more huffing.
Queena sat so super quietly in her corner and didn’t make a noise. She literally just say and followed any instructions I gave her, which was not normal as she usually giggled in my classes, but then she was in a class with different children and she is super shy.
About 10minutes into our lesson the admin came in after finally figuring out who the princess was. They told me her name and so class continued, with a huffing princess, an annoyed froggie and my quiet Queena. At the end of class I found out that she refused to go into her makeup lesson and would only go into a class with me in it, so her mom said chat room was fine.
It was really heart warming to know that she actually liked my lessons and not only was she learning phonics but her mom told me she had made friends with the kids outsides of class. Awesome!
The temperatures in Hong Kong decided to drop to freezing so I’m huddled in a classroom with my colleagues sitting around a heater waiting for my next class to start.
Cookoo Kelvins class
Kelvins class has gotten uber adorable but we keep getting make-ups in the class which is really disrupting them. A couple of weeks ago Kelvin started hugging me, as soon as he hugs me Leo wants to join in and throws himself onto the huh, then Oscar wants in and throws himself onto it.We end up being this hilarious but cute standing up dog pile.
We have a new girl in the class, Emily, she started out being very shy but now even though she still doesn’t talk too much she really has fun in the lessons. The boys go a little wild when we sing and she loves it. I’m always watching that they don’t hurt themselves while pulling faces at her during the phonics song and she really is loving it.
I really love this class, they require high energy but they give a lot back so it’s not exhausting!
The little Creatures
Then there’s Ivana and Ivanias class.We have started doubling up to do big and small letters because they are just so darn good. They were getting a little board with the pace so now they having to be pushed which is really good for them. I may have planned a little far in advance but I really know my kids which is great but at the same time I have subs coming in who do not know them so trying to go too fast then will probably be an issue.
Ivan has really blossomed in the past few weeks, he has so much fun in class and now focuses hard on all aspects of the class. Ivana and Ivania are having some issues with their focus as they really just want to play and have fun without the writing part of the work. Mikki is definitely struggling on the writing aspect of classes, when she isn’t struggling to focus while writing she really flies through the work. At this stage though they all just need to be pushed a little, I think they got a little lazy hehe.
This class can read like absolute champs! I’m planning on spending a few lessons at the end of the book just reading and spelling a few more difficult words. They are more than capable and our intermediate level has a major jump between it and the beginner levels.
We had a new teacher join us about 3 weeks ago and I had her take this class,they did not really enjoy having a new person. They were super quiet and shy but did everything that was asked of them. I made sure to explain to them exactly what was happening so that when the teacher taught it wasn’t too scary.
Lets see what happens over the next few weeks with Chinese New Year approaching!
With the end of summer I had a few extra hours free for new phonics classes and so I have two more to talk about 🙂
I can honestly say that I love my beginner kids, they really are the cutest. This class started off with 4 completely different kids, one had no clue what was going on while the other three had varying degrees of English abilities. One child dropped out and I got Oscar in place.
Now Oscar required a bit of work at first as he couldn’t say the sounds correctly for a-c and we were about to start ‘D’, so I did a review. Two days later I had kelvin join and two others drop, I had to do another review lesson to see where he was and to catch him up. He was much stronger than Oscar so we only had to do a lot of work on a. The next week Leo joined in and then I just had these three boys.
Leo,poor kid, was terrible and when he started I wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to pass his exam. Now 16 lessons in there is hope, at last! These boys are super energetic, I mean they are three boys together in a class so that’s to be expected I guess, but their energy is a little too much for the few 2 people who subbed for me. They are allowed to jump and dance around and sing really loudly, on the condition that when I clap my hands in the air they stop immediately. I’m really strict with them because we don’t have the safest of classrooms and otherwise they really would go wild.
They love my lessons because of the freedom and when it’s time to work they really knuckle down for me, most of the time. Leo has a big problem with sitting,that’s putting it mildly, Leo cannot sit nicely on a chair to save his life. I have to constantly remind him to sit nicely,but he really tries hard to do his work so he doesn’t get into lots of trouble from me.
Kelvin has started hugging me when he gets to class which is so cute because then Leo joins in and Oscar which leads to a fun few moments to class. Kelvin also hugs me during class when he knows that he is in trouble and is really sorry about it, of course then Leo has to join in and Oscar again. We have a lot of fun and the boys are learning so well. Their reading is improving and even Leo is starting to improve a little with the reading.
I’m leaving them for about 3 lessons with a substitute over Christmas. After hearing about a few horror stories from the other centres I am so nervous, I have made my notes for the sub ‘idiot proof’.Lets hope that everything goes well!
Ooh update time on my Intermediate boys! We now have a new girl in the class, Timmie, She has missed the first four blends as well as the vowels that we so she is super behind.
Timmie really tries, she works very hard and listens well. At first she struggled a lot with pretty much everything and played around a little too much in class but since then she has knuckled down. The boys were not happy when she joined the class, in fact they were super hostile when she did her trial lesson, dragging their chairs as far from her as possible and clinging onto me even more.
The boys have started putting their head on my lap when they are not feeling well, I allow them to for a few minutes but then they have sit up nicely and work. I have managed to wean them off having to always be holding onto me. However, I get a lot of make-up students in this class and whenever this happens the boys close ranks around me and wont let any one else near me.
So Joseph is finally showing some improvement, I am going super slow with the spelling though but at this stage it seems to be the only thing helping him learn. Timmie shows good work verbally but as soon as its time for working in the book her abilities go splat.I think they are all improving but it seems to be very inconsistent at the moment.
The boys are even more competitive now and make sure that there are always big folders between the three kids while doing any book work. It’s hilarious!
I have a new Intermediate Phonics class! I am a little worried about them though. Bruce is a very strong student, he can mostly spell and is able to do all the work with only a little guidance, but he cannot say or recognise his A’s correctly. He was taught to say them with the U sound, so now I have to try to re-train him and teach him A for Apple not Upple.
We are on C blends at the moment. So CA,CO and CU, which is a little different to BA,BE,BI,BO and BU. Joseph is definitely struggling here, he cannot spell at all, he cannot recognise vowels very easily nor his letters. Apparently he was pushed through to Intermediate Phonics, which could be the problem. The boys are very sweet, a little too clingy for me though. They love holding onto my hands or onto my arms while I am sitting next to them, so cute but also not so much.
We laugh a lot in the class up unto the spelling tests, then it’s more of a “Joseph he look at my book,” or ‘Bruce he look at me.” So I end up putting my big folder in between them, Bruce invariable doesn’t need a lot of help so I have to really focus on Joseph here. I’m hoping as we get further on he will start getting it.
I have decided to do the same thing with my boys as I am doing with the beginner classes. They just have to spell out two letter to the sound not one and they have to read over the pages twice for the moment. They love reading, which is great for me as I love it too.
Bruce always wants his picture to be Green Number 1 Super fast lightning McQueen and then Joseph wants to be Green Number one car/plane/helicopter. As long as there is a green number one and I give them lots of stars my two boys are happy 🙂
Oh my the little creatures are doing so well in Beginner Phonics!
We are now on H and they have flown through the work. I will not push them onto big and small letters in one lesson yet but I think at the start of the new book I will try. Vowels, osh these are going well now but they do struggle with A and E a lot. I’m a little nervous on I but hopefully they have a strong enough foundation on E that it should be ok.
Ivan has really improved! He still has some lessons where he doesn’t really work much without prompting but he is doing well. He mostly joins with the singing and all the beginning work, he really enjoys screaming out the letters and sounds!
Ivana has really come out of her shell and is semi screaming the songs now. She works really hard and is really having fun in class. She also screams out the letters when I ask for the ‘spelling’ of them.
Ivania is even more boisterous than she was but she listens really well. She continues to sing loudly and have fun with all the work.
Finally Mikki, She was doing really well and out of shell for a while.For the last few lessons though something has definitely changed. She is very uncomfortable in her own skin and while she will still sing and joke around most of the time its not all the time any more.
These kids really are awesome, I love teaching them. We have all settled into a routine that they love and which is really helping keep them in balance. We make sure to have fun but when I say enough and that we have to work, the kids all try calm down and start to work.
I’m getting closer to my few days leave around Christmas which means I am super worried about what mess the subs will do in my classes. I know, this sounds really mean but honestly I have seen how they teach the kids and they couldn’t care less. They don’t even teach the sounds correctly, everyone does it their way which means the kids can no longer differentiate between A and U.Its a nightmare, but luckily only one or two days that they will have my phonics classes, so hopefully not too much damage will be done.
You may recognise one or two of those names, the three girls were in my Summer Monkeys B class and are as adorable now as they were then.
I’ve only taught them for a week so far and it’s going well. The girls are much stronger than Ivan is but I am sure with some push we can get him up to their level. Ivan is cute boytjie, but he does seem to be a little out of his depth with all girls.
I’m trying to motivate him and make sure that we work really hard while having fun,trying to draw him out and maybe get him to smile a little. Im teaching them the Phonics song and so far they are really enjoying it. Ivan and Ivana are very quiet, as is Mikki. I’m hoping to bring the three of them out of their shells a little. I may just be teaching in a learning centre but I am determined to work hard to make sure I am a good teacher.
We are hitting C soon and I cant wait to see how they do. So far my little creatures are getting 9-10/10 for spellings.
AS much as I am following the MT way I really want to make sure that they get a strong foundations so I have sort of tweaked it and may do my own thing to some degree. Im making sure that they can say their A sound correctly and recognise it. So I spend a good 10 minutes in the beginning going through the letters we have done and their sounds as well as words that start with those letters. Hopefully this works and I shall see how they progress and maybe re-evaluate again when we reach K.
Ivana and Ivana are really strong readers already, we go through all the words, they hardly need any help and I make sure that each child reads at least 3 pages. When they struggle with words on a page I am now making sure we go through that page twice so they see the word again.
These are such cute kids and even though the twins like to hit each other a little I have already seen them improving with this. Mikki is so sweet, I adore her.
Hopefully I can let you know how they progress eeeeeeek! :J
It’s been just over a month of teaching and I’ve had a chance to think about the ‘training’ we received.When looking for ESL jobs most of us newbies look for places that say they will provide training for you. Now to be fair I do not know what most learning centres are like and I am just going on what I feel.