Work

Not that anyone asked, but I figured I´d mention a bit about my teaching job here. It´s a really good gig, and it´s one of the major reasons that I´m staying here in Coast Tasty another year. As you may know, I´m teaching English to 4th, 6th, and 10th graders. For a month or so I was teaching 11th graders, also, but then they graduated. I generally like all my classes, especially on an individual-student basis, although they all have their occasional pain-in-the-ass moments.
The 6th grade class is especially interesting. Apparently, some time between the end of 5th grade and the start of 6th grade, all the students´ minds melt and they are rendered nearly incapable of functioning as normal human beings. They can only communicate in shouts, punches, and taunts (preferrably in the form of an “oooooooh!” that the whole class can take part in). The kids turn into concentrated balls of confusion and budding hormones. This gives them the instinct to try to be cool, which is directly countered by the latent nerdiness of their earlier years. At least that seems to be my observation of my class. Plus, they are really moody. At first I had thought that my 6th graders hated the shit out of me, since they always were whining, distracting, and talking in class, and doing their damnedest to not do anything, if at all possible. For the first week or two, I´d come home in the afternoon and have a ringing in my ears that was strangely reminiscent of the shrill cries of this class.
However, after a while, it ocurred to me that all my students were really nice to me in the halls, and the class itself as an entity was just a pain in the ass. That´s when there was some sort of transformation. I guess you could almost say I stopped caring, but more accurately, I just stopped taking their crap personally, and now we seem to get along grandly. The girls like to taunt me with giggles and a thumbs-up when they see me with Ángela, and the boys laugh when I frown and tell them not to drink beer. I have no idea why, but these two approaches to communication seem to work with them.
As for my 10th graders…well, they´re just a great class. They´re all really smart, and their English is pretty great all around. This is a problem for teachers that don´t speak English, apparently, since they use it as a “secret” language that their other teachers can´t understand. But with me, they always participate in discussions, and they like talking about stupid crap like celebrities, too, so we can discuss things like thesuperficial.com. Good kids, and I´m hoping to teach them next year when they´re in their 11th and final year.
Finally, you´ve got the 4th graders. The teacher who I replaced resigned due in a large part to this group, and when she did so, her re-cap to me of the status of the 4th grade was simply, “Good luck with them. Ha ha!” Well, somehow, this group is my favorite. It´s a group of 24 inattentive spazzes that really doesn´t like to speak English that much, but for some reason, they seem to like me, and I like them. They are the ones that run up to me in the hall and try to talk to me in English, or else try to hang on my arms or push me over. Of course, this group can still bitch and moan with the rest of them. Yesterday, their desks were covered in varnish in the middle of the day (a long and boring story in and of itself), so I had to find a different room to teach in. Which left the dining room. Class was after lunch, so we went into the now-empty room. There was still a lingering smell of plantains and rice, but the kids made a huge deal about the “stench,” saying it was going to make them throw up. I got really annoyed because it was the same room that many of them had been eating in just 10 minutes before, and it´s not like it was even a bad smell, either. But still, they were covering their noses and making as much of a scene as if Professor Hitler had moved that day´s Torture Seminar to a rotting horse carcass filled with dog shit. Basically, they managed to whine about that for a good 15 minutes, so class started incredibly late. Which, if I think about it, was a pretty commendable move in the history of Stalling the Teacher. Well played, my little fourth graders…well played. I´m really excited to teach them next year.
Anyhow, that´s about all there is to report about my job. But in case some of you were wondering what exactly I was doing here, now you know. Teacher Ryan out.

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Sitzman

Errand-Running Monkey at Sitzblog
Hey! I'm Ryan Sitzman, the person in charge of Sitzblog. If you want to know more about me, you can check out my profile on Google or go to my personal site, RyanSitzman.com. You can also click on any of the redundant little boxes to the left and it should take you to my profiles for all kinds of social networks. Thanks!

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One thought on “Work

  1. This was a great post. I have loads of potential class clowns and I have found that being a robotic disciplinarian is the way to go in thwarting that type crap (e.g. “Ahem, Abdul! What is RUDE? YOU are being RUDE.”) Incidentally, I like my 10th grade students best too.

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