Fridays are an interesting day. Here’s a rundown of the different classes I teach:
Second-graders (age 14): Pretty standard class. Smart but shy, they mostly sit quietly, will volunteer answers if offered some reward (stickers). Interestingly, this group is the most diverse group of students, at least in terms of their appearance. A lot of unique faces.
First-graders (age 13): As genki (super-eager) as it gets. They are thoroughly obedient, they adore their teacher, and they all volunteer answers. Absolutely adorable, tiny kids. They are very curious about me and will ask me for help, unlike almost every other class.
6th-grade reading class (age 17): The most mature group of students I’ve had the pleasure to teach this year. They are very serious and hardworking—far too much so, I’m afraid. They probably average 5 hours of sleep per night. Lucky for me, they are also thoughtful and curious about the world and offer interested comments, when they’re allowed to comment on their readings. A great group, led by my favorite co-teacher.
Third-graders (age 15): These guys are the reason I wrote this post. This is the most outrageous, unruly, rambunctious group of kids I’ve ever met. Actually, there are just about 5 boys who somehow managed to get placed into the same class, and they run wild. The girls in the class are terrified, never volunteering answers and hardly saying a word. They’ll talk and giggle amongst themselves, of course, but the boys are in control.
Personally, I think they’re a riot. I really feel bad for their teacher, a diminutive young woman who actually has to guide this class through their curriculum and help them pass their tests. But damn if I don’t have fun in this class. The boys are funny and charming and always clamoring for attention, and any game we play becomes insanely competitive and hyper. Plus, they are so out of control that I actually feel entitled to step up and help discipline them, and I enjoy the hell out of that when it works.
As you can see, this is a huge, huge variety of classes to be dealing with in one day. If I weren’t doing so little work of substance, I would probably feel overwhelmed. As it is, I do feel useless sometimes. But overall I really enjoy the variety of personalities and classroom atmospheres that I encounter on Fridays.