Friday, April 10, 2009

What a Good Friday! (um... yeah. get it?)

Did I have a great day today, or what?! YES!!! Yes I did... You wanna hear about it? Alright!

First of all, I woke up early so's I could plan my lessons for the extra classes this afternoon. Well, the getting up early part was nice -- I had a chance to cook breakfast, take a nice long shower, shave, all that good stuff. Aaaaand, read randomness on the internet. So I didn't get anything really "planned," per se, and I almost missed the bus to school. Now I know what you're thinking: this is not the start of a great day. And in general, you're probably right. But this story is the penguin that shivers, the thirsty camel, the Asian kid who can't do math. You know, the exception that proves the rule, or something.

So I made the bus, even though I had to jog to the bus station this morning. That kinda sucked, but when you see the bus pulling up and you're still 100 yards or so away but then you see 20 people lining up to get on and you know you can make it on time... yeah, that's a good feeling.

I got to school and (this is always the case on Tue-Fri, but still...) I had about an hour of free time before I have to actually do anything. This is usually when I catch up on my sports scores, blogs I like, grab a cup of coffee, and relax before I just jump right into the day. Now, today of course, I'd already done all that, so I actually got some work done. Flashcards arranged, bingo cards printed, worksheets copied, a battle plan drawn up. I decided to go with the basic premise I laid out earlier, regarding reward and punishment. And let me tell you somethin. I'm a goddamn genius.

***Side note: I took an online IQ test the other day... it seemed fairly genuine... took about an hour and had the same types of questions I remember from when I took an actual one for a high school Psych class... and uh, it went well. I scored higher than I ever had before, in fact. If you wanna know the score you'll have to ask. I'd hate to sound like I'm bragging. HA! Anyone who knows me knows that's not true, but still. I ain't putting it up on here. Side note over. We know return you to your regularly scheduled blogging***

So yeah... I put the fear of god into these little kids. We've got this free-standing AirCon unit in the classroom... wait. Sorry. Did I just say AirCon? Ha... been in Korea too long. A/C unit, is what I meant. Anyway, I did the whole writing their names on the board thing, gave them each two stars, and told them that for every activity they participated in and actually tried, I'd give them another one. For every time they pissed me off (although not in those specific words) I'd take one away. If they got down to zero, they were getting stuck in the corner behind the A/C, and I'd tell their homeroom teacher what had happened, and we'd make up extra homework together for them. Worked like a freakin charm. This one 2nd-grader, Tommy, got up and started wandering around aimlessly (which he does fairly often, usually) about 10 minutes into class. As soon as I erased one of his stars though, his ass was back in that chair like it was magnetized. Awesome. Turns out, he was the only one in my first class who didn't earn a sticker today, which puts him behind the 8ball in the running for the end-of-month prize. (I still don't know exactly what these prizes will be yet. Any suggestions? Nothin too expensive -- I've gotta do something like this all year, but yeah, thanks.)

Anyway, bottom line is, both classes went great today. Kids were engaged, we were having fun, and it was just a really nice afternoon. My advanced class -- 8 kids, 8 stars. No screwing around. Good stuff.

I also got a contract from the school today regarding the extra classes. It turns out, these bad boys are gonna net me an extra $400 a month, which totally comes in handy.

Then, after work I hit up the gym, had a good workout, and popped by the kimbap place on my way home and picked up some chamchi kimbap -- like a tuna salad maki roll with rice and carrot and some other things all mixed in there together. Now, clearly, I'm home blogging. I think I'm gonna read the rest of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and get some sleep.

One more recommendation request, and then I'm done, I promise! I finished "The Wire" and now I need some new TV to watch. I'm not usually into like, network dramas... but comedies, HBO/Showtime type stuff (though I've seen most of that already), anything off-the-wall or relatively obscure, feel free to shoot it my way. Thanks! Happy Anniversary-of-Jesus'-Crucifixion!


Anonymous said...

sounds like you're enjoying the actual teaching. That's good to hear. Good plan with the rewards. Prizes? I don't know. I'll have to think on that one. What age range? Chocolate bars maybe? Bubbles? Piggy banks with a few coins inside? Hmmmmm. I'll keep thinking. Anyway, Happy Easter!

azruavatar said...

Have you watched House? It's my favorite show. Just bought season III today.

emily said...

I second the House suggestion, it's the only tv show I watch ever. The first season of Flight of the Conchords is supposed to be hilarious, I love the songs. CSI... People rave about entourage.

Rewards: Stickers, pencils, maybe american pennies if you can find them, my mom has a prize box and the girls always love plastic jewelry,

-homework or freetime passes, do you have any books that are their level -> freetime passes could be reading time... or game passes --> you can spend x passes/dollars to play a "game" with your friends.

emily said...

and I'm in Austin, so i haven't been around for a while and didn't offer suggestions, but i think that your reward system sounds great and I'm glad that it seems to be working.

The school I was working at had a system in place like that. Each day the students got stamps for doing well on their spelling test, doing their homework, etc... I was mean and would take points away for screwing up things I'd taught them, specifically for yelling "pinishy, teacher I'm pinishy" or speaking Korean.

Then twice a year was stamp day when they changed their sheets of stamps for "dollars" and got to play games, eat, and buy things at the store.

many hugs.

Jill said...

You've probably seen Six Feet Under then? I think that was HBO? Old now, but I loved it. You've seen Arrested Development (we talked about that?). And I've heard Extra's is good. Oh yeah, don't forget my Always Sunny DVD!