Stretched Thin

This week was another week of upturns in the outlook of our school. Several new children began class in the kindergarten section, two of which landed in my class. While this may be good for the school, it will remain to be seen whether it is good for my sanity and the dynamic within the class. On Friday I felt more tired than I had been in a long while. Having to get up and do writing yesterday felt like more of a chore than it had ever been. I have even neglected this blog for longer than I have ever done. Here’s hoping that this is not a sign for the weeks to come – I don’t want to feel completely drained of any will to do things outside of teaching.

The first new student in my class arrived on Thursday. At first, he was remarkably shy, but after a few lessons he perked up, and proved himself to be intelligent and good at almost all aspects of schooling. His writing is neat, he works well, and his phonics and grammar are up amongst the best in the class. I can see some problems coming in the future, as he is a very high-energy child who is quickly bored and does not handle boredom well. I will have to up my game when it comes to providing activities in the classroom.

The second new child arrived on Friday morning. A girl this time, she was, like the first new boy, quite shy at first. After the first lesson, she had not said anything apart from her name. The other children were even asking if she could speak. As the day wore on, she perked up a little. Her level of English is not as good as the new boy’s, but it is within the realm of possibility for their age and level of exposure to English. She tends to use Korean a fair amount and seems to require a lot of attention from me. Perhaps this will change when she bonds with the rest of the class.

Managing five children is far more tiring than managing three. Whereas I previously could trust at least one student to be able to complete the tasks that I give to them by themselves and bounce between the other two children, this will no longer be sufficient. I will have to adapt my style of teaching to better deal with the challenges of having a bigger class. Doing so is exhausting.

I woke up at 09h30 yesterday and 10h00 today, far later than I normally do, even on the weekend. Following this, I elected to laze in bed rather than do things such as writing (this blog and freelance writing) or casting. I feel a little disappointed in myself that I neglected these responsibilities. While teaching is my job for now, these activities are my avenues for the future, and I must be careful not to let the road become dusty from lack of travel. I have far to go in all of these, and not taking a few steps now may prove to be a big stumbling point in the future.

I did end up writing three articles yesterday and this post today, so it is not all doom and gloom. Apart from that, I played Dota and BioShock, watched Downton Abbey and Rick and Morty, and generally had a relaxing weekend. It was made less enjoyable by the clouds of not having done things and school on Monday hanging over it all, but it has been an enjoyable weekend nonetheless.

Now please excuse me while I enjoy the last few hours of it. How will I spend it? Hopefully with a combination of productivity and merriment. Most importantly, it will be spent with Kristen, and that is more than enough cause for me to keep smiling for the rest of the day.


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