Friday, January 12, 2007

Good things always happen to me, part II

(you can read part one directly below)

So let’s review: I was in trouble because of the cat; they wanted to make me pay for my own flat; I got reprimanded, yet again, for not doing enough speaking activities with the students; and Éva, the school director, wants to come watch one of my lessons. One of my chaotic 5th grade lessons, at 7:30 Friday morning.

And let me explain why this is so worrisome. I can’t speculate why she suddenly decided to observe a class. Last year they mentioned observation once or twice, but in actuality I’ve been teaching for 14 months and have had exactly one observer, who wasn’t even from my school. But it occurred to me (thankfully, after the lesson was over) that sometime in the very near future, I need to formally announce my plans to stay and teach a third year. Despite whatever nonsense I may have had in my head at the beginning of the year (plans of moving away and all that junk), I now realize that my plans for the next few years involve Szolnok. This is my home, no one can make me leave... However, Kassai does have the power to not rehire me, which would be an inconvenience.

So I planned a game to do with my students (the Questions Game, which you can read here if you’re that interested). I couldn’t remember if I’d done it with them before or not, but in the end I decided they could handle it.

I got to school a few minutes early. At 7:30, the bell rang and there was no sign of Éva. I thought I was saved. My contact teacher Kati told me how lucky I was. I shrugged (inside, jumping up and down with glee) and said “Maybe she’ll come later.” “Probably,” Kati agreed. “But no problem, I’ll come watch.”

Great, I thought. The one person scarier than Éva is Kati. The students won’t say a word the whole class.

Long story short: Kati came. Two minutes later, Éva came too. Kati stayed anyway. They sat in the back and whispered to each other and occasionally yelled at the students. The students were like mice. I was overly bouncy to compensate. The classrooms had zero energy.

But 40 minutes is a long time, and eventually the kids loosened up. I calmed down. The game was a bit stilted but still fun. We finished a couple minutes early and did a game of hangman which could have been the model for all other games (they raised their hands, talked one at a time, etc). When the bell rang, Éva and Kati left smiling, thanking me on the way out. When I made it back to the classroom, Kati was in the middle of telling the other teachers about the lesson, and it seemed like a good review. She mentioned that Éva wants to come see an 8th grade class next week (specifically, she wants to come see the Porn Kids, aka the 8th grade Monsters, aka my absolute worst class of all time, in every way), but there’s half a chance that she was joking.

So, WHEW! Picture me wiping my brow dramatically. That’s over. I repeat Laura’s manta: Good things always happen to me (although I’m not Laura, and no matter how many times I repeat it or how good things seem, I’m still going to expect something to go wrong).

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