Friday, June 29, 2012

Rabbits, Frogs, and Horses, and there's something in my eye

RABBITSU feeding time at elementary.
As you teach multiple levels of joined schools for long enough, two excellent perks arise naturally. One is finding siblings scattered amongst the year levels. It's always fun to find older and younger brothers or sisters of that student you love (or love to hate), and watch the ways they are different, and alike (some kids share facial features but not personality traits. Others show persistent strains of behavior...).The other excellent perk is class personality.

I know that in this blog I have on occasion bombastically decried one class group or another as 'awful' or perhaps worse. And maybe it's just the end-of-term blue tint that's coming over the whole thing, but I'd like to set the record straight: none of the classes are awful. Some of them are extra good. Some of them work really hard and listen to you, and you actually do teach them things. Other groups are too energetic to have time for learning, and so just spend their classtime not-learning and having a good time of that (and they'll take you along into that if you let them). So in my head I've started to categorize them loosely into "studious" classes, and "fun" classes. I love them for different reasons, in different ways, and sometimes on different days.

But anyway, it's the "frogs" and the "horses" killing me lately. The frogs (zodiac animal being oxen, same as me) were in 6th grade when I arrived. I've talked about them a lot because I've loved them for a long time now. They are the 3nens now, the eldest class in the middle school, goofier and sharper than ever before. Having seen them be leaders in their elementary schools (kinda) as 6th graders, and now seeing them grow into leaders in their JHS, I am more familiar with them than almost any class. They're maybe more on the 'fun' side of the spectrum when it comes to class behavior, but their spirit makes me happy to the point that I don't care. They also tend to channel that energy into not being afraid to talk to me. It's just cause I been around so long, I know, but it's nice.

The horses are now in the 4th grade, but they were 1st graders when I arrived. Those tiny cute minipeople have turned into kids with actual personalities and a great presence I think is uncommon for kids their age. The funny thing is, this is so at both separate elementary schools. At the bigger elementary, the 4th grade horses are sandwiched between the sheep below them (who I casually tend to think of as joyfully 'having rabies,' because they are perhaps the most 'fun' class I have) and the 5th grade snakes above them, some of whom border on being belligerent. But this sandwich effect always made for a sigh of relief when I saw their grade on my schedule amidst what promised to be a chaotic storm of the other grades. Every class is kind of hit or miss, but with the horses everything is a big hit.

Watching these 'horses' at recess reminds me of how long I really have been here. Kids grow, things change, and there was a time to come here, and there is a time to leave. That time is approaching.

Remember this kid? See here.

Now she gives piggy-back rides to the smaller ones.

I keep thinking about my farewell speech and putting off the writing of it. It's just going to turn into a love letter to the whole school, and I know it, and it embarrasses me a little bit, to think of having someone check it over for me and stuff, make sure the grammar is right before I stand and attempt to deliver. I guess it shouldn't, I guess really it's okay that at the end of these three years, even though I want to want to leave them with some bit of wisdom about cultural identity and international exchange, all I'm going to be able to get up there and say is I love you. Cause that's just kind of how I roll; sentimental n' shit. ^_^


  1. I will write you a love letter when you leave. T_T

  2. How can you not be emotional, you've spent 3 huge years here! Heck, even I'm emotional FOR you!