After an outstanding Sunday orientation with my new team of teachers I was stoked about meeting my students today! As with any day in a classroom there were a few hiccups but my students were great and I loved my first day.
Bright and early I met my coteacher, Mr. Shin, before some last minute prepping. My 4th grade not-so-wee-ones began arriving around 8:15 before my coteacher divvied them up into two 18 student sections. We began the day with an introductory meeting before I took A group and started a “welcome to 4th grade” presentation on my smartboard.
A huge shoutout to my co-teamleaders John and Mike for putting together the fantastic presentation! It started with First Day Jitters, ice breaker name games and will be continued tomorrow with Miss Nelson is Missing before we make our class rules. Between making name tags and all the games I’m getting a feel for all everyone’s name but its still really hard to pronounce a lot of them.
There are subtle differences that can change a name from masculine to feminine and generate an explosion of laughter. I think I scored some “brownie points” when I told them they could write “whatever name they wanted me to use” on their name tags. Most of the students simply put their Korean name, a few put an English name but I did have one girl who wrote “Penny” and another “Tiger.” I double checked that this was actually a “name they wanted and had used before” and decided to allow it even though I was skeptical.
Splitting the class into two sections means I essentially teach each lesson twice, once to A group and once to B group. Its an advantage for a few reasons but the most obvious is half the planning and smaller groups. I get to perfect each lesson for the second group but feel like the guinea pigs will get the short end of the stick. Guess that means I’ll just have to make sure I prep for everything really well!
Other than my inability to differentiate Korean vowels (and thereby mixing up girls’ and boys’ names) I managed to have one other comical mishap. We had just finished playing Two Truths and A Lie and I was getting ready to bring everyone over to my library corner for a read aloud from Roald Dahl’s The Witches. Suddenly my pronoun usage was corrected.
“Teacher, she is she.”
Wait, in an ESL class I messed up a pronoun? Ah crap, short haired girl!