Monday, September 1, 2008

More New Students - Yikes!

I got three new students today, without warning. I don't mind, but it would have been nice to be told in advance that I was getting new kids. Particularly since two of the newbies joined my biggest class (E3-D).

The two girls who joined E3-D are a mixed blessing. On one hand, I'm really glad to have two more girls, since the ratio before was eight boys to four girls. Now team games will be a bit more even. Plus, the two new girls are quiet and well-behaved, and seem to be even with the rest of the class on their reading level. The trouble is, now I have fourteen kids in that class, which makes it harder to control and harder to give individual attention to students. Doubtless the teachers who have class sizes of 18-30 are probably shaking their fists at me for complaining. Sorry! It's just that with teaching immersion English, smaller sizes are necessary. With the bigger class sizes, a teacher cannot effectively correct and guide each individual student the way they need to be when learning a language.

My other new girl joined my last class of the day, E5-A. She is a welcome addition to the class, and I could not be more delighted with her. Rachel is a sweet, smart, well-behaved girl. In other words, she's a teacher's dream.

E3-C also got an addition to the class today, although not a new one. Our Sarah came back from her long vacation at last. She can be a bit naughty at times, but I still missed her. Aside from the fact that she's generally quite likable, she also evens out the class so that there are once again an equal number of boys and girls. Believe me, for team games, this is important.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"