I must have done something wrong, or something really right. My teachers must really trust me. Half the teachers didn’t show, so classes had to be combined. I was assigned by myself to years 1 and 2.
Imagine sixty five year olds in a room, when you barely speak the language. The kids only know how to respond to corporal punishment. When one kid acts up, the other students are quick to hand you a stick to punish the kids with. It is against the law for corporal punishment, but since it is a new law, it is taking awhile to take effect.
I am usually with the little ones for half an hour at a time, which is usually enough for me. Several hours of that many kids straight without help was going to be difficult.
I read stories in English, we sang songs and practiced English sentences. The kids are improving tremendously I’ve noticed which makes me feel proud that my time spent in the younger grades is doing something.
I was not a kindergarten teacher in America, so having a big class of little ones can be difficult. I used chanting and clapping to get their attention and sometimes it worked.
The first hour was great, but by the second and third hour, I was running out of tricks. There were too many of them, and my Samoan was not nearly good enough for teaching for that long for kids that speak very limited English.
By the time interval came, I was thrilled. It was a Friday and so the afternoon would be filled with sports.I am sure by the next time I have them again it will be better. I am learning more and more as classroom management is different than in America. I feel like I am becoming a stronger teacher by being put in these circumstances.