The School Year in Review: Monday and Tuesday

Aside from my junior high school, I haven’t really talked about my elementary schools that much.  I guess junior high is just more eventful than in elementary.  But I suppose some reflection is nice.

The reason why I don’t really talk about my Monday/Tuesday school is just how awful most of the sixth graders are. I will never forget the day where I was excited to see that I was teaching fifth grade because Nishikawa was there and I liked the kids when they were fourth graders.  Then of course, the sixth grade main teacher swapped me because she liked how I taught and I was friendly.  Nowadays she just sits on her desk and does nothing while I have to do everything. Ugh. Then I have to hear the (mostly) happy classes that my replacement has.  I ask myself every week “Why did I have to switch??”

6-1is so bad that I probably only teach them once a month.  Luckily the teacher doesn’t have the time to fit me in on Tuesdays so she ends up teaching them herself.  But man, when I have to, it’s really bad. Half the kids are just running around, yelling and not paying attention while the other half are completely dead inside and don’t participate.  Even with Mori-sensei, the Home Ec teacher who often helps me teach, it’s a struggle.  Part of me dies every time I teach them.  Somehow though, it’s not as bad as one particular fifth grade class I had my first year.  They were a nightmare.

I usually start the day off with 6-3, which is mostly good.  You know they’re something else when two class reps come in and ask you what today’s class entails.  They will also help you out during the class so it’s always nice.  However, they aren’t always a good class.  Some days they are almost as wild as 6-1.  Teaching them is always like playing roulette; it can go either way.

Next is 6-2.  I used to think 6-2 was really bad.  Maybe they are that bad because I probably have the same amount of douchey kids in there in 6-1.  However, they will eventually pay attention to me and the teacher is as helpful as she can be (unlike the majority of the sixth grade teachers) so it’s not too bad.  Once in awhile, they will have their good days.  Despite them being noisy, they could be a lot worse.

After 6-2, I teach 6-5.  I feel 6-5 represents the general deterioration  of 6th grade.  They started out great and I had a lot of fun with them in April but by November the majority of them are complete assholes or don’t want to do anything at all.  Only two or so kids are happy to go along with me and follow the lesson but even they can’t save the class.  It’s really painful to teach them, half the time the classes are delayed because of a fight that happened during break time.

After lunch, I teach 6-4.  On most days, they’re the last class I have to teach and man, it is a great way to finish the day. 6-4 is the saving grace of the 6th grade.  While not always the polite class, they are really fun to teach because they listen to me and participate a lot.  I have a lot of sass from certain kids there but it’s all in good fun because I can just counter and get a lot of laughter.  If 6-4 didn’t exist, Tuesdays would be a lot harder to deal with.  That is my Tuesday.  It’s by far the worst day of the week but thanks to Mori-sensei, it was somehow tolerable as she helped me tons and I was able to vent about my day to her.  She’ll be retiring this year though.  I’m sad she didn’t have a nice year to go out on but I bet she’s thrilled to finally be done with everything.

On Monday I go to the same school but the grade I teach always varies.  It can be 1st through 4th grade.  The first graders are really cute and easy to teach as usual.  2nd graders are a little bratty (since they were last year) but it still isn’t too hard to teach them since their classes are only 20 minutes each.

3rd grade is the true nightmare.  6th grade is bad but at least I have some people help me. In 3rd grade, I’m completely on my own.  Almost none of the teachers help me and just sit there as I basically try to teach a zoo.  Everyone is always screaming so I either have to sit there and wait for them to keep quiet or basically yell my way through it.  Either way takes forever.  There are some good kids out there but they don’t say anything out of fear of getting repercussions from all the bad kids.  I always dread the day I have to teach them and even try to find a way to get out of it.  I can’t imagine how it is to teach them every day.

4th grade is really fun to teach for the most part.  There are some bad kids but the teachers will usually call them out or shut them up.  Two of teachers take control and teach the class while I assist them.  I don’t mind this setup at all and they’re good teachers so it makes the class a lot better.  One class has a young guy with messy hair who isn’t the greatest at English but he tries his damn best to help you out.  He reminds me a lot of Nishikawa because we will joke around with each other.  I wish I could teach them every week.

Because I’m at this school two days out of the week, I’ve gotten to know a lot of students more.  Remembering names is still a huge task though as this school has 1000+ kids and I probably teach 850 of them.  Since I teach every grade except for 5th (sigh), I have gotten to know some of the teachers.  I can actually get a drink and be able to chit chat with most of them which is a great feeling.  You have no idea how awful it is to just sit at your desk while the rest of the world ignores you when you don’t have class.

Anyways, the douchey 6th grade year will be graduating soon and that’s one set of students I can’t wait to let go for the most part.  Whether I teach 5th or 6th grade next year, they will be a lot better than who I had to teach this year.  Well, I hope.  If I get paired up with any of the awful teachers, then it could be bad.  Ugh, I can’t think that way.  I have to (try to) be positive!


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