Wednesday, September 07, 2005
first school day jitters

I started my field experience / observations on Tuesday, but today was the real deal - the first day of school with kids present. I was feeling a little bit apprehensive, but it wasn't too bad because I know that I'm not responsible for any real teaching - my main function in the classroom is to just watch and take notes. I still participate though, as my supervising teacher is nice enough to include me in her lessons.

The kids in the class I'm watching are all 3rd graders, with pretty diverse backgrounds - about 40% white, 25% black, 20% latino, and 15% Asian. Some of the kids are from the local neighborhood around the school, but many of the kids are bused in from areas like the Central District or driven by their parents. Even more complex is the fact that for several students, their first language isn't English - some of the languages include Spanish, a couple East African dialects, and Vietnamese.

I remember being nervous as a kid for the first day of school, but like my friend Grace said, teachers are nervous too, especially when things go crazy. In my class today, there was a kid who was so nervous that she threw up - 3 different times. The first time it happened, she was just sitting at her desk and then *bam*... out it came. Luckily, I was available for emergency janitor duty, and the next couple of times, she was able to make it to the garbage can.

Another kid broke down in tears during a different time in class because a close family member recently passed away - on his birthday. I talked to him, gave him a box of tissues, and told him that he could talk to me anytime he'd like, because I can sympathize with the memory of being a kid in grade school and having to deal with something like that.

A tough day, but I survived... and I also found some spare time to jot down some notes for my homework. I hope tomorrow is less crazy.

Did I also mention I'm still getting used to being called "Mr. Chan"? When I was teaching in Japan, I was used to being called "Garrett" (by the adults) or "Teacher / Sensei" (by the kids). For some reason, I like the sound of "Sensei" / "Sifu" better... but "Mr. Chan" it is.


In other news, Apple announced a new member to the iPod family... the iPod Nano. Nifty.


i respond automatically to "sensei" myself. the students that i'm really close to call me "Angela" if there isn't another teacher present.
i love third graders :-) i'm teaching a couple classes of them tomorrow!
awww... that poor kid must've been really really nervous to puke that many times. and that sucks, too, being known as the puking kid for the rest of the year. that must be exciting going back into the classroom. i remember the first time i went back for observations, i was sooooo nervous/excited too, it was my first time in a classroom in how many years?!?!

it's interesting, though, how teachers are addressed in different cultures. sometimes my students called me teacher or maestra without thinking, which isn't really offensive, but then the equivalent back to them would be "kid" which seems kinda rude. i guess it just takes getting used to.
whoa... i dont think i ever remember anyone puking when i was growing up. good times. it may be shameful now, but itll be something to look back and laugh at when they grow up. after years of therapy to cope with all the taunting.

i have my students address me as "The Dude."
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in?scrip?tion (n-skrip-shun)n.
1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. Something, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
4. The usually informal dedication of an artistic work.
5. Jeremiah 31:33

the facts.
name. Gar AKA "that Chinese guy" "Sleepy.McSleeping"
ethnicity/nationality. Chinese/American, 4th gen.
location. Sea-Town, WA, USA Kawanishi, JAPAN
occupation. less-cynical poor grad student
age. younger than you think, older than you know



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