Lovey Dovey Day

I’m not a big believer in Valentine’s Day.  I usually just hand out hugs and cookies, but it doesn’t get much deeper than that.  All of the marketing and advertising that goes into Valentine’s Day drives me a little nuts, so I try not to “buy” into it.  I thought it was just the U.S. that was V day crazy, but boy was I wrong.  Here at Anubanchonburi everyone is covered with heart stickers and I’ve already received 7 flowers and three erasers and it’s only 9 a.m.  I really like the way it’s celebrated here, but maybe that’s because I can’t understand the commercials on the radio or read the signs posted outside the jewelry store.  It seems there is a big emphasis on stickers and fake flowers rather than cards and candy.  When I walked into my P1 classroom this morning I was bombarded with hugs and stickers.  I seriously had to wait ten minutes until every student pasted a dozen stickers to my shirt, books and bag.  I’m not gonna lie, I loved it.  I almost want to frame this shirt as if the amount of stickers on it actually measures their love for me.  

With all the love in the air I figured it was only appropriate to post something about feelings and mushy stuff, so I’m going to share with you some of my favorite ‘love songs’ right now, in no particular order, here goes..

Song name - Artist name - Album:

Fool in the Rain - Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door

Ob La Di, Ob La Da - The Beatles - White Album

Finally Moving - Pretty Lights - Taking Up Your Precious Time

Hotel Song - Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope

Sea of Love - Cat Power - The Covers Album

You and I - Ingrid Michaelson - Be OK

You Make Loving Fun - Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Love On Top - Beyonce - 4

She’s The One - Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run

Just Can’t Get Enough - Black Eyed Peas - The Beginning

Stir It Up - Bob Marley - Legend

Everyday - Dave Mathews Band - Best of What’s Around

Eyes - Kaskade ft. Mindy Gledhill - Fire and Ice

Hold Yuh - Gyptian - Unknown

Case of You - Joni Mitchell - Miles of Aisles

Nothing But Love - Axwell - Unknown

Come Away With Me - Norah Jones - Come Away With Me

Crazy Love - Van Morrison - Moon Dance

My sticker count is currently in the eighties and shows no signs of stopping. 


It’s Friday!  When Friday comes I’m always thinking TGIF, like the rest of the working population, and sometimes on really hard, long weeks I’m thinking TGIFF.  Not this week though.  School went by pretty quickly and it was enjoyable for the most part.  I had a couple ‘firsts’ this week also.  Which seems strange since it’s the 16th week, but new things are still happening every day.  

I found out that we have to give our kindergarten kids a final.  All semester they told us that we didn’t have to test or grade our kids and then out of the blue I’m handed a three page test.  Some of the questions are things I never covered in class, so now I’m scrambling to make worksheets and squeeze review sessions into my lesson plans.  I’m not too worried about it, but I want to make sure my kids are on the same English level as the other kindergarten classes.  

My grade 1 kids reached a new high on the  'out of control scale.’  They were the worst that they had ever been.  I felt like I was back at week one when they didn’t listen or respect me at all.  I didn’t want to yell and scream because I remember when I was in school it was kind of funny if the teacher lost it, so instead I started writing a word on the board.  Every time they were noisy I would add a letter.  I was going to spell WRITE, but when I put the W up one of my smart girls said, “Teacher, work?”  "Yep, work,“ I answered because work has less letters than write and I knew they were going to keep talking anyway.  Approximately two minutes later I made them all shut their workbooks when we were in the middle of a problem that really got their attention.  They looked so scared.  It was awesome.  Then I told them that they had to write everything I had on the board or they would get a zero.  I started writing a bunch of sentences, so many that only the really good fast kids could finish in time.  If they didn’t finish I put a huge red 0 on their page.  I think it worked because they were much better the rest of the week.  

One of my "bad” kids gave me a hug.  A lot of the kids flock to me after song and dance time and basically smoother me with hugs.  Sometimes I feel like a piece of chocolate and they’re all ants.  They’re so small but when they all hug and squeeze me they have the ability to basically pick me up and move me.  I have to make them form a line so I don’t end up crushing them if I fall over.  Anyway, one of the most rambunctious little kids that never does his work or listens to anyone actually gave me a hug.  It was adorable.  I thought he hated me.  Probably because a little part of me really dislikes his attitude.  Now I’m trying to communicate and motivate him in different ways so we’ll see where that takes us.

My distracted and hyper boy is interested in finishing his worksheets.  I think he realized that if he finishes them quickly he can run around like a crazy person like he wants to.  I used to have to beg him to even start them or separate him from everyone so he would stop talking long enough to concentrate, but now he is the first one done.  All week he’s been running up to me and showing me his work.  When I smile and tell him it’s correct he gets so excited.  This is a boy that they had to move down from Kindergarten 2 because he couldn’t stay focused.  He has shown so much improvement this semester and I think he’s finally ready to move up with this class.  

My students drew pictures of me and a bunch of them said, “I love teacher.”  So precious.  They probably love me because they can take total advantage of me and I won’t beat them, but hey love is love.  Some of the photos were hilarious.  One boy drew me as a karate girl.  Obviously that means I’m a kick ass teacher.  Another kid drew me as a robot.  I’m not sure how to take that, but I look cool, I know that.  

My face is now on the TV screens of ten different Thai families.  I had to talk to grade 3 kids on camera for five minutes each.  That conversation determined if they pass or fail the third grade.  Some aspects of the Thai education system still baffle me.  Like how one conversation with a stranger (I’m not these kids’ English teacher) can determine if they pass or fail.  Oh and that finals and the last day of school has just been pushed back another week.

As baffling as some things are others always stay the same like story and song time at the end of the day.  It’s my favorite twenty minutes with the kids because they love, love, love to dance and sing.  Whenever I teach them a new song they literally jump for joy.  They’re always hyped up for new adventures and activities too.  Last week we went to the flower market and they couldn’t stop owing and awing at every plant they passed.  Lastly their love for little prizes and gifts is always overwhelming.  One day I gave them candy canes and you would have thought I handed them each 1,000 baht.  The day they got these giraffes or G. Ralphs, as my Thai teacher originally thought it was spelled, they all went into mother mode.  Everyone was codling and hugging their new little toy.  When they were told to put them in their cubbies they all situated them just so.  I forgot how caring kids are.  Which brings me to my last point: I’m going to miss these crazy babies!  I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like to not see them every week.  It’s like I have my own little fan club and unfortunately it’s going to be taken away very soon.  I also feel bad that I’m the one leaving them.  I wonder if they all know that I won’t be around next semester or if they’ll be looking for me on the first day of class.  I wish there was some way I could be pen pals with all of them, but they’re just too young.  I’m going to stop dwelling on the fact that I only have four weeks of school left and look forward to my weekend on Hua Hin beach instead.  Enjoy your weekend and take pleasure in the fact that although it’s already Friday afternoon for me right now that means my Monday morning starts before yours does.