Monday, December 15, 2008

More KE Kids:

I love these kids!!! So darn cute, especially when I let them be kids. They absolutely love the camera. They always laugh when they look at them in the view mode. Sam's laugh is so cute when he looks at them. He cracks up. I am going to miss this kids, but I have some really awesomely cute pics.

Almost the whole group: (L2R) Zoey, Zero, Sam, Shayley, Michael

Zero looks like a future cute

Michael in my huge sweater

I love those glasses

Shayley is swimming in my jacket

Angel is styling in her pink plastic glasses

Zoey playing dress up

Zero "working" on his name

Zero found Christmas cards I hid

Sam posing...or trying to cute

Zoey pulled her shirt over her mouth and was laughing

Aw...Kindergarten Enrichment...They are too cute.

I teach a Kindergarten Enrichment class. In the beginning I wasn't so sure about it. It was hard and I didn't know what I was doing. I really didn't know what I was doing. About two weeks into it, Gloria (one the secretaries) pulled me aside and said she had observed me teaching. I wasn't using any music and something else I have probably blocked out.

Also one of the kids had complained to his mom that he was bored in my class and didn't want to come. That almost broke my tender little teaching heart. Every teacher goes through that moment: can I really hack it??

In the beginning, I had kind of dreaded going to that class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I really did not enjoy it. I guess I had to break in my kindergarten teaching shoes because there were too tight and making me feel sort of miserable. Gloria told me to use songs and also to go visit Morning Kindergarten. I visited it two days in a row. One day was a Thursdays and then Friday I subbed for Connie while she went to Hong Kong. It was good to observe those who seemed to know what they were doing.

Now, I am totally in love with my kids. They have come and gone, but there are some that have been with me the whole time. I feel like they are my kids in a way. I would love to see them grow up and would love to see them every step of the way. However, that is impossible. I love their personalities and they even like to help me. It is intensely cute. "I want ta heelp you!" It melts my heart. They sometimes like to help me take my stuff to the other room when we are done with gym. They all cry out in a chant: I want ta heelp you!"

Today was so wonderful. We basically played the whole hour and 1/2. And took pictures. I would love to wrap those tender, spontaneous moments up and keep them close to my heart forever. They are joyful. Aw...children. What a beautiful sight. Don't get me wrong, they can misbehave and be kids. I love their little-big personalities.

Here are some photos from today:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Crumbled on the Floor, Bleeding...

On Wednesday during break time in my Beginning Reading class, I went next door to borrow a CD player that actually plays MP3s. I was able to borrow it from Miss Emily. When I stepped into my classroom, Jojo, my student, was crumbled on the floor. Her head was bleeding everywhere and she was crying. I ran and told Gerald that one of my kids was hurt. Thankfully, Gerald was across the hall in the big room setting up for the HUGE Token-Mart store.

I ran back to my classroom and grabbed Jojo tissues and placed them on her forehead. She was still sobbing. Carol asked me if she should run downstairs and get a secretary to help. Without thinking I told her yes. As Carol ran out of the classroom, Gerald called for her to stop! Anita, one of the secretaries, came in. She said she would take Jojo downstairs. She helped Jojo up and they went downstairs.

The kids told me that he has run toward Levi and then has run into the edge of the door. I felt bad that I wasn't there. Levi kept saying: I didn't do anything! He was worried about getting in trouble, which is understandable. Francis came in a few minutes later and talked to me about what happened. I had to tell her that I was next door getting the CD player. Then she asked the kids about it in English. After Levi tried to explain it, she told him just to tell her in Chinese so she could actually understand him.

As Francis was leaving, she said, "Too many accidents today," and shook her head. Earlier that morning, one of Miss Megan's children has broken his arm. And someone else had gotten hurt.

Gerald, was saying later that in the last part of the semester more accidents happen. It is the end of the semester and kids are excited. And things are more relaxed. And today is was very evident.

Today, Jojo was back in class. She is okay. She will probably have a scar. She didn't have to get any stitches. But man, I feel bad for her.

"I had to put my foot down!"

It is scooter time and I am so excited. Connie was riding her new small scooter with me on the back a couple of nights ago. We were going around the corner, and with the added weight of me, and the scooter started to tip over. I had to put my foot down!

I joked about that one for a sounds like I was being stubborn, like a parent. That is all I want to say about that.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Two Weeks Left

WOW! There are only two weeks of school left! It is absolutely amazing! 6 months really does fly by. There is a lot to be done in the next little bit, but I am excited to have a break at the end of it! Looking back on the semester and these last 5 months, I find myself thinking of everything that has gone on. In the beginning, I knew the end would be like this. When you are at the end of something looking back it is strange. The days had gone by slowly, but the weeks quickly. Time is a strange creature I fail to understand. It is beautiful, painful, wonderful, and paradoxical. I am amazed at where my life has taken me; where I have taken myself. I should not forget I have had a hand in it. We all have a hand in our lives. I digress a little.

I feel this amazing gratitude for my life and the people in it. My life is truly blessed and to deny that would be to deny all the wonderfulness I am surrounded by. To be here in Taiwan, means the world to me. For so long, I have been inside a bubble, called the United States. And for my own country I am grateful. Being out here, despite being away from most of my family and friends, is so special to me. I need this time for myself. Although, I have left loved ones back at home, I still feel their love across continents. I still think of them often and with regard.

Taiwan is more than just a country. It is a journey and a pleasure.

Teaching has been an interesting endeavor. I am slowly learning more about it. Next semester, I will be a head-teacher for Beginning Reading. At first, I was scared of the responsibility, but as I have written on my mirror, "Yo yo, check your freakin' insecurities at the door," and this is the voice of reason I have decided to follow. Not the voice of my own nay-saying, but a voice of confidence. We all have insecurities about our abilities. We should not ignore them, but we shouldn't give into them in a way to prevent us from going for the gold and fighting the good fight. I have once before given up a position of more responsibility but this is not going to be the case this time. I will not let it.

I have another 6 months to improve on myself. Actually, I have the rest of my life.

I cannot even begin to sum up my feelings on this experience. With two weeks of teaching left, all of those feelings are coming to the surface. I wonder what the next 6 months will hold; what the new teachers will be like; etc...

And to the teachers I have spent almost 6 months with, I hope to spend some quality time with you before you go back to America. The last horrah. I am glad to have worked with you all. I am exctied for our Christmas program and to see everything you turn out. It should be wonderful. I feel like 6 months was not enough time to get to know you.

I bather on...but I finally want to thank everyone for teaching me. Everyone has taught me something valuable.