Monday, April 23, 2012

Tuesday 4/10-Friday 4/13: Last Week of Teaching

I still can't really believe that I'm all finished teaching. It feels like I'm just on vacation and will surely be back in the classroom in a week or two... However, Friday was my last day. My last week went by really quickly and most of it involved lots of fun things (singing, dancing, and playing games). The students were really sweet and saying goodbye was rather sad.

Jessie in class!

On Tuesday (4/10) I had class with the 3rd graders and Jessie came in to meet them! We did some review and then danced and sang the hokey pokey! Jessie joined in the first time, then took a video of us on our second go. In the afternoon, I taught the two classes of 2nd graders...just some games (we were working on animal vocab) and singing.

        Video:  The Hokey Pokey!

My conversation class students! :)
Then, on Tuesday evening, Jessie and I went to dinner with my conversation class! One of the students hosted us and we all brought along something to share (I made broccoli-cheese savory and pesto bread). It was such a fun evening and I know that Jessie appreciated that they did speak English some of the time! We had the most delicious flan and pastis (a regional specialty cake)--I'm hoping to get the flan recipe! We stayed for about 4 hours, just eating, drinking, and talking!On Wednesday (4/11) it was raining (AGAIN) and we had a nice lie-in (note the British term...that'd be Alison's fault) and then helped Catherine with the grocery shopping. Jessie got a full tour of the supermarket! In the late afternoon, Catherine, Jessie, and I made dinner and dessert while hanging out in the kitchen, listening to music!
Playing with Photobooth on my laptop! 

Thursday (4/12) was my last day with the 3rd graders and when I arrived, over half of them had brought me presents! Most were drawings, but some kids had brought me other things (chocolate, a painting on canvas, and a cool necklace)! They really wanted me to open them in front of the class, so I did--and made sure to show off all their drawings and thank them each. I wrote my address up on the board so that they could copy it down, in case any of them want to write to me (I assured them they would get a reply if they write-- my guess is that none of them actually will). We spent the rest of class singing "Rock Around the Clock" and learning the hand jive. Bruno (who happens to be their teacher) even joined in on the hand jive!! When it was finished, I said goodbye and they started begging me not to go--and telling me I had to come back next year. I attempted to explain how far Oregon is from France, but I don't think they quite understood... 

The 3rd graders!

In the afternoon, I went to my last classes at the other school. They were pretty anti-climactic. I played a game with the little kids and then gave them each a sticker to put on their name tags (which I let them keep). With the older kids I had them glue copies of the penpal letters they'd written (earlier in the term) into their English notebooks and then I let them copy down my address in the off-chance one of them feels like communicating later on. Since it was the last day, I had brought in my laptop and the Twilight dvd and I let them watch the last scene (and pointed out where I was). They were so stoked to finally see me on screen and also to be watching a movie in class! :P  Afterwards I had to give them a few more autographs and then we got their teacher to take an English class photo.

The 2nd graders (at the other school)

The 5th graders (at the other school)

Friday (4/13) was my last day of teaching. I started off the day with my little group of 2nd graders (who I normally have in the afternoon, but their teacher requested I take them in the morning instead) and we got to have a 1 1/4 hour class instead of just 45 minutes. Since we've been learning the names of some animals, I had them draw each of the animals in their books and then write the name of the animal next to each drawing. Some of them were rather good artists!
The 2nd graders
Then I had class with the 4th graders and we spent the first part of class playing a game with telling time. I also taught them "Rock Around the Clock" and the hand jive. They loved it and later (during recess) they came up and had got all the moves! We took a picture together and, as a surprise, they printed it and put it into a frame they'd made with each of their names on it! They gave it to me later in the afternoon and I was so surprised!
The 4th graders
I ate lunch at school and stopped in at the cafeteria to see how it worked. I realized that despite having been here for 7 months, I had never gone in to see the cafeteria! So, I spent a few minutes talking with the kids who were eating and checking out how it worked. Basically they have no choice on what food they get--it's just served to each table and they are supposed to eat some of each course. Yes, they have courses--even for school lunch! And here they are much healthier than the US!
In the afternoon I stayed at school to work on copying and sorting all the worksheets I'd made over the course of the year. I wanted to leave a notebook for the next assistant that has all my worksheets and song cd (in order). I also left all the children's books that I had brought with me. 
My very last class was with Duyen's 2nd graders...they are the sweetest class. We reviewed the animals and then I showed them some newspapers and American money that I'd brought. I also had a penny to give to each child, which they were thrilled about! (I showed the newspapers and money and gave pennies to all my other classes as well) 
LouAnn shows off a dollar

Zelie and Hugo with the dollar
Then we took a picture and they informed me that they had a surprise for me... It turns out that Duyen had had them each draw a picture (most were of me teaching them!) and write a little note (in French). Then they had bound it into a little book! It was so so adorable! The Spanish students had made one for Pablo and we had a little party all together (Duyen had brought cake)! At the end the kids got to take turns saying what they liked best about their language classes. I didn't cry, but it was close! 
Duyen's 2nd grade class
Before leaving, I stopped into the staff room to hang out a bit and say goodbye to the teachers. I got their emails, so hopefully we'll be able to keep in touch! It hasn't sunk in that I won't be going back there...

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