housecat: Yeah, as much as I complain, I do really like my job. Probably the two things I dislike about this job are certain kids and certain colleagues. I thought I was the one with the major issues with the current ninth grade that I always rail about. They’re about to graduate and the principal was giving them the “you think you’re too cool and don’t have to listen anymore” speech yesterday. Anyway, my wife is kind of friends with one of the admin. staff here and she (the admin. worker) was tearing her hair out yesterday because over the past three years, the current ninth grade have managed to vandalise a lot of things that have cost quite a bit to replace! The only thing in my room they vandalised was a cushion, but their homeroom teacher rang the father of the boy who did it and the next day, I arrived at school and there was a new cushion. He went all the way to Taidong City to get it. Anyway, the admin. lady said that normally, at this time of the year, the staff are all sad to see the kids go, but this time, they cannot wait to get rid of the ninth grade! Haha.
The other thing is certain reprobate homeroom teachers who continue to send their kids to my class up to fifteen minutes late, despite me talking to them several times. Then, a couple of days ago, at lunchtime, I had a couple of kids cleaning a classroom as punishment. I let them go before the end of lunchtime, but they decided to go AWOL. So then, one of the homeroom teachers came and jumped on me because it was supposedly my fault! My elementary school co-teacher is a bit screwed up and kind of screws the kids up too. I think I mentioned the recent reading competition already.
Other than that, it’s pretty chilled. For the summer camp, we finally have approval to actually do…wait for it…a summer camp. We just need to work out the details, but we’re going to Taroko Gorge for several days.
Next semester, the principal and my supervisor want me to teach some other things such as P.E. (not sure how that would work out considering I can’t play any sports! I’m thinking of picking up a cheap kids’ cricket set when I’m in Australia over summer and letting them have a go at some indoor cricket for a challenge), but I’m allowed to propose some things. So far, on my list, I have:
Outdoor education (map reading, using compasses and all of that) culminating with another hiking trip (Yushan?)
Kendo (though I’m reluctant to actually let anyone but the current eighth grade go anywhere near wooden or bamboo swords)
Gardening/vegetable growing (which could work in conjunction with the cooking, though again, I’m reluctant to let the current seventh grade anywhere near a kitchen)
Musical (if we can really get some other teachers involved, then we could actually put together a really decent performance with kids doing the acting, music, props, costumes, sound/lighting, etc.)
Learning about their other subjects in English (so maybe making crazy science projects like volcanoes that explode)
World cultures (where kids have to research other cultures and then we have a “culture day” where they dress up and bring food they’ve made)
Unless I undertook something pretty intense like putting together a musical, I’d probably just do “tasters” of two different activities per semester (lasting about ten weeks each).
Anyway, I have a whole bunch of ideas, but we will get two new English teachers next year, maybe a new principal, and my current supervisor is taking paternity leave to be with his kid for a semester so his wife can go back to work. So, none of this may work out. We’ll see.