pesky pests and pesky pupils

i seriously need to invest in a fly swatter. at the moment i have 10 REALLY annoying flies in my room. i’m trying to be zen like and not care that they’re flying around my head but…that’s just not happening. while i might not be serving in africa like i hoped, at least the sheer amount of flies i interact with daily is probably about the same if i actually was there.

i try SO hard to keep them out of my room. duct taping my window, fixing the gap underneath my door, and only enter and exit my room as quickly as possible. but someone left the door to corridor open and in flew 34292 flies and somehow made it into my room. geez they are the most annoying things. them and fruit flies. can’t. stand. em. while jeff was here visiting he became a pro at killing flies indiana jone’s style with his belt. but i’m not that talented, so finding a fly swatter somewhere would probably be my best defense. though…i don’t know if they even sell them here.

anyways this morning started out with a nice but humid run. a thick fog hung in the air, hiding the tree lines, horizon and sun, making the fields seem to go on to infinity. but as the sun rose the golden fog disappeared and everything was once again illuminated and the children began to head to school.

i’m pretty sure my 8th form has added to my aggression towards flies. they just buzz around your head taunting you but you can never get them (yea…i just indirectly compared some of my students to flies lol). 8b is exactly the reason why i never wanted to teach junior high kids. boy it’s exhausting. i’ve never been treated with such complete disregard. i can assure you there’s abbbbsolutely no way they act the way they do in other classes with ukrainian teacher. i’m fully aware that they see and treat me poorly like a substitue teacher…and you know how poorly kids teach subs. pretty bad. they don’t think i have a single ounce of authority over them and in class i feel that way too. it’s so frustrating.

i had a good lesson planned for them, a fun one i’d thought they’d enjoy to try to get them more involved or at least interested. but they could care less (well i think one girl cared). four of my typical problem makers in the back (yea i tried my hardest to make them ALL move seats but they physically refused so what could i do) ignored all of my warning and even after i took stuff from them continued to goof around. i told the four of them to stand up and get out of my class. i’m *technically* not allowed to send students out of my class in ukraine because i’m responsible for them at all times blah blah blah but seriously i wanted them out. i could’ve cared less about that rule. after about 5 minutes of arguing they finnnnnally left. i told them if they weren’t going to listen they don’t get to be in class.

i knew sending them out wouldn’t actually do all that much, i mean they probably were excited to not to be in class that they enjoyed it, but whatever i just wanted to get rid of them. though of course that didn’t solve all too much since the rest of the class was still misbehaving, throwing paper airplanes, spit-wads, notes (which i confiscated put on my desk only to have them grab it and replace it with a fake note when i turned around). you name it…they did it…and whenever i tried to address what they were doing they played the whole ‘i don’t understand what you’re saying’. i WATCHED a kid put one of my confiscated items back into his pocked and i told him to give it to me, though he just said he didn’t know what i was talking about. i told him flat out that ‘i’m not stupid i know what you’re doing’ and only the girl that cares caught what i said.  i tried my best to get on with the lesson and actually teach them something whether they liked it or not, but to be honest i wanted to send the whole class outside. if they weren’t going to give me their attention, why should i give them mine. my four hallway delinquents periodically opened the door and begged to come back in promising they wouldn’t be trouble. ha. i very well knew that was a lie so i told them no, though they came back in anyways and went back to the same trouble makin stuff. boy what a gem of  a class.

maybe i shouldn’t blog on days that i have my 8th form…it seems to always turn into me venting about misbehaving kids. so i apologize. but in short, i need to find someway to turn that class around, though i really don’t know how. i’m really disappointed with the fact that my counterpart still hasn’t been in-touch with me (all TEFL volunteers co-teach with a ukrainian teacher since we aren’t supposed to be in charge of the kids on our own. but mine has been home over a week with her family, for an understandable family emergency). i *know* she has no idea what things must be like for me, having only co-taught one class a week of seriously well behaved kids during PC training to 22 lessons a week all on my own without any curriculum or direction.

when i went to the teacher’s office to check tomorrow’s schedule, one of the teachers (whom is very nice to me) asked me how things were. i told her that 8b was a nightmare today, like every day. she took my comment seriously and most have jotted it down. she told me if i ever had problems to come to her. which is great news to hear, but i don’t think it will solve the problem. she told me with lively gestures, ‘kristina, the students know you’re you know…’ she softened her face and smiled imitating me. ‘but you they need to know you’re a *teacher*!’ to which her inviting expressions turned to a scowl and accusing finger. i understood what she was saying, i know that’s what they think of me. but i also know i’ll never be as intimidating as ukrainian teachers can be. i thanked her so much for helping me and left to walk back to my room.

just as i was leaving school, trying to calculate how to be a more ukrainian teacher, one of the art teachers approached me and told me to come back to school after 7th period so she could teach me traditional ukrainian painting. i had mentioned to her once before that i wanted to learn anything and everything about ukraine, traditional arts being one of them. she was so excited that i was eager to learn and i’m excited to have the chance. i went back after school to her classroom she told me to take a seat, handed me some chocolate, paper and pencil and told me to write down the materials i needed to buy. i was so hoping to start painting right then, but that’s my eager ‘right now’ american attitude i guess. though she told me i could meet her tomorrow morning before school and we’d have a lesson. so while that means waking up even earlier, it also means having something fun and enjoyable to look forward to. so i’m game.

so as of right now i’m sitting in the school, stealing their internet (since i don’t have any at home) grading my stacks of papers, helping students with their homework and attempting to plan my lessons for tomorrow. but i think once i’m done with all this i’ll take a break and sneak away from the kids for a much needed mind-clearing walk through the fields. i think i should plan to do something fun this weekend. having no friends here my age (like i did during training) is kinda a bummer and certainly makes things a lot less fun. buuuut the next american is only 2-4 hours away by bus so maybe someone will willingly host a lowly village girl for the day ; )

3 thoughts on “pesky pests and pesky pupils

  1. Can you send kids to the principal? You need some support in that school! Are there any teachers available to help you by being a temporary counterpart?

    • unfortunately the whole send kids to the principle system doesn’t work here like it does in america. since it’s a small school i don’t think there are any free teachers that can sit in on my class…hopefully i’ll figure something out…

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