Monday, January 14, 2008

Drop Outs

Ah, another weekend is coming to an end. *Sob. I have to head back to work in a few hours. I don't know, though, if I'll have a job to go to for much longer!

I can't believe the number of students who are dropping out. We've lost about twenty since Christmas! There's always some flux in our numbers throughout the year. We usually lose quite a few kids who are going to start middle school; their parents opt to send them to academies that cover all subjects - instead of just English. It's a bit early this year, though, to be losing so many students - and I don't know what the deal is. Could Jane's absence have something to do with it? Maybe some students went home and told their parents we had to combine classes last Tuesday with only two of us scrambling to cover for Sunny and Jane. I just don't know!

For some kids I'm almost relieved to hear they've dropped out. These are the ones who don't seem to enjoy learning and instead like to cause trouble and distract other students in class. Hearing that other students have quit, however - the ones that are really doing well, or even more troubling - really seem to like me, gets me really upset. We had a brother and sister quit on Thursday and I'm so curious as to what happened. I know the brother was having a harder time. His classmates teased him a lot. He has a huge amount of hair that grows out of his head, rather than down from his head. Kid looks like a mushroom. (I wondered why they don't have his hair cut short. It would be far less noticeable then, but instead it's pouffy and about four inches long.) Still, I liked the little guy very much and tried to encourage him and give him some extra support in class. His sister was progressing fabulously. She started out so shy but was really starting to shine in recent months. She was also very keen on my classes and loved to partner up with me when we had an odd number of students. But *Poof* they've now vanished. In two of the last classes of the day, we've gone from eleven students to FOUR. We're hemorrhaging, and I'm worried we're reaching a critical level.

I tried to pep up my final class on Thursday and three of the girls told me they're going to move to another school!
They said they really love me, but the other classes are "chamie-opseyo." (No fun.) One of the girls complained, "Jelly, Sunny teacher says Ah-oo-gushtuh!" I asked her what that meant and she translated, with perfect pronunciation, "August." These students had been given a dictation test earlier in the week and it frustrated them that they couldn't understand what Sunny was saying in English. I've heard that Sunny's sick of teaching and wants to quit. I think the boss gave her a pep talk on Friday. When I came in a note in red crayon had been taped to the wall over her desk. (A note to herself.) It translated to "Do your best."

Morale's down at work. I'm doing my best to keep a buoyant mood and not worry too much. I don't want the school to fold. At least not until my contract's up. Cross your fingers that this week will be better than the last.


Nomad said...

This may make you feel a little better :)

Wrenchbender said...

You could always find a Hagwon job up in Gyonggi province. closer to all the white mens and stuff. You'll have a smorgasboard of GI's to fill your craving.