Saturday, March 19, 2011

the scheduled post

You may or may not have noticed that some of my recent posts occurred during my new work hours. In other words, I couldn't possibly have written them at the time they were posted. Ha ha-- that's the power of scheduled posting! This post, too, was written long before it was actually posted, and was set to appear at a time determined by me so as to provide the illusion of steady, consistent blogging. I can hear your nipples thrumming, so I know you're impressed.

My Friday session at YB was short: the larger branch is the only one in the area to have Friday classes at all, and they end the day earlier than normal-- at 7:30 instead of 9:30. On Saturdays, they go from 9AM to 5PM, but I've been told that, this week, I have no final class, so my own schedule will end at 3PM. That can change, of course: like EC in Seoul, my daily schedule is constantly subject to change as students cancel or shift their session times. I'm hoping I'll never have to find out all the possible ways that a Saturday schedule can pan out: I've been lobbying to change my schedule to Monday through Thursday, starting next week.

I've been happy, thus far, with the students I've taught at both branches. I'd been worried about screaming tantrums and such, but thus far, no student has proved to be all that troublesome. I attribute some of this orderliness to my age and heft and experience: unlike my 20-something self from the 1990s, I now look crustier and perhaps a bit meaner or more world-weary, and I know I no longer radiate that simpering "I wanna be your buddy" aura that plagued me as a freshman teacher twenty years ago. Like dogs, kids can sniff out weakness and fear. I balance my time-bestowed gravitas with my native good cheer and obvious attentiveness to my charges, which all students respond to. Treat kids with respect, and they'll usually respect you. Usually.

But the larger part of the credit should go to the kids themselves; they've brought their own motivation and good behavior with them, perhaps as a function of the decent upbringing I'd generally associate with families that value education either as a good in itself or as an instrumental good. My kids are mostly from South Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and South Asian families, so the education-is-golden metanarrative is firmly in place, even among the less-motivated students. We'll see how this plays out today; I've heard that Saturday can be a big kiddie day.


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