Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

China:A Day In The Life 6

I teach two different levels - Junior 1 and Senior 2. For the Juniors I teach the same lesson to ten different classes and for the seniors I teach another lesson to seven different classes. When I was told that I had to teach Junior 1 - eleven- and twelve-year-olds, I wasn't happy. Not happy at all. I had specifically requested that I be allocated only older pupils and had been assured that I would get only older pupils.
As it worked out, it hasn't been a problem. There is a curious dichotomy involved with these levels. Although they are aged eleven and twelve they look, to my eyes at least, about eight or nine but for the most part behave more like fourteen or fifteen - which is, as anyone who knows a fourteen- or fifteen-year-old can tell you - sometimes a good thing and sometimes a bad thing. They can be intense and studious at times but sullen and uncooperative at other times. They can be wonderful to teach or little monsters. And that's how my Junior 1 class are. Variously wonderful and horrible, cooperative and disruptive, happy and sullen. For the most part I love teaching them and - probably because unlike their Chinese teachers I don't give them homework or punish them - they seem to love being taught by me.

Anyway, that's by way of a long and ambling preface to the next poem which is all about my Juniors.

Classroom Poem #1

A fragile little girl
with eyes that fill her face
and such a pleading smile:
it turns sullen
in a moment.

A boy with startled hair
cavorting on his head,
a wide eternal grin:
as a friendly

A girl with glasses frames
that have no lenses in
worn studiously in class:
follows me with
unaltered eyes.

A tiny damaged boy
can never understand
but wants to join the games:
I include him
and he transforms.

A boy who never smiles
at least not with his mouth
fires answers like bullets:
there in his eyes,
there is laughter.