Saturday, December 31, 2011


At the beginning of every class, I take roll.  Each student answers with their choice of "yes," "here," or "hello."  If a student is absent, I choose a student who is present to run a registry slip with the absent student's name, the date, my name, and the class to the office on the fourth floor of our building, so the ladies who do all of the administrative work can immediately register them.  At our school, we call the administrative area info.  The Korean students call it "eenpo."  Among third and fourth graders, taking the absent slip to info seems to be a job that is in high demand. Even if it only takes a minute, or two, the younger students seem to be excited about getting out of class, and doing something different.

I always know which students will be absent before I ever call roll, because as soon as I walk through the door to enter a classroom, the students will proclaim, "Teacher!  Teacher!  So and So is absent!  I want go to eenpo!"

Then all the others would chime in, "Teacher!  I want to go to eenpo!!  Teacher!  Teacher!  I want to go to eenpo!"

I would then have to establish order, "Okay, okay, okay!!  Let me take roll first!!"  I would then call the first student's name louder than the others, "Such and Such!!"  The students normally calm down after the first name is called.

As soon as roll would finish, all the students would continue, "Teacher!  I want to go to eenpo!!"

When I first started, I tried to avoid being accused of playing favorites, so I would hold a mini paper rock scissors tournament, but they would sometimes get out of hand, and take up too much time, so two months into it, I cared less about it, and would simply choose a student.

Now, upon completing roll call, whenever someone is absent, I usually choose a student who I feel hasn't taken the slip in a while.  I normally walk to the chosen student's desk, place the slip on it, and give him/her the instructions, "Such and Such, write So and So's Korean name on the slip."

Upon hearing me say the chosen student's name, the entire class, in unison, would give me a big, "AWWWWWWWWWW!?!!!!"

Then some would chime in, "Bad Teacher...  Mean Teacher..."  I can't help but laugh every time I hear it.

"Teacher... You only like Such and Such!  You always choose So and So!"

Sometimes the "You only's" can get pretty funny, "Teacher...  You only like students who are small!!"

"Bad Teacher...  You only like new students!"

"Mean Teacher...  You only like students who are tall!"

I laugh everytime I hear the latest, "Teacher!  You only..."

But in reality, I choose the quietest students more than the others.  For some reason, I've never heard, "Teacher!  You only like quiet students!!"

They crack me up.  Teaching can be a lot of fun.

With that being said, I would like to wish all of you a happy new year.  I wish you many blessings in 2012, and may it, up to this point, be the best year of your life!

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