Sunday, February 27, 2011

Discipline? I think that was an old wooden ship...

I can’t believe it took me this long to notice, but the girls in sixth grade always sit in the back of the class.  I think this causes problems.  They are always the ones that cheat on tests and quizzes.  I am thinking about moving to an assigned seating chart.  The girls seem timid and nervous in class and I think that is because of their age. The other problem is that there is a discrepancy between the levels of intelligence in the class.  Half the class is extremely intelligent, and the other half doesn’t care at all and doesn’t want to study.  So the intelligent kids move much faster.  After the intelligent kids are done with their activities, they are very bored and end up getting in trouble.  Nelly, the principal, said that if the kids get done early we should just allow them to go outside and play so they don’t bother the other kids.  In the United States, we wouldn’t dream of letting the kids do such a thing.  It is too dangerous for the kids to be unsupervised for that long.  If that is the culture here, I may give it a try. 

To end the day I had music with both the 4th and 6th graders.  The 4th graders are really into choreographing a dance, so I have been doing that with them.  We have been dancing to some really cheesy music for kindergartners, so now that I have a speaker for my ipod, we should be able to do something better.  I just need to pick out a song.  Its really tough to keep the 6th graders attention without good music to play.  I think I may teach them Oasis, Wonderwall tomorrow.  It is an easy song with easy lyrics to pronounce.  If you have any other suggestions let me know.

Rob, the other American teacher, had a bad day with the kids and brought up the issue of discipline.  We all agreed that we were having discipline problems.  The discipline problems are more so for the younger kids.  The problem with the older kids seems to be apathy toward school.  I think this is a common trend even in the Unites States, but I think it is on a whole different level here.  The kids don't see a reason to be educated.  A lot of the kids will work on family farms, in family stores, or end up not working at all.  I told the students today that learning English will get them a better job, the same as me learning Spanish would, in some respects, get me a better job in the United States.  A student said, "No me importa, solo voy a trabajar aqui in San Francisco de la Paz."  Here, no me importa, basically means I don't give a shit.  

We got together with the principal of the school and the owner and talked about the problems we are having with discipline.  Rob and Marie are having problems with a few students that are basically ruining it for everyone.  Rob felt that the principal wasn't being tough enough on the students when he sent them to her office.  I couldn't really relate to this part of the conversation, because my kids are a little bit more mature than theirs and I haven't sent anyone to the principals office.  I think I am lucky to have the age that I do.  I think I have more variables and different types of problems, while they have severe behavioral interruptions that I just don't have.  I have the burden of dealing with students that weren't taught properly in previous grades and have trouble writing in Spanish let alone English.  I have some students that are extremely smart by American standards, hell even by Asian standards (well not in Math I guess).  I think the more intelligent students deserve the opportunity to move quickly and absorb as much information as they can, but I also think that the less fortunate students deserve not to be left behind.  It is a bit of a conundrum.  

C.S. 100 Dollar Challenge-- With 100 U.S. dollars, you could buy 630 organic bell peppers. Can you imagine if Peter Piper could get a hold of that peck of pickled peppers?


From Left to right: Julio Paz, Julio Funez, Hector David

The Julio furthest on the left is my most intelligent student.  He knows a ridiculous amount of English already and I feel as though he might be bored in class because of his advanced level.  I am going to talk with his parents and see if I can tutor him outside of class and basically give him advanced English lessons.  I think working with him for a couple months would put him in to the intermediate/conversational level.  The students talk about Julio as if he is already a doctor, lawyer, or successful business man.  When I need class participation and the pool has run dry, I can always turn to Julio.

Julio Funez is one of the students that is relatively quiet.  He is popular not for his extreme good looks, charm, or intelligence, but for his soccer skills.  He is an excellent soccer player.  Great touch, great vision, great shot.  It is a pleasure to watch him play.  We were playing a pick up game the other day and I was dividing up the players and one of the students said, "Hey, that's not fair. Julio counts as two players."  The problem with Julio's work inside the classroom is that he has one of those "I want to be a professional athlete" attitudes.

Hector David is kind of a complainer in class, but I got the opportunity to go to his house today and his family was really great.  We had lunch at his house and then swam in the river near his house.  His grandfather let us play with his gun, so I guess my opinion of him has changed...


"There is beauty enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look."
       --Beauty is hard to catch, hard to make, hard to see.  Just when you think you've captured it--its gone.


  1. beastie boys intergalactic or O-Tip vibrant thing

  2. Hahaha. Q-Tip is a must. Maybe some Nathanson or Howie Day.