The weather has warmed drastically - was about 50 degrees F today. No longer do I have to wear leggings under my jeans or five layers of shirts! Yipee, but even though the weather has been so awesome lately, been a little under the weather...
It's been a rough start to the new year (Lunar New Year). I lost my iTouch. I don't know how, but I'm so disappointed in myself. But anyways, I have not been able to go online anytime and everywhere, which as a result means less time to talk with family and friends back home. I miss everyone so much, it's been so long since I've been away. I've also been busy with work. It's the end of the semester and there is drama with my school (when isn't there?!).
Today was the POLY Kindergarten Gradation Ceremony. My little Kindergarten monsters graduated and are going to the first grade next week. I am really going to miss them so much. I've gotten so attached to them over the last twelve months, and I am so sad to see them go. Some are coming back to POLY for the first grade, but a good bunch of them aren't. Man, if this is what being a teacher means, I don't think I can do it! It's too hard saying goodbye. Of course, I couldn't help it and cried. Luckily, all of the students were gone by then. Except one.. she came up to me and said, "Teacher, you are sad?" I nodded, and she just said, "Awww..." and put her arms around me and hugged me. In the end, my Kindergarten student was comforting me.
So, the director asked each teacher to write a short two minute speech. I had a tough time writing my speech, and my rough draft came out to be about six minutes long. It didn't come out anything like what I wrote though. I skipped a lot of parts, mainly because it was already too long and the parents looked a little bored (or maybe they could not understand me). And not to mention that I was super nervous!!! But, I love that the kids paid attention and were interactive. Here's the rough draft:
Welcome everyone to the POLY 2010 Kindergarten Graduation.
First off, I would like to thank the parents. It is because of your love and support that your children are here today. Thank you so much! It is so encouraging to see parents who are involved and play an active role in their child’s life. It was nice meeting and talking to a lot of you. Thank you for the gifts (especially on Teacher’s Day), or on field trips, every little thing – I really appreciate it all.
I also wanted to thank my fellow teachers. They’re all really great teachers, I really enjoy working with them, and the children are lucky to have them as teachers! Also to the Korean teachers, thank you for helping with the classroom and all that you do. You are the bridge between the parents and the native teachers; we couldn't have done it without you.
But most of all, thank you to the students. To Tulip, Rose, Lily, and Daisy class! Why thank you? Because you guys make me so happy! Every every single day, you guys make me smile and laugh! I don’t think I have ever met kids as nice as you guys. You guys are so sweet - I have soooo many stickers, pencils, and erasers from you!!! You guys are all such good helpers, too. You guys always want to help carry the teachers’ baskets. Not only that, all of you students are so smart and learn so quickly, too! Do you know how many vocabulary words we learned in Immersion class?! More than 500!!! Only in Immersion class. Good job!
I feel so lucky to be your Immersion class teacher. It was such a fun class to teach! Our Immersion class is a mix of everything – we get to watch videos, sing songs, practice role play, read books, write, and draw pictures. Everything! We got to learn so many different things, didn’t we?! We learned how to describe people and introduce ourselves and our family. So when you go to the first grade, you will know what to say to your new friends. We also had a lot practice retelling stories – we can use our story hands – characters, setting, beginning, middle, end!
We also learned how to do so many things properly. We learned how to speak properly in a loud and clear voice, sit properly (1,2,3, good posture!), wash our hands properly! So many things - we have to do everything properly, the correct way, right?! I know you guys will remember all this when you go into grade one!
In Immersion class, we also read so many fun folktales! We learned a lot from the folktales didn’t we?! We learned how to be good people. We know not to be greedy, not to tell lies, and to be nice to our friends. We don’t want to be lazy, or what's going to happen? We're going to turn into a cow! We want to listen to our parents, right?! And like the salt and oil merchant, we have to keep trying and not to give up! Even though it was so hard for them - they were stuck inside a tiger and then stuck inside a whale, did they ever give up? No! I want you guys to remember that... don't give up, you always have to keep trying!
Now I want to take some time to talk about my first class. My Homeroom class. What better way to start off the day than with the smiling faces of Tulip? You guys are all so bright and enthusiastic! I am so proud of you guys – you guys are all so special. Every single one of you make me so proud.
Hena, you are so sweet and your English skills are so good. I remember when you called me on the phone and we talked for 45 minutes about every single Disney princess.
Amy, you can always make me smile – especially when you rub your eyes. You are also such a good speaker. You and Hena can talk about High School Musical for hours! I hope you girls get to meet Vanessa Hudgens someday!
Dorothy, you are soft-spoken, but so sweet. I remember the time I lost my voice at Everland and couldn’t speak. The next day you brought me throat candy!
Victor, you are so good with the vocabulary words. Even with hard words like “endorphins,” you pay close attention and remember all the new words!
Thomas, you have improved soooo much since the beginning of the year and your handwriting is so neat! You are so polite, too – you always remember to say please and thank you!
Jiho, you are such an angel – a perfect student. You are always the first one ready for class. You help your classmates and you pay attention in class.
Christina, you are such a bright girl. You are so good at making sentences with the new vocabulary words. And you have so much love to share!
Olivia, I love your energy. Even though you were a new friend to Tulip class, you are so friendly. You always raise your hand to answer questions and help out.
Ryan, you have so much energy and enthusiasm! Your English is very good. I especially like reading your journal entries. You are clever like Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Matthew, I love that you are passionate about art. You are an incredible artist. You have also improved so much since the beginning of the year, especially your reading and writing!
Rose, Lily, and Daisy class – I loved teaching you guys, too. I am so proud of you all, every single one of you. I’ve seen you guys grow so much – Last March, you guys were tiny and so cute. Now you guys are still so so cute, but not so tiny anymore! And now you guys are all ready to start elementary school. I’ve had so many fond, good, memories, and will always remember you. All of us (your parents, teachers, and I) are so proud of you! I’m not worried about you guys, I know you will be the best students in the first grade. Good job!!
I already miss them so much, getting choked up just thinking about it. I hate saying goodbye... ㅠㅠ