I was asked this morning to give two kids and a Chinese teacher English names. The first time this happened, three weeks ago, I felt honored to be trusted with such a special task; that is, until I was told that we English teachers are asked to provide English names fairly often. So today, two kids needed to be given English names, and one of the Chinese teachers asked me to give her a new name because she didn’t like her current one.
The first time I named a little boy who, every single time I see him, reminds me of Luke Davis. Those of you who know him understand why I get a huge smile on my face every time this kid walks through the door. In retrospect, I should’ve named him Luke, but instead I had him point to his favorite letter. He pointed to T, and I knighted him Tim.
My last class this morning had two little nameless boys. I thought for a while with both of them. The first little boy was quiet and adorable and looked like a doll, so I named him Ken. He didn’t care much, but I don’t think he’s a big fan of mine right now anyway. Since he’s new to the class, I terrify him.
Boy #2. That’s an appropriate name, because his behavior is poopy. He’s completely undisciplined, and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to handle him. Ignoring him doesn’t work, as I found out this morning; he races around the room screaming and gets a huge #2-eating grin on his face when I yell at him to sit down. Last Friday I couldn’t get him to stay seated, so once he finally sat, I went over and perched on top of him and continued teaching. He didn’t appreciate being used as a chair, so he wiggled out from under me and climbed between some desks. The Chinese teacher and I trapped him between the desks; when he attempted to escape by climbing over me, I continued teaching, but grabbed him in a bear hug and wouldn’t let go.
The other kids watched with huge eyes as he kicked, wiggled, screamed, cried and writhed around in my arms. When I finally let him go, I expected the Chinese teacher to take him aside and console him; instead, she grabbed his arm and trapped him by her, which made him cry even harder.
I really like my kids. Some of them I find annoying, but I can ignore them and giggle and play with the kids that make me smile. This kid, though, makes me mad. He’s a #2head and I want to spank him every day. He’s obnoxious and undisciplined and needs to be hogtied and left in a closet for a few days.
This child, my 4th-morning-class-5-year-old monster, was the other kid I was asked to name.
Horace. Llewelyn. Babcock. Herschel. Hannibal. Poindexter. Alfalfa. Percival. Eeyore. Oh, the names that were flying through my head. So much power, and I was ready to use it for evil and name him something that would get him beaten in high school.
Once the urge to misuse my incredible power faded (slightly), I decided on Robbie. First of all, the name fits him – he looks like a Robbie. Second, think about Robin Williams: he’s crazy, flails around a lot, is incredibly loud and difficult to contain, gets wild-eyed a lot, and you don’t know if he’s on drugs or needs them. That’s this kid to a T. When I told the Chinese teacher my reasoning, she laughed and told him his new name… or tried to as he sprinted from one side of the room to the other.
So that was my morning. I’m now heading out the door for my second class of the day. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I teach three times. The first block is 4-half-hour kindergarten/pre-kindergarten classes totaling 2 hours – each group of kids comes to me. That’s 9-11am at School. The second block is 1:30-4:00pm at School, and consists of five children around 7-years-old whom I teach phonics and grammar. The third block is 4:25-6:00pm, and is considered private tutoring. These kids range in age from four to eight years old.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday I teach for 6 hours. Tuesday and Thursday I only do the private tutoring from 4:25-6:00pm. I teach a total of 21 hours each week, with some time spent on lesson plans and creating worksheets outside of class.
Love to everyone. And please, if you have any good ideas for names, shoot them my way.