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16 February 2005
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KLB - An Odd Day


Today I snapped at Cathy for the first time. I just had a great lesson with the Class A kids. They're finally back on course after a rocky start after the vacation. I was impressed by how much phonics they've retained, even with the time off. Almost every kid can recognize every letter and sound and also spell all the simple words (sit, hot, sat, set, pin, pet, car, cup, nut, far, etc). That is serious progress considering before they didn't even know the basic alphabet yet. It's really amazing. They also remember every part of their English Time 1 books and can sing all the songs too. So, I was very happy with them.

At 1:47 I stopped class to hand out stickers and get the kids ready to go. It always takes at least 5 minutes to get them out the door. Sure enough, Cathy interjected. "Shawn!" she exclaimed. "We have four minutes. We have to teaching more!"

"Cathy!" I snapped. "Don't tell me what time it is because I'm not stupid. I know what time it is. I have to hand out stickers and they have to clean up. Stop bothering me."

She turned beat red and started apologizing. Normally I'd feel bad but today I didn't. I didn't talk to her for the rest of the day and took full charge of every class, as it should be. At the end of the day she said, "Shawn, I think I pissed you off today. I'm sorry."

Something about her choice of words and the way she said it made me chuckle and things immediately lightened up. Then she asked me about Bonnie's e-mail and if I decided to quit. "If you quit, I have to quit too, I think."

"Why's that?"

"Because we're a team. I want to working with only you this school."

Is she for real? I thought, looking at her oddly. What is with this misguided creature. She wants to work with me yet she seems to be complaining to Connie about everything. So I told her I made the decision to quit. I said it was mostly because of the distance and also because I need regular pay and benefits, etc. I also mentioned what Bonnie said in her e-mail.

"No, please don't quit, Shawn. I think you really like the students so much. It will be big problem too. The girls, I know they going to cry if you go. They always tell to me about you. They love you. It sometimes amazes me."

"I love the kids, too. But Bonnie said that's not enough. She doesn't think I'm a good teacher. I think the kids are learning a lot. That's what is important, isn't it?"

"Sometimes Bonnie makes me angry. You have to stay here, please. Will you reconsider? I don't want to work with another teacher. No, it will be bad situation. You're a good teacher, I think so. That's why the school wants the program to continue. You know the last prgram here failed so quickly. That means we're doing good job, I think. Sometime I feel the pride about that."

"Well, you tell that to Bonnie instead of telling her that I read a book and sit down sometimes. That made me angry, Cathy. I don't want this situation where I have to worry what you tell to my boss every week."

"No, no, no. That was my mistake. If I talk to Bonnie will you reconsider? Please?"

"I already made my decision. Bonnie can talk to me if she really wants me to stay, but she will have to make a good offer to change my mind."

Hehe, I wonder what will happen now. Maybe I'll end up with a sweet deal - or maybe not. Still, I realize now if the kids find out I'm leaving they will moan and groan to their parents, I'm sure. Especially the little girls. Leaving the kids would be the worst part about quitting, for sure. It's amazing how much you can become attached to other people's kids.

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