December is the time of the year for endings. Finals, NaBloPoMo, a few trees are even losing their leaves. Friday was my last visit to the classes I was tutoring this quarter. The two classes wound up giving me tastes of the best and worst parts of teaching. The first class, the rowdy class, was being their usual selves for the most part. The kid who pushed me, though, he and his friend decided that they were going to mess with me. They were always nice in their joking before, so I think that they have decided to blame me for getting the pusher in trouble. In any case, the pusher kept making gestures to beccon me over from accross the room, only to pretend to be stretching or fanning himself once I got close. After walking over twice, I just shook my head at him when he tried it again. If he needed help, he was just going to have to ask the teacher. His friend was waiving his hands, too, and when I walked by said "I'm so hot. You're so cold." Nothing like the insults of a seventh grader. The second class was a shining example of all that a class can be. Originally, they were just as rowdy as the first class (if not even more so), but after the class was split they've just been wonderful, and Friday was no exception. Everyone was doing their work, and I was able to focus my attention on the one kid who wasn't doing his work on his own. Unlike in the other class, where the kids will rarely write anything down, even when I tell them what to write, this student was perfectly willing to write things down (after a few tries on my part). He even started doing another section of the worksheet on his own! At the end of the class, the teacher wished me luck and asked that I spread what I had witnessed in her classroom. In previous years, all the classmates of her tutors have been sent to "good" schools, and seem to believe that all the wild behavior in the classroom is all due to the teacher not enforcing discipline. Let me tell you, though, it is not the teacher's fault! Even the best teacher can only be in so many places at once, so when you overfill classrooms, particulary in schools where the students might need a little extra attention, the result is chaos. Chaos!
In any case, I'm glad not to be going back there. Even for all their good points, those kids were exhausting.