Monday, November 4, 2013

The last few weeks in the classroom have been a struggle. Lots of behavior problems that lead to chaotic lessons. It's really easy to just get frustrated with the kids and leave class feeling like a mean person for spending 35 minutes having a yelling contest and getting onto them every 5 seconds. Every class has those one or two bad kids that really just make matters worse. They are the ones it's REALLY easy to get angry with because they hold so much more power over the class than I do. However, lately I've been finding some things out about these "problem" students and it has help me put some things into perspective.
One of my little boys is a bully and gets in fights in class. His Chinese teacher's cant control him either. His dad is abusive (it's been seen happening at school) so it's easy to see where he get's his anger from. I saw him the other day crying hysterically and begging his home room teacher not to call someone, I'm guessing his parents? It makes me wonder what happens at home when he gets in trouble at school.
Another boy is always causing a ruckus in class- bothering his classmates, playing with his things, talking, just generally doing anything but sitting quietly and listening. He is always behind in his homework with his Chinese teachers and doesn't even finish tests when I give them. He just doesn't care. Well, I found out last week that the lady I thought was his mom all last year is in fact his dad's employee. She brings him to school, picks him up, takes care of him on the weekends and comes to his school events. His parents don't live in Beijing. I don't know where they are, but not here.
Yet another boy (all my problem students are boys) doesn't try in class and most of the time has his had on his desk. Anytime I ask him how he is he says, "I'm very bad." About a month ago I was out walking on the school track on a Saturday and saw him and 2 other boys with a dorm mother, which means he stayed at school all weekend. The next weekend I asked him if he was going home and he said no, I will stay here. I asked where his parents were. He said his dad works in America. I don't know about his mom.
It breaks my heart to think how different their lives would be if they were just loved and given attention by their parents. These kids are from wealthy families. Their parents pay a lot of money to send them to school here and they probably get whatever toys or electronics they want, but they're missing what they need the most right now. Knowing this doesn't really make my classes any easier- I still leave some days feeling like I've been run over by a mob of crazy children- but it does help me think about all of my children differently. You never really know what's going on in people's lives that makes them act the way they do.
I have this verse on my desk to help me remember how to deal with life, and it applies so well to these dear children:

"Let all that you do be done in love."
1 Corinthians 16:14

Here are some picture of the little ones at a flea market we had at school last week...

These two are all boy!

Sally (on the left) is a quiet, sweet little girl. Lily is cute as can be but quite a handful!

Melissa and Irene are great students and kind hearted little girls.

These boys are best buds but nothing alike. Fred is a sweet little student and Jerry is a trouble maker!!