21 September 2010

Good and Bad

It’s another absolutely perfect day in Moldova. The sun in shining, it’s about 68 degrees, and, once again, I am so happy and full of energy that it’s absolutely ridiculous. Although I was frustrated with my 8th form kiddos, I taught them YOU ROCK! Today because I was in a good mood, and, well, they deserved it.

But I have some good news and bad news.

Let’s start with the bad news.

I had to give low marks today to my 11th form students. Like I’ve said before (and I feel like I probably say too much!), but I am not particularily fond of the grading system in Moldova. I think if you do the work, you should be rewarded. If not, well, you should somehow be “punished” for it. (Punished is a rather harsh word for what I want to say, but I can’t think of another one at the moment.) Out of 15 students in the 11th form class, only about 5 on average do their homework. Quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of that. Every day we tell them to do their homework and they don’t. So, with it being the beginning of the school year (with plenty of time to make up the bad marks), I gave the students a 1 for the day. However, I told them that if they took and initiative to participate in class that day, I would give them a 5 (10 being the highest, and 5 being the lowest that is usually given from teachers in order for the students to look better). Ironically, the student I least expected to participate participated more than ever, so I gave him a 5. The one most likely to participate? Well, he just sat there. Probably mad because I said I would give him a bad mark. Well, his loss. He got a 2. I’m still the nice teacher- I hope- but I’m also not afraid to get things done.

Now the good news (x2)!

I had about 25 “little kids” show up for English Club. They were so excited! ANNNND they participated! They got kind of rowdy toward the end (I see why some teachers don’t have patience for working with the little kids), but that was partly my fault…


Today is Maria’s birthday. I called her this morning and sang, “happy birthday” for a kind of distraction because I had something else up my sleeve. I made her a card and then had as many students at the school as possible sign it. While she is no longer a teacher, everyone knows who she is, and many students still go to her for English tutoring. So, I told the students to meet me at the school after English club and to bring flowers- and we were going to go to her house and sing, “happy birthday”. So, we did just that (the older students were arriving with their flowers which is why the little kiddos got rowdy). We walked there together- all 40 or so of us- and I ran inside to get her. She was hesitant to come out (she had a guest- but don’t worry, she knew I was coming, just not with students). She finally came out and as soon as she came out of the gate, the students started singing and giving her the flowers. It was absolutely wonderful! Then, after the students left, she started crying. Tears of happiness, of course. She said she’s been a teacher for many, many years and produced 58 English teachers in her (now) 68 years of life, and she’s never had a birthday so wonderful as this.

Wonderful people should be rewarded more often. Maria has touched more lives than any other person I know and this just shows she isn’t thanked enough. So, don’t forget to tell those who you appreciate “thank you”. And also don’t forget to tell those you love, “I love you”. Really- those words can never be said enough.

(PS- I appreciate and love you for reading my blog)

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