My little gentlemen. The boy who offers to help with absolutely everything, and cleans up the classroom without being asked. I was having a bad day back in October and wound up taking it out on the class. After the class, Js came to speak to me about the problems I was having, and I was losing my temper. I came back to the classroom - and saw Alan finishing off straightening all the desks after sweeping the floor and cleaning the blackboard. "You didn't have to do that," I said. " Alan smiled. "I know," he said. "But you needed help. Now you can go home and be happy."
Angel suffers from a stuttering problem in English (nerves and a fear of public speaking, though she never lets that stop her). She used to burst into tears when people laughed at her in her Chinese English class, or in mine. Now though, while she still stutters a bit, she grins and pushes on, and that has won her the respect of her classmates. Angel is known for being a good deskmate to be partners with as she is very determined when she sets her mind to things.
My little Betty Boop! She is SUCH a little sweetheart. She's the one who, when offered a choice of kitten or puppy as a pet for doing so well from her parents, opted to adopt a stray that lived in her complex, stating that she 'wanted to help animals' like I did:
Jennifer, Angel, Cherry and Happy:
Same bunch but with Hallen on the left and Kitty joining them on the right:
Nicknamed 'Cherry-tree'. The first time I called her that, she just smiled. The next time though, she looked back and said, 'Thanks, Mandy Bank-worker'. :D (My last name is Banks). The class cracked up and I gave her a thumbs up for having gotten me good. ;D Beware of the quiet ones.
Cherry and Jack:
Hallen and Jerry:
Hallen is my ultimate success story, from a grade average point of view. She was an average student in grades 1 and 2, gained a lot of confidence in grade 3, and came out in grade 4 with her proverbial fists swinging. She has won numerous awards within the school for English competitions, she was the comapany's student of the year last year, and the only place she'll go is up. She fell in love with the Phantom in 'The Phantom of the Opera' and spent three classes arguing with me on why Erik made a better choice than Raoul. She listens to 80's pop songs and love ballads, worships Hanna Montanna, and is reading Pride and Prejudice for fun - with a dictionary at her side. :D I am predicting great things from her in the future.
Jack was in grade 2 when I first learned his grandfather could speak English. I was complaining to my coordinator that so many Chinese parents thought their children were dumb, when really it was THEY who were the stupid ones for thinking that in the first place. Jack's grandfather came up from behind me and said very solemnly, 'I agree with you. Hi, I'm Jack's grandfather.' I think I turned ten shades of red that day. :D
Jack was also the one who, in grade 3, asked me very threateningly (punching his fist into his hand for emphasis) where the boys were - the 'boys' being the kids I found kicking a cat (who became Scout, my first foster kitten and first rescue) like a soccer ball, so he could go beat them up. Jack is one of Ruthie's biggest fans, and he spent 20 minutes looking for the Daschund puppy I was hunting for last month before he had to go home. I only know he did that because I spotted him checking under cars from across the road and asked him about it the next day. :D He is such a good-natured kid.
Jemmy was introduced to me back in grade 1 as 'the bad boy'. By grade 3, EVERYONE hated him. They said he was stupid, and bad, and never listened, and was worthless. Worse though, was they said this when he was STANDING RIGHT THERE. I told the Chinese English teacher I didn't want to hear anymore, and that in my class, while he was active, he'd never been what I would consider bad. I haven't spoken to that teacher since, and Jemmy became one of my best speakers. And during class on this last day, he told me very quietly he really wanted to be in my Saturday class so he could see me again. I hope so too.
Jemmy started out as 'Jack' and was Jack for 3 years. In grade 4 though, he came to me and said he wanted a new name - that there were too many Jacks in his grade. I went through some names - Jaime' being one of them, and Jemmy chose his new name by himself. I'm not sure where the spelling came from, but to this day, I think he wanted 'Jaime' and spelled it out as best he could. :D
Jenny was always a top English speaker, heads and tails above the class until Happy and Hallen decided to take my class seriously, sometime around grade 3. Until then though, g1 and g2 had Jenny as the top level student. She lived very close to my house, and would walk home with me after school. Linda also lived nearby and so the two of them would come home with me, particularly on Friday afternoons, so they could play with the new bundle of joy I had just adopted - Ruthie! Jenny was the first student to ever meet Ruthie, and to this day, when I bring Ru to class, she makes a beeline straght for her. :D
I actually had 2 Kitty's in the beginning. Kitty #2 changed her name to Betty in the second semester (yep, Betty Boop from above!). Kitty reminds me a lot of Eiji from Prince of Tennis. Her name caused her to develop a very cat like persona to the point where she adds a 'meow' after some of her sentences, and raises her hand with her fingers tucked in to resemble a cat's paw. It's become very natural for her, to the point where if she's startled or surprised, she comes out with a shocked little 'Nyao?' It's expected of her now. Other students in other classes sometimes laugh at her for it, but the rest of the class rallies around to defend her. Very popular and very friendly girl, she is. My little Kitty-cat, don't ever change. :D
Jerry is one of my sarcastic little brats. His mind is so sharp I have to watch what I say around him because he never misses a trick and he NEVER forgets. Like when I used the term 'it's over my head' to respond to someone trying to explain something to me in class back in grade 3. Someone else asked what it meant and I just said I didn't understand, and moved on. Two days later, I was explaining something in class, in a rather quick and forceful way (we were behind, again) and Jerry finally stood up and sliced his hand over his head. "Mandy, it's over our heads, we need you to repeat again."
He also has embraced sarcasm, and is the first to shout 'Good job! Way to go!' when someone drops a pencil on the floor, or I spell something wrong on the board. If you ask him is he''s a good boy, he'll wink at you, roll his eyes and say 'Why, YES, of COURSE I am!" :D
Kitty and Jerry:
Linda saw Jenny follow me home one day and joined right in! She was the second student to meet Ruthie, and one of my favorite pics in my 'Ruthie Scrapbook' is the pic of Linda in grade 2, feeding Ruthie bits of treats (they'e scattered all over the floor). Linda is one of my favorite students to tease. If you ask her a question and she doesn't know, she shakes her head sadly, puts her finger to her lip and says 'Oh nooooo..' in the cutest little woebegone manner. ;D She doesn't do it as often anymore, partly because her confidence manner has shot through the roof these days (in a good way), and partly because it's getting harder to stump her! She's the class perfectionist, and fusses over every lost point. ^__^ She is also my little 'chicken' because she's intimidated by everything. I told her the meaning of 'chicken' in a Western context, and she was offended. Until I asked her to do try something and she said very quickly, "I can't - I'm a chicken, remember?"
Nancy is Jenny's best friend, and day in, day out, you can hear them squabbling like siblings. I asked Nancy once, who won those arguments, and Nancy rolled her eyes. "Usually Jenny wins," she sighed. Then she grinned. "In English. But in Math, I win!" Nancy has the neatest, most beautiful handwriting I've ever seen in a child, and often clucks her tongue at me when I scribble something on the board. "I can't write as neat as you," I said to her in grade 4. "My printing is neat, but my writing is bad." Nancy grinned and thew the words I used on them not ten minuts before in regards to their English: "Then you should be practicing more, Mandy!" Little imp. :D
Linda and Nancy:
My girls: Linda Angel and Betty:
Grade 4's and 3's to be posted eventually.