My director watched my first class today (coincidently with the same class that Lauren watched yesterday). Not surprisingly, they were much better behaved in her presence, but thankfully their participation was great.
The third of February is the day that all of the schools here make their official statistics. This includes just counting the students to make sure each homeroom has more or less the same number of students, see who has transferred schools, etc. But there are also more personal statistics that are, for an American, slightly mortifying to have to ask the students. The cultural gap is always interesting. When I ask for more explanation on something and they ask incredulously “what you have never done this before? You guys don’t do this in America?” “well no, we don’t do this in America (and in this specific case, some of these questions might be illegal to ask in America).”
I had to ask the ages of all the boys and girls and who was a new eight grader and who was repeating, but all of my students were new eight graders. Then I had to list the disabilities in my class: visual deficiencies, auditory deficiencies, motor physical deficiencies, learning problems, mentally retarded, behavior problems (like OCD), then whose mother had died, whose father had died, and whose both parents had died. I have one boy whose legs are incredibly bowed and he is pigeon-footed such that he has trouble walking. I have another student whose feet are completely turned around backwards. And I had to ask who had motor physical problems and have them stand up. Then I found out that I have one boy whose father died. Three students whose mother died. And one girl whose both mother and father are dead.