Today during the last class of the day, with about 15 minutes left in class, one of the girls came up to me and asked if she could leave. I asked why. Mozambican girls often do this thing where they get really shy, cover their mouth with their hand, look down and away, and mumble too softly for anyone to hear. And so this girl did that and I was frustrated because I would have been happy to let her go if she had a serious issue, we weren’t learning any new material but just doing practice problems, but I also wasn’t just going to let students leave early without a reason, so I had to tell her no.
Today while waiting for my kids to finish copying from the board I was spacing out a little and looking at the blackboard in the back of the classroom. Then I realized that that blackboard had what really looked like Japanese writing on it (it wasn’t actually, but looked so much like it, as if someone had been imitating Japanese writing). I asked my students “who wrote that?” But none of them, so it must have been someone from the afternoon class in that room. I said “it looks like Japanese writing. Do you guys want to see my name written in Japanese?” I wrote my name in Japanese on the board for them and I don’t think I could have impressed them more.