So I find that while I'm teaching here, I really have to stay on my toes all the time. I guess it's just a cultural thing, but I can get lost in the conversation or have no idea of what's going on. It's exhausting trying to be on the same page that everybody else is naturally turned to, and today I think I was at least a chapter behind everybody else.
My second class today was a first year one. We're reviewing simple tense verbs again, as well as beginning to get in the routine of taking vocabulary tests each Friday. So during class, that's what we were doing. I'm standing up front, trying to see if they have any clue what I'm trying to get across, when all of a sudden one of the boys walks over to the other side of the classroom and just throws a crumbled piece of paper at another boy's face. OUT OF NOWHERE! I mean the innocent kidwas just sitting there, trying to follow along with the geeky American. So after about 2 seconds of complete shock, the second kid stands up and is obviously getting ready to hit the first kid. HELP!! They did not go over how to difuse fights being done in other languages during our technical training. Luckily, another one of the boys who is older than the rest and is looked up to by all, see's my look of pain and automatically jumps up to settle the second boy down. Crisis diverted. Both boys go to their own corners and look like they accept the draw.
Sounds like a peaceful resolution, right? Yeah, well that's just the first match. Next, probably 15 minutes later the first boy jumps up and walks outside. This is kind of normal in the classroom. In every school that I've visited here it's pretty much the norm for students to just get up and walk out whenever they want to. I really didn't think anything of it when he left, but when the second boy got up and left I felt like I was standing in the classroom yelling NOOO!!! in a loud slow motion scream. THIS IS NOT GOOD! I walk outside, hoping to talk to the boys, but they've already gotten away, so I leave them to the school's security guy who roams around campus throughout the day.
When I step back into the room though, the entire class is standing around the windows, clapping, and yelling PACQUIAO! PACQUIAO! Not a good sign for the teacher! Manny Pacquiao is a famous boxer from the Philippines, thus meaning that the boys had snuck behind the classroom and were getting ready to box. OY! HELP! I go tell the teacher next door, who is also the guidance counselor SCORE! and she tells me to send them to her office. YES MA'AM! THAT I CAN DO!
So I go to the boys, who haven't begun the official hitting yet, and in my most authoritative voice and awsome teacher eye, tell them to get to the guidance counselor's office. AND THEY LISTENED! WOOHOO!
I know students are going to get into fights occasionally, that's just how the ball rolls. Here's the thing though, in America I could have been able to tell you just by reading the student's body language that things were coming to such a boiling point. In this situation however, I had NO CLUE that the boys were going to just get up and start fighting.
My question to myself, Will I ever get on the same page?! Answer: Probably not, but I always eventually catch up! :)