My ESL/GED class is awesome again this session. Even when I am tired and think that it would be nice to stay at home and relax instead of going to teach class in the evening, once I get there I am happy and energized. My students are so dedicated and hardworking and inspire me to be the same. Last week we were talking about the session finishing at the end of April and I told them I wanted to have them over to the house for a party during the last week. During further discussion we realized that two students would be leaving soon, so we bumped the party up to April 9.
I love each and every one of these wonderful individuals! Last week our classroom was being used for a meeting so we were moved to the rec room which is lined with pool tables and a foosball table. We had no blackboard so I was doing everything verbally and they had some worksheets to follow along. We began talking about pronouns, which is somewhat complicated and I was really wishing I had a blackboard! Toward the end of class, I felt like everyone was getting exhausted and a little frustrated so I asked if they wanted to keep going or stop and have some casual conversations for the rest of the time. I fully expected them to say "conversations!" But no, most of them said "keep going, keep going!" They are so eager to learn and so dedicated.
I took off work yesterday so I could get the house ready and run errands and Rich began prepping the food the night before. He is the best at saying yes to anything I ask of him, even if he has plenty of his own tasks to keep him busy. And he goes all-out to make sure the food is fabulous and exceptional. I know, I am spoiled.
My students are the kindest people in the world. Although I told them to just "bring themselves," I received two huge bouquets of flowers, a large green plant, a lovely scarf from Thailand, and they brought lots more soft drinks, a case of water, and a cake to add to the spread.
Tuyet, Susi, Juanita, Yumiko, Magda, Champen and Victor were in my class last session and the rest are new except Mohamed, who was in my FIRST class a year ago--the early morning class. Victor, you might remember, obtained his GED last session, but he still comes to class to help and encourage the others. When some of the students wanted to meet an extra night, he offered to hold class on Fridays. So they come to my class TTh nights and then an additional night with Victor. AND some of them also attend the early morning TTh class or the MW night class with other teachers as well! Now that is some real dedication.
It really frustrates me when I hear people complaining about immigrants or acting like they are somehow a drain on our society. If the nay-sayers could only see what life is like for my students, I think (hope!) they would trade their negativity for admiration. Many work very long hours, sometimes 12 hour shifts 7 days a week during the busiest fishing seasons but are still motivated to come to class and stay awake and pay attention and participate. I am not sure I would have that drive--wouldn't it be so much easier to go home and veg out in front of the TV or go to sleep? They are such an inspiration!