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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Angels to Monsters

The sixth grade students in Shonai graduate next week. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I’ll miss them terribly, but I’m happy that they’ll be moving on to bigger and brighter things. Not having any kids of my own, I’m not accustomed to watching children grow up. I’m astounded at the changes I witnessed in the brief fifteen months that I taught. What I found most interesting was the stark contrast in attitudes the students had towards school (in general) after progressing from fifth to sixth. I think I could best describe the change as going from angels to monsters. In the smaller classes, ten students or less, the change was less profound. I think the HRT had a lot to do with it. When I asked the HRT what made the class different from the others, the reply was, “The students care about each other. They are happy to be with one another.” The HRT was also quick to point out that the students made the difference, not the teacher. I disagreed and I praised the HRT’s ability to cultivate, motivate, and stimulate the student’s interests. I’m sure the parents helped to transform the kids also. I don’t know if the size of the class had anything to do with how a child turned out. From my brief experience, it seemed to make a difference. My classes ranged in size from three to thirty. I know that’s considered small, but even in this range, the difference was noticeable. The kids in the smaller classes received one-on-one. I don’t know about the other subjects, but that made a big difference for the students trying to learn English.     George

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you about the fact that the HRT plays a huge role in whether the students turn from angels to devils or not. It also seems to depend a lot on what the 6th graders were like the year before. If they were devils then often the 5th graders watch and copy the behaviour when it is their turn to be at the top of the school. Of course they only get to be real devils for one year because then they start at the bottom again when they hit junior high school!