Busy Bees

10 Feb

It was recently mentioned to me that a frequent reader of my blog might get the impression that the majority of my time is spent indulging in beach vacations and exotic cocktails. 🙂 While I do enjoy both of these in healthy amounts, I promise I do actually work 40+ hours a week too!! Here’s a little update on my teaching career and this year’s crop of entertaining munchkins.

My pre-k class this year is the Busy Bees. I have 16 little pumpkins currently, 7 girls and 9 boys. 12 of them are Thai or half-Thai, half-farang, 2 of them are Indian, and 2 of them are the children of Western staff members. In this group of little people I have:

* One who is the younger brother of one of my students from last year – love those boys.

* Two little girls who are aspiring fashion models (yes, you read that correctly – one was absent all last week for a photo shoot in Krabi).

* One little boy with a mullet, and another who wears sweater vests on the daily

* One obsessed with dinosaurs, five obsessed with pink princesses, two obsessed with the movie Frozen, and one who likes to tap his chin thoughtfully when thinking

All in all, they are completely adorable, ridiculous, and curious. I’m posting a little slideshow below of some of my favorite photos of them. This year’s batch came with some interesting parents (parents all over the world are interesting but I find Thai private school parents to be especially so). The most entertaining is “plastic grandma”, so nicknamed due to the all the cosmetic surgery she has undergone (cosmetic surgery is big in Thailand, particularly among the HiSo  – high society). Plastic grandma has fake eyebrows, wears hot pants that belong on a 19-year-old, and has her hair permanently set in a manner that makes it appear she just exited a wind tunnel. She did not make eye contact with me for the first five months of school, but lately seems to have decided I am worthy of a morning smile. The majority of my students are dropped off and picked up by nannies who carry their belongings, while their mothers socialize in the hallways, perfectly styled, coiffed, and heeled. I dress considerably nicer than I did while teaching in NYC because I know the mamas are taking notice of my ensembles – not that I’ve ever been particularly fashionable. 😉 All that being said, the majority of my parents are super sweet and supportive.

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So far as my teaching career goes, this year has been significantly busier than last year. I am the head of department for the EYP (early years program), which isn’t stressful but involves a fair amount of organizational work and attending extra meetings. I’ve also been tutoring after school, and first semester led a teacher training course about ELD (English language development) strategies. Next year, I will be changing departments in the elementary school, and teaching ELD for the primary years (kindergarten and grade 1). This means that I will be teaching the students who need additional English support through a combination of push-in where I work with their homeroom teacher, and pull-out where I take them to my own classroom for small-group instruction. I will miss my pre-k munchkins, but am excited about the new challenge and adventure!! I’m also excited to start using the Master’s degree I’m currently paying for…

* If you’re curious to see Orestes as our special classroom visitor/expert on buildings, check out my classroom blog here. 🙂

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