Schedule shock

A calm thought: Sunset in St. Malo

Chika is a 6’8″ 16 year old from Nigeria who just arrived at our school–three weeks into the year– to play basketball.  His first language is Igbo.  His second language is English.  He is in my French I  class.  Culture shock doesn’t begin to describe his first week here.  Even though he is staying with a Nigerian family from his region with teenage children who attend our school who are all bi-lingual English and Igbo, the pace of life here and the flood of English rushing at him is overwhelming. 

He arrived in the U.S. on Saturday and began school on Monday.  Tuesday, the administrator/basketball coach saw him walking through the empty hallways on his way to class and realized that he had never explained to Chika about the bells.  Chika had no idea why the halls were suddenly empty.  He had no idea that it was he for whom the bells tolled.  Wednesday, he asked to be excused to go to the bathroom.  I gave him the pass.  He was gone most of the period.  My initial sarcastic thought was to wonder if he fell in.  My kinder thought was that his body was probably still adjusting to being here.  But finally I thought that maybe…just maybe…he needed to escape to the bathroom just to escape the madness.
             Today was one of those days when even I, the teacher, could not keep up with the madness.   Two classes had not done their online journals  because I had not posted the assignment.  The thing is, I remember creating the assignment.  Did I just forget to click some key?  Like “post”?  The best (or worst) was period 5 .  I had a really great lesson with the class.  They were 100% with me.  They were engaged.  They were wowed by the Smartboard activity I had prepared.  (They actually said, “Wow!”)  I got all the way to the end of the lesson and realized that I had just taught to the French 3 class my lesson for French 2.   After I groaned a dramatic “ARGHHH!” while throwing my body across a table, the students said, “No wonder I knew what was going on.” 
I wish I could say that I’ll just set the reset button on Monday, but I still have to get through Friday!  It looks like a night for bubble bath therapy.

4 thoughts on “Schedule shock

  1. I know your name is not HarpER, but it is near enough, specially since I was given the name of another Harper, another French teacher, today. This one lives in Germany but, strangely enough, he is not called Kathy!
    Sorry to be so off-topic, but some co-incidences just seem to jump and down in front of your eyes.
    All the best


  2. Hello Kathy and John
    Just a quick line to say that I enjoyed the story above and that I am glad to have found your beautiful blog.
    Funny, I am sure I used to know a French teacher called Kathy Harper in England a few years back.


  3. J’aime beaucoup ce que vous avez écrit ici. Je vous ai cherchée car je veux enseigner l’anglais en Corée de Sud, et j’ai pensé, Bien, Mme H aurait beaucoup de bon conseil pour moi, car elle est prof d’une langue étrangère, mais elle était aussi prof d’anglais avant tout ça. Alors, j’ai trouvé cette petite composition tellement parfaite, car tous ces éléments sont mentionnés : la vie d’une prof humaine, de temps en temps tendue ; la compassion pour un élève qui est, peut-être, perdu dans un système avec les règles non-exprimés ; les pensées sur les différences entre les cultures qui essaient, les deux, à tirer cet élève mais qui, en lieu de ça, le confondent.

    Ça me plaît, que vous écrivez ce blog, car même en lisant très peu de toutes vos compositions, je peux voir que vous aimez écrire ces petites histoires. Je vais retourner à ce blog, je pense !

    En addition, j’ai cherché votre adresse e-mail, pour que je puisse vous parler au sujet d’être prof et tout ça. S’il vous plaît, je veux écouter et recevoir la sagesse que vous avez gagnée pendant vos années travaillante comme prof.


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