Friday, March 2, 2012

I'm no freaking art teacher

Alright I caved.  I cleaned all morning (okay more like 1.5 hours, our cleaning lady has yet to show up.. grr) and I now have blisters on my hands from mopping/scrubbing the floor.  I was looking forward to a cool beer on my sunny porch, BUT WE RAN OUT OF BEER!  How did this happen???  So I opened a bottle of wine.  Yum yum.

Anyways, this week at school has been, well, up and down.  Tonight is the "noche bohemia" which is where parents, families, friends, etc come to the school to see the decorated rooms.  Evidently there will be performances, dances, a dinner and even German beer for sale!  All classes were assigned Asian countries and had to decorate their rooms accordingly.  Although the word "Asian" was used awful liberally since some of the countries given were Kuwait, Israel, Russia and Turkey, which is what I received along with China.  So this entire week I was with my clase guia decorating the room to represent China and Turkey.

Now, these two countries have plenty of culture and history to stand on their own, but all the same I found it difficult to come up with things the kids could make.  My clase guia is 5th grade which means they're old enough to do things on their own, but they still need help.  So every day they would come in and say "Frau, what are we doing today?", "Frau, I'm done with the sign, what should I do now?", "Frau, I'm bored.  I don't have anything to do".  It was exhausting.  I had to not only come up with ideas, but coordinate them, supervise them, and guide them from 7:30am to 3:00pm NO BREAKS for FOUR DAYS.  Not to mention dealing with "Frau, Jose is calling Julia fat!", "Frau, Alonso won't let me help!", "Frau, Rafael isn't doing anything!", "Frau, Javier is throwing things!"... etc etc.  By Wednesday I started telling the children "I'm not solving your problems today."  Which worked to an extent, until I found out three of my girls had broken a bathroom door, and some of my boys had thrown rocks on a 4th grader's head.  *deep breath*

So Wednesday I had a stern talking with them.  And by "stern talking" I really mean I threatened them with suspension and dared them to try me.  One of the problems I have with the school is there really are no consequences.  I think I'm going to start implementing silent lunch (yes, that stupid, stupid punishment) on my own because there's nothing that is ever done!  When I told the director my girls had broken the door, she replied that the families would have to pay for it.  Yeah?  And what about the girls who BROKE the door.  They aren't learning a damn thing by having their parents pay for a door.  I'm going to suggest they do some sort of service in the school, like helping serve lunch, cleaning bathrooms, or picking up trash.  I mean... really... no punishment at all is a disservice to these kids.  They need to learn they can't destroy things and just get away with it because daddy's going to fork over the money.

The teachers always say 5th grade is the worst of all the grades, but I can't agree.  They always act fine for me and I actually really enjoy them as a class.  Not to make excuses for their actions, but this week was entirely too long with entirely too little structure.  I'm perfectly fine coming up with engaging learning activities for 90 min a day, but for four full days is extreme.  They shouldn't have been so crazy, but I also think things could have been organized better.

Wow.  Rant over.

So yeah, that was the "down" side.  The up-side is that I think we did a banging job on the room.  I've peeked into the other rooms acting interested, but really I was spying.  Because when it comes down to it I have at least one thing in common with my mother- I'm a competitive ass hole.  I want to win.  I think our class looks great, but I'm not 100% certain we'll win.  I peeked into the 2nd grade classroom who had Japan, and they have this huge canopy, a real cherry blossom tree, and a table with a real tea set.  It's certainly a lot nicer than our room, but goddamit my kids made everything that is in my room!  There were plenty of teachers that had some guy build them stuff for their room, but I will not be the mother that does the science fair project for their kid.  This is what I told my kids, too.  I told them that they should be proud of our room because they created everything in the room.  Sure, I came up with most of the ideas, but my room looks like 5th graders did it, because they actually did.  And I'm happy with that.

What I'm a little pissed about is evidently on Monday, we have to take down everything and throw it away.  Seriously?  As nice as my room looks, I see it as a huge freaking waste of paper, paint, money, resources, time; to just throw it all away three days later.  I'll try to keep some stuff up, but there's lots I'll have to take down just to be able to have class on Monday.  I'm going to keep and reuse as much as possible, but I know a lot of stuff is going to be thrown away (no recycling!!!!) and it makes me feel bad.  Unfortunately there's really nothing I can do about it.  And that's how the cookie crumbles.

Take a look at the pictures of my room!!

Kids working on day 2

Turkish flag for the door

How Turkish women dress, and tulips

Terracotta warriors and fireworks

My sweet doors!

Chinese food

Blue Mosque (in Istanbul) complete with stained glass windows and 2 rugs

Statue heads of Mt. Nemrut, Turkey

Finished China side

Finished Turkey side

A fifth grade interpretation of the Silk Road

The Great Wall of China

Noche Bohemia starts at 6pm tonight.  I hope we find out who (5th grade) wins!!!


Jimena said...

they did a beautiful job!! hope you all enjoy showing it off tonight.
BTW, the food said "carne de res" AND carne de vaca"!!

Signe said...

Yeah it's probably because I made them change the sign that said "carne de perro"!

Gretchen said...

Um, I think "asshole" is one word. ;-) Mommy

Anonymous said...

I like the great wall of china!! All the decorations are really cute, they did a great job.

- Britta