I don’t what to do about IIB. They are all chronically uninspired. “To say they are apathetic is to ascribe to them an enthusiasm that is not there,” as I told Chhavi. They are totally unresponsive. I think some of it is attributable to the language barrier, but certainly not all of it. I don’t know what to do about it. IIA is usually pretty bad at the beginning of lessons, but they usually give it some effort later in the lesson: I can live with that. But IIB–words do not describe my level of frustration with them. The group of disruptive guys in the back makes things a little worse, if that’s possible.
One thing that is really bothering me is the difficulty I’m having with names. They’re so, well, foreign. It takes me such a long time. I doubt I will ever learn the names of the kids in 5-8.
Speaking of my primary hours, I had a brief discussion with Danuta about the problems I have there. First of all, one hour a week is practically useless. I will not be able to do anything other than teach them to parrot a few things. Second, the language barrier further impedes the learning process. I have no way of making sure they really understand what I’m talking about. (I think in this case Polish is not only acceptable; it is down-right necessary.) This also makes it difficult to test them, and therefore hard to give grades. Last, and most significant in some ways, the classes are too big. Thirty twelve-year-olds–it’s impossible to keep them under control (i.e. language barrier), even if I could speak Polish like a native. So I have thirty wild kids with only two or three listening to me, probably understanding less than half of all I say. It is a waste of everyone’s time, I fear. I will give it a few weeks, then talk to the headmistress about my thoughts, my fears. Of course Danuta was right when she said that eventually I’ll be asked to teach the additional four hours the Ministry of Education requires. I will flatly refuse. I will patiently wait and see what happens . . .