Little lies...

Every Monday, the kindergarten teachers at The Hagwon are required to write a "weekly diary" for each student as sort of a progress report for the parents (most of whom can't speak English anyway). We are not allowed to be negative in the least with our comments, so what I actually write corresponds with something far different in my head...

Speaking skills are coming along. Your child continues to sound as if he hasn't used an f, th or short i in his entire life, despite the fact that it's his third year of English kindergarten.

Speaking will continue to improve as she gains confidence. Your kid refuses to say a word of English. Ever.

Enthusiastic speaker! Your little monster won't shut the hell up in Korean.

Initiating conversations in English. Asked me if she could go to the bathroom.

Improving understanding. Understands three English words: "playroom," "sketchbook" and "bathroom"

Good at picking out key words. Tells me every day is Tuesday.

A leader in the class. Your evil daughter controls the classroom with an iron fist and is without a doubt the biggest bully I have ever encountered.

Vibrant and enthusiastic. Finds staying in his seat akin to riding a bucking bronco. Eight seconds is about the limit.

No behavioral problems. Is only quiet when forced to stand in the corner with her hands in the air.

No major behavioral problems. Hasn't killed anyone yet.

Reads class materials with minimal prompting. Needs prompting on every word longer than three letters.

Beginning to pick up sight words! Can now read "I" and "a."

Understands the sound and usage of the letter p. Can tell a p from a w.

Able to add two-digit numbers. ...but still uses his fingers for 1 + 1

Solid critical thinking skills. Able to copy the answers off the board or her neighbor very effectively.

This goes along with the weekly spelling test grading scale. They aren't actually allowed to have any wrong answers on the test; we have to erase things until they get every word right.

6/6! -- 0 correct
Nice! -- 1 correct
Good! -- 2 correct
Very good! -- 3 correct
Great! -- 4 correct
Outstanding! -- 5 correct
Excellent! -- 6 correct

The kids are wise to that one, though. They're always disappointed if I don't start scrawling an "Excellent."

So the unannounced hiatus -- not that anyone's reading anyway -- was due to a re-evaluation of the blog's purpose. I was going a little broad, I think. Pretty much the only unique insights I have here are related to teaching and living in Korea, so I'm going to stick to that from now on, with only the occasional forays off-topic. I'll leave the science mostly for a few months from now when, hopefully, I'll be enrolled in college again for a second degree in biology.