I feel angry.
I almost always feel angry around noon on Fridays.
I feel angry because 1-6 is my bane.
Since the first week of classes in August, I have suffered at the hands of 1-6. They pretend not to understand me, and patronize me by just saying "yes" to anything I say. I told them that Westerners will laugh at them if they do that in public.
They refuse to do any work. A large bit of my time is spent creating lessons for them. Their refusal to do the lessons makes me feel like I am wasting my time and energy, but I want to do my job well, so I keep trying, which results in more disappointment.
I never said anything to anyone until Takakura Sensei specifically asked me about my classes. I told her that 1-6 is, without exception, the least disciplined and most frustrating class. A couple of months later she asked me again, and I told her again. This time my JTE (Japanese Teacher of English) and teaching partner for 1-6, Wakamatsu Sensei, said to me, "You don't like 1-6?" "No," I said, "it's not that I don't like them, but they are the most challenging class I teach." I tried to explain myself in gentle terms, and I thought maybe all the talk would result in at least a bit more discipline in the class, but today was the worst. I don't think Wakamatsu Sensei realises that I am not supposed to discipline the students. Discipline is the job of the JTE. I do what I have to do to maintain a semblance of respect in the room, but there is only so much I can accomplish toward discipline in a foreign language. Discipline is ignored plenty of times even in one's own language.
Today they did presentations on a worksheet that they have been working on for three weeks. Of 7 classes, 1-6 is the only class that did not finish their work, and amongst all the giggling and stalling that some groups did in other classes, 1-6 won out. The presentations today ended up being mostly just for me in front of a class all talking and doing their own things, despite my attempts to call for quiet and focus, and they had to skip some aspects of the presentation because they hadn't written anything, or had written the wrong thing. There was no clapping for each group like there was in every other class.
After class today, on the way back to the teacher's room, I asked Wakamatsu Sensei how many classes there are left before graduation. He said 2 or 3, or 4 or 5. By piecing together that info with the last day of classes and asking another teacher when exams are, I figured there are four classes left. No sense in making a scene now. I only have to endure four more classes with them. Then they will be 2nd year students and I'll never have to see them.
Cheers to my other classes and to March 18th, my last Friday with 1-6.
Update from March: On the last day of class, Wakamatsu sensei yelled at students and through papers at them. It was sort of funny, but sort of strange.