Posted by: trudesj | April 30, 2009

Spring hormones – a teaching challenge

My kids (read students) are on high form these days. Spring has finally arrived in Norway, with surprisingly high temperatures, meaning less clothes and a lot more hormones going wild. It seems that there are new couples at school every day, and belive me, we are not talking innocent hand-holding here, we are talking serious tongue action!

To an extent it is actually kind of cute, and (hopefully, especially when it comes to the younger ones) fairly innocent, but when I find couples falling out of bathrooms together – I get a little worried….

What they do in their spare time, I really don’t care about, I seriously have enough stuff to worry about (like when will I ever have time to write my book, do something about my wish to work with photography, get my kids through French without failing, get out of the country again, and find time to be a good sister/friend/daughter, etc), but I draw the line at having to drag them bodily apart in the classroom.

Were we really like that at the same age, because I seriously can not remember being anything close to as advanced as they are now – it would never even have occured to me at that age to have serious makeout sessions in the schoolyard, much less in the classroom.

But maybe I’m just getting old….

Anyway, as said, I’m not a prude, and mostly these lovey-dovey couples are fairly cute, especially (again) the younger ones, who seem to be changing girlfriends or boyfriends on a rate of approximately every week. 🙂

I guess in the end it’s all a combination of hot weather and being young, and we’ve probably all been there at some point, if a little less conspicuous!

Wishing you all a hot spring and summer of love,




Ok, it’s official – autumn has gotten to me again, and I’m laid low with a stinking cold. You know the type – it’s the one where your head feels like it’s stuffed with cotton, and no matter how much sinus stuff you spray in your nose, it only last for about five minutes before everything is clogged up again. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

On the other hand, this time I’m really not that sure that I can actually blame it on autumn completely. I have a sneaking suspiscion that all the sneezing teenagers I’ve been stuck in classrooms with every day might have something to do with it. Then again – maybe autumn got to them as well.

Anyway, getting a cold as we are getting closer to Christmas, seems to be a tradition rather than an unpleasant surprise – I mean, I even managed to get a cold at approximately the same time when I was living in Sri Lanka! It was warm there! (Actually, I blame the constant air-condition for that one!) So I guess I should have seen it coming. But, as the first snow in my hometown (think cars and people acting like Bambi on ice, and hours of waiting to get down the hill – EVERY YEAR!!!!), it crept up on me. I could feel it lurking behind the corner last night, and this morning it was here with bells on. Great! It just had to happen at the weekend!

But, I guess getting stuck inside with fever and a stuffed nose at least gives me an excuse to snuggle down under the blankets and watch ALL the episodes of LOST; Season 4, that I just got in the mail last week. Who knows, if I have the energy after all those hours of intrigues, I might even find time to relive the 80s, and start watching the complete series of V! (Creepy crawlies trying to take over the world – gotta love it!)

And so it goes, I will be out of order, out of touch and basically out of my mind all weekend, hoping that Monday will dawn cold-free! (And knowing that we are three days closer to when the sun will start giving out heat again – I really do think a trip to sunnier parts would be about time soon!)



So I’m back to teaching again – at least for now. The strange thing is, though, no matter how many times I keep saying that I don’t really want to be a teacher, when I’m actually there in the classroom teaching, I really do enjoy it! I’m not really sure why, though, because a lot of the time I either want to throw a couple of the students (my kids, as they will be known from now on) out the window, or I want to take them by the ear and shake them. But then there are those wonderful times when I can see the sudden understanding in their eyes – almost like the famous lightbulb flashing (and I kid you not, you really can see it!), or when they are all silent and listening and really seeming to be enjoying what I am telling them – those moments makes all the frustration over too many kids in a class and how to keep them all quiet, the lousy curriculum and books and the lack of money in the schools all disappear, and the enjoyment in teaching is simply there, unexplainable but utterly true.

My kids are pretty great, though, even when I feel like screaming at them (which luckily doesn’t happen that often, my pitch of voice is still on a level where a few syllables at the right strength can calm them all down and pay attention). They’re pretty smart, they can actually handle being challenged, and so far they haven’t called me old – which, considering, is pretty d… amazing. (I still vividly recall the question from another group of students about three years ago, involving my age, or rather statements in the category of “you probably aren’t older than that you would remember..:”, relating to my knowledge on how it was having sex… as in “you would still remember about…., wouldn’t you?)

But back to my kids, and I teach several grades. My favourite at the moment, I think, is the class where I am stepping in for their main teacher, who is on her honeymoon (lucky girl). They are such great characters in that class, that I can’t help feeling attached to them – I will probably hate it when their main teacher comes back and I won’t see them every day.

Anyway. I have a couple in that class, at least I think I have. The first week I was teaching them, these two were sooooo in love, I practically had to tear them apart. (I’m not opposed to kissing in theory, not even at school, but in the classroom??? Really??? Never happened when I was 15!) It really was very cute, but at times rather distracting (for them, being to busy concentrating on each other rather than what was going on up front in the classroom). Still – young love and all that, and as soon as I managed to wean them off being glued to each other during class, it was actually kind of fun to watch the surreptious glances, the mouthed “I love you”‘s and the attempted hidden handholding (they are sitting one in front of the other in the classroom) under the table. The second week I was teaching them they didn’t speak at all, and the temperature in the classroom decreased by several degrees. You would not believe the icy glances the two of them sent each other, and the detours they both took around the classroom trying to avoid passing each others desks. It certainly both made me remember being a teenager, as well as again making me sure of how happy I am about not being one anymore. So, as this went on, I sort of assumed things had come to an end for the two of them (evidently not remembering that much about being a teenager after all), and the whole thing just sort of slid away from my attention. This week, though, things are evidently back on track, as the two of them, even during midterms, have managed to (quite amazing this, considering the way they are seated!) send each other loving glances. He is sitting behind her, evidently trying to install his feelings for her in to her by staring firmly in to the back of her head. She manages to flick her hair and stare back at him every time she gets up to get a new piece of writing paper or when going out to get some air. They even managed to finish the last midterm at exactly the same time, and the looks they sent each other when both had handed in their papers was nothing short of what dreams are made of. Utterly fascinating, I can’t wait to see what is going to happen this week!

My kids do say the strangest things, though. So far I think my favourite is one of my language students (I teach German as well) asking me whether there is an easier way to learn a language than learning all the words…..

You just gotta love them!!!