It was a beautiful autumn day, mostly clear, not very cloudy at all, cool but not cold. It was my first day back at the German pre-school after the summer vacation.
Now, I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this class before, but just in case I haven’t: This is my nightmare class. It will be my 3rd year at the school. The last two years I’ve had one boy who is an arrogant, little know-it-all. Admittedly, his English was pretty good but he delighted in arguing with me, and defying me, and he was the class leader. At the opposite end of the spectrum was the little girl who would start crying at the drop of a hat. When they didn’t like an activity I suggested (which was virtually always) they would start chanting “English is bad! English is bad!” It was always the longest hour of the week.
On the way there, just after I got off the tram, I noticed something different in the neighborhood. The building on the corner, which has been undergoing major renovation and been a serious eyesore for a long time, is nearly finished and actually looks rather elegant -a large-ish 19th century villa with a little dome on top.
Prague is famous for it’s ancient buildings but there’s always renovations going on and new stuff coming up, too. It keeps things interesting. In my immediate neighborhood there are two major construction projects going on that should be finished in the spring and one just started that’s still a complete mystery. But, it’s when you haven’t been in a neighborhood for a few months that you get that sudden surprise.
I only had one return student, and she started right in with the “English is bad!” routine and I think she was surprised that the rest of the group didn’t follow her. I was thrilled. I kept their interest for most of the hour, there were only one or two instances of direct defiance, and nobody started crying.
We are off to a very good start.