Wednesday, November 16, 2011

why kids rule


my portrait,  an 8 year old

Teaching over 100 French kids to speak English is not the easiest thing I've ever done. Sure, there are some kids who pick it up quickly enough and are a little bit more with it, but there are about 10 times as many kids who scrunch up their noses and stare at me like I'm an alien. Most of those kids are genuinely confused. Some of those kids just want to be difficult. And because of all of this, I have the opportunity to get frustrated about a million times every day.

the art gallery in my apartment

BUT! To make up for all of the exasperation, I am still teaching kids, and kids are adorable. I have received pictures and gifts from my students, including this first Christmas decoration for my apartment!

a painted pine cone--how cute!

In addition to little gifts, I have received some very sweet compliments from my students. Yesterday, I was teaching one of the youngest grades at my school. These kids have only just started learning English this year, and are understandably very limited in their English capabilities. I spent basically the whole class period dancing around singing the alphabet song (side note: one of my kids yelled out "DISCO!" when I started dancing. I'm quite proud that's one of the only English words he knows!), but at the end of class as they were leaving, one little girl stopped me and said tu es trop belle, which means "you are too beautiful"! It was so unexpected, and so sweet. It made my day!

It is moments like that, so candid and innocent, that are among the most rewarding. They give me the extra boost of invigoration, reminding me why I am doing this, and for whom I'm doing this! I surely can't expect these kids to be perfectly fluent right off the bat; I certainly wasn't when I started learning French! I can't blame them for that! They're trying their hardest (sometimes...), and I never know when they'll surprise me next!

pax christi.

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