New Year, New Challenges

A cliché of a title, I know, but it’s true. As a welcome back from China gift, I was given three new students- Dominic, Benjamin and Yuto.

The first two are twins from Australia, so they speak English, but they have never been to school before. I’m their first teacher ever! It’s fun for me to have students who speak English well, and it’s fun for Olivia (my class’s Angel-Teacher) because she thinks they look like miniature versions of her favorite English soccer players. She loves them. She tells them so daily. They, however, are clearly skeptical of the tiny Korean woman yelling “Domoneeekk! Benjamiiinn! I love you!”, but they handle it well.

Dominic aka mini-Beckham

Dominic aka mini-Beckham

Since the boys already speak English, they are excelling in the verbal aspects of the class. The kids who are used to being the best are becoming resentful, which I am doing my best to mitigate. It’s a challenge. How do I tell a super eager, intelligent student that he needs to not say the answer to my question, even though he’s right? Taking turns is still a developing skill at this age.

she will cut you

Sally will cut you

However, my fear of Sally (pictured) is a motivator to create a better teaching strategy. Seriously, do you see the look in her eyes? She gives 0 fucks. We worked out a delicate peace treaty in November, and I would really like to maintain a semblance of order in the classroom. So, I’m working on it. Yes, I have very little control over the classroom. Yes, I am 24 and they are 5. Don’t judge me.

Yuto presents a unique New Year’s challenge he’s Japanese and doesn’t speak English or Korean. Even my least advanced students can say a few words in English and they understand most of what I say. Yuto does not. Nor does he understand Olivia. And he’s a goofy little kid to boot. He spent the first couple days making bird sounds and not uttering a single word (and the bird sounds were extremely eery and loud (I jumped about a foot the first time he made them). He also enjoys wrestling with the other boys and clinging onto my leg when I try to leave the room, which is slightly problematic. However, he’s a bright student- he has picked up some English phrases such as “sit down” and “more soup please” (he really loves soup), and he knows the alphabet. His actual speaking voice is surprisingly soft, making the bird noises all the weirder.

the hardest decision in a young boy's life- dinosaur sticker or panda sticker?

the hardest decision in a young boy’s life- dinosaur sticker or panda sticker?

He’s pretty damn cute though. I’ll keep him around.

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