Who Gave ME This Responsibility!?

I’m teaching children. These kids are 10+ years younger than me and I am here to shape their minds. These little people smile at me every day, they can read my mood better than any boyfriend I’ve ever had could, they know I drink out of an orange water bottle every day and pour powdered tea in it with naam cain (ice) every afternoon while I stand at the gate of the school. I spend 45+ hours a week with them.

 

Who the hell gave me the responsibility of teaching these not-yet-fully-developed-people?!

 

Yes. This fact, with four weeks left, is just hitting me. I’ve been doing this all term. For weeks I’ve been coming to school (aka: going to work, only it doesn’t seem like work because well, I play with kids all day.) I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are days that I do not want to go. There are many days I would rather sit in a coffee shop with my book and journal and read and write the day away. But like any other job I shower, make myself look nice, suck it up and go to work with a smile and a wai.

These girls are so perfect: Champu and Mew

These girls are so perfect: Champu and Mew

 

 

Last week during homeroom I was teaching a class of 6th graders a song. If You’re Happy and You Know It… then we replaced happy with: sad and angry, wipe your tears and stomp your feet. The kids were NOT into it. Cue JUMPING JACKS, excited me yelling in English to GET MOVING! It was 8:35 in the morning, I’d been up since 5am and hyped on coffee, the kids were NOT into the jacks either. TOO BAD.

 

We did 30.

 

Sweaty, breathless and smiling they decided the song wasn’t so bad compared to counting to 30 in English again. [Wink wink]

 

My co-teacher praised my ‘teaching’ the rest of the day. Each time she mentioned it a smile crept on my face and stayed there. This, this responsibility has been pretty cool. I get to be goofy, dumb, silly and make kids do funny things that hopefully not only make me laugh but get them to crack a smile too.

Day at the park 4th-6th grade

Day at the park 4th-6th grade

 

As my time here winds down and I soak in each hug, each smile, each fit of laughter, (4 weeks!!!!!) I can see a smile creeping on my Grandmother’s lips right now—she’s hinted for years I should be a teacher. I’m still, yes even after all of this, not so sure. And so as I venture ‘home’ I’m not sure where my home will be. Options are limited as well as so great that I’m overwhelmed, nervous and excited for what the future has in store for me.

1st Grade

1st Grade

 

I’m Sorry

I'm Sorry

Being neglected sucks, this blog has been neglected. (As I post this on Valentine’s Day I will once again spend this dumb holiday single–only this time I’m in Asia where sometimes the only phrase people know is “I LOVE YOU”–so no worries–I will no doubt get told that I am loved today.)

Some days I’m counting down the time I have left teaching (four weeks, one day and two classes) other days, days like yesterday, I get teary eyed when I think of leaving these kids. They are so photogenic they don’t even have to try and look amazing.

A Dog, A Horse, And A Cup ‘o’ Noodles

I have an inside joke with my 2nd graders.

 

It started two weeks ago. We were talking, [I say talking like it was a conversation…it wasn’t] I was reading a book to them that had animals in it, (kids love animals, hell, I love animals, animal sounds, making animal faces…etc). And we started talking about [again, I use talking in the loosest way possible] horses and dogs.

 

In Thai horse is maaAAA (the tone goes up) and dog is MAAaaa (the tone goes down) simple, right? Try it. I’ll wait. But remember, MaMa is the Thai equivalent of America’s Cup ‘o’ Noodles—just to throw that into the mix!

 

 

 

……..have you ordered a cup or noodles yet?……….

 

 

 

Now imagine 30 little kids, yelling “maaAAAAAAA” [giggle] “MMAAaaaaa” [giggle fit] “No teacha, maaAAAAAAAAAAAA, no no no no.” There are four boys that are dead set on me getting it. Since this started I have these four boys coming up to me all times during the day yelling MAAaaaaaa, maaaAAAAA. Then they burst into a giggle fit when I try and imitate them. Teacha, he says pulling at my skirt, Teacha Saloaaan! MAAAaaaa as hard as I try I just can’t say horse and dog in Thai, correctly.

Grrrr...you will come with me

Grrrr…you will come with me

 

Days like today. Days where my students joke around with me make being here worth all the other struggles I’ve been going through. Breaking he language barrier with laughing and smiling and shouting MAAaaaaa maaAAAA over and over are the moments that as I sit here at my computer I smile. I break into a smile and my own giggle fit thinking about these four boys, about the entire class laughing at the same thing with me.