Teaching English in Asia has been rewarding. After six years of teaching 6 to 60 year olds, I still find teaching kids the most enjoyable. Though they can be a handful and classroom and behaviour management is sometimes challenging, I find their enthusiasm makes it all worthwhile. I think I have learnt as much from the kids as they have learnt from me and I mean that sincerely. Some of the kids just find a way into one’s heart and that is hard to acknowledge but it it is true.
Today I was out on yard duty and the principal came over to me to present me with some traditional rice cakes. We discussed the week so far and the challenges of the upcoming education conference that we are hosting at our campus. We are on the organising panel together and we had common views on the ways we were making the conference something special for the visiting participants as well as for the school staff.
As we walked through into the gymnasium discussing and munching, we saw the primary school kids playing soccer on the indoor court. It had been one of my class kids, Aran’s, birthday today and we had organised a pretty nice surprise for him, even presenting themed balloons to him and the other kids in the class.
Now Aran and some of the younger kids were hanging around the edge of the soccer game. Looked like they would have loved to take part. This is a snap of Aran. He is one of nicest kids in that class of mine. He has had a pretty adventurous childhood – his parents are diplomats and he has barely stayed longer than a year in any one country on account of that. He has been encouraged to be at his books which is great for teachers like me, but hard on a kid that young who has a yearning to be awesome at sports and in particular, soccer. The other kids and I selected that balloon for him. He loved it. Loves it.
He gave me a hug after the class today and said that this was his favourite day ever and that he hopes he can be just like me when he grows up. Heavy and humbling stuff. With kids like that to teach, I think I will be teaching til I am pushing up daisies.