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.
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.
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.