Please and Thank You

I have been waiting patiently for some miracle sign that I am getting through to my students. Grant it, I teach six year olds (the equivalent to US 4 year olds) for the majority of my day. And the reality of having them grasp the English language quickly would be a huge error on no one else but my part, but by the second week, I was really hoping that the hours upon hours of teaching letters and often times curriculum that seem very difficult for their age and comprehension level, I was met by disappointment day in and day out.

I now realize, my expectations may have been not only unreasonable, but also that my approach was that these were American children simply learning syntax and vocabulary. When in fact, they are learning a foreign language. Something that seemed to have escaped me unfortunately.

Everyday for five hours a day, five days a week, classes would consist of these six year olds staring up at me as I spoke louder and louder, more animated than ever, and simply losing my voice, as I’ve never had to use my voice this tremendously or strenuously before in my 30 years of life.

Then, for whatever reason, as I was walking around like any normal day overseeing these students’ draw and trace letters that may as well have been alien drawings, little Lilly asked me for help opening her crayon box…Two of the most delicious words came coming out of her mouth when I handed it back opened for her…

“Thank You…”

It took three weeks of saying “Thank You” often to myself and “You’re welcome” to myself and today, she seemed to have received that concept of gratitude and what you do when someone helps you. Or even, when someone says, “Thank You.” While the rest of my other students have yet to comprehend it, this one moment was all I need today to know that it may not be tomorrow, and to expect tomorrow is stupid, but someday, sometime, these students will reap some of the things I am trying to teach them. A three weeks of frustration, heartache, questionable tactics and behavior, well returned.

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