Friday, November 05, 2010

Cousin IT

Months and months ago, eons even, I wrote a post called, "teaching in my house shoes." It had to do with my experience substituting in the preschool. Well, I'm back and honestly I am loving it. Would I consider staying? Yes and No. The thing is... I have ZERO training in early elementary learning. I have been a teacher of students who could read and write, at least at a basic level, but teaching in the preschool has opened my eyes. I had forgotten that we weren't born with the knowlegde to read and write. I was taken aback when the students were learning their letters. Its not that I didn't know that children had to learn their letters, but honestly I had just forgotten that there was a time that I didn't know the alphabet or what sound they made. Maybe this is just making me sound like an simpleton who shouldn't be teaching children, but I don't know how else to describe what I am saying. I knew that children learned the basics, but starting all the way back to the begining is mind altering.

The girl I am replacing quit over a month ago, however because there is a lack of clear responsibilities in job titles and overall laziness, no teacher was hired. So out of desperation, they pulled the bubbly girl from the junior program and put me with the little itty bitty tots. Not really that itty bitty- more like 5 years old.

Their level of English is astonishing. They have only been speaking English for 7-8 months at this point and yet understand just about everything I say. They are sweet. Really adorable. Children at their age are like lost, confused, miniature humans. They look like little adults and yet, they don't notice if their nose is running or if they have food on their face or if the entire world is melting green goop, just as long as no one is touching their toys. Yesterday, one of the children came to me crying, "No one will be my dog." she sobbed through orbs of tears.
"What?" I asked confused.
I looked over at the other children. A plastic toy was wrapped loosely around Adam's neck. Adora was walking him like a dog. "Is Adam your dog Adora?" I asked stifling a laugh.
"No. He's my cat." Adora says seriously
Adam meows (the Korean sound for cat) "nya-ong"
Turning back to Erica, I'm not sure what to say.
"Who wants to be Erica's dog or cat?" I yell out to the class. Those are words I never thought I would be saying.

The reason for the post's name however is this; The first two days in the preschool I wore my hair back for various reasons. Tuesday we didn't have hot water so it was also hidden behind a headband. Wednesday however, I wore my hair down in all of its insane glory.
"Who are you?" Ashley asked me upon walking in and seeing my hair strewn like a lions mane around my face.
"I don't know you." Belle added.
"What are you talking about guys?" I asked.
They pointed to my hair in total awe. Koreans have straight black hair with few exceptions so crazy curly blond hair is beyond strange to them. I shook my hair to cover my face and swung it around so that it would stroke some of them. They screamed in a mixture of delight and fright running in all directions. I chased them, or rather my Goldilocks mane pursued the squealing gaggle of children. After all calmed down, it was difficult for any of them to focus on anything else. All they wanted to do was touch it, pet it and play with my messy birds nest of hair.

There has not been a replacement found thus far, so I suspect I will continue my tenure in the land of the captivating and yet bewildered toy-sized humans next week. More posts to come on the little ones most likely :)

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