Saturday, August 20, 2011

"This is my home"

This week, our class size has grown from 9 to 11 students.  Two may seem like a small number, but I can definitely feel a difference.  We're struggling to integrate everyone into the routine.  However before this addition, our newest student was "four year old" Aden.   Aden came to us about three months late.  It was obvious from the start that Aden had NEVER been to preschool.  He was a wild child, often hitting other students, playing during circle time, and never helping to clean up during "clean up time." Aden was by far our most difficult child.  He didn't ever do his work unless one of us sat with him the entire time coaching him step by step, which makes helping the rest of the children do with their work extremely trying.  His focus lasted as long as a gold fish's memory; two seconds.

His adorable face with two deep dimples was quite endearing however.  And although he often hit other classmates, he'd always freely admit to it, and would apologize with such candor and empathy in his eyes, even reaching out to touch the other student. It made my heart melt the first few times I saw it.  Now, I'm just tired of the words, "Aden hit me!"

But today, Aden did something else to tug at those heart strings; he cried when it was time to go home.  His aunt told us that he's been doing it nearly every day.  He insisted that he wanted to stay at preschool.  When teacher Cindy said, "But Aden, it's time to go home now." he exclaimed adamantly in Korean, "This is my home!"

I'd like to take all the credit for this outburst, but I realize that it most likely has more to do with there being other children to play with than with my marvelous teaching ability. But I'd like to think at least, that I create a fun and safe environment for the children to learn and play in.  And that's enough to make my day. That one of my students, despite, how much we scold him, still wants to be at school with us.  These kids just might make leaving Korea more difficult than I bargained for.

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