Recently Katy and I have spent some time discussing and subsequently laughing about the daily stories/frustrations that teaching young kids can bring.
Last week we came home after a LONG day of teaching and as I vented my frustrations of the day we couldn't help but laugh about the sheer absurdity of the scenes we find ourselves in.
Here is one such example:
For the past two weeks a small group of students and I had been working on putting together a five minute version of Peter Pan. I can imagine there would be challenging moments if trying to accomplish this task with English speaking elementary students, but when you add to it that most of our students speak minimal amounts of English (and probably don't understand a lot of the words they are saying) it can make for some hair-pulling, teeth clenching, silent screaming, yet funny when removed from the scene, teaching moments.
We were working on acting out the first scene where the brothers, Michael and John are pretending to sword fight in their bedroom. This practice just happened to be held in our "Grocery Store" classroom, where we have teaching aids such as plastic fruits, which kids can't seem to keep their hands off of.
I like to think of my teaching style as pretty laid-back and especially when teaching 5th graders you've just got to "embrace the chaos" most of the time. So when Michael and john started using plastic baguettes and bananas as their prop swords, I thought okay, this is fine, but I told them "let's not use the baguettes because they break too easily."
I turned my back for ten seconds to speak to Wendy and when I turned around again Michael and John were sword fighting with the baguettes again.
Well, I finally had to lay down the law and say in my most authoritative teacher voice:
"WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT SWORD FIGHTING WITH THE BAGUETTES?"
Let's just say this was only one of the many ways that my patience was tested in this practice.
It wasn't until later that night as I was recounting this tale of Peter Pan, bananas and baguettes to my lovely wife that I realized how loony and comical my teaching frustrations can be.
Ok, I know I said no more baguette fighting, but even a grown man knows that you can't just shake off a stab wound from a dangerously sharp plastic baguette.
As a final note this little guys name was Gary (aka. Roley Poley) and he is by far one of the cutest yet clueless kids we've taught here in Korea. Katy made him "Ham" in her groups version of Toy Story last week but we both agreed that he would have been better as a "squeaking alien"... "Ohhewww, the claaaawwwww..." Man, Korean kids are funny.