Kids: Very Important People
At the start of COVID I was fortunate enough to have a job that could be done from the safety of my own home. I was teaching English as a second language to kids that live in China. They paid my bills for most of the year. Some of these kids could be a real headache, while most of them were an absolute joy. I'll share some of my most exciting stories!
Now this was one of my favorite students. He spoke English very well, so we were able to "extend" beyond the lesson material and talk more about our interests. Turns out we were both big fans of Minecraft, so we talked A LOT (maybe too much) about that.
One day Plunger Boy asks if he can go to the restroom; I, of course, say "yes". I was not prepared for what came next. This kid came out of the restroom with a plunger in his hand and started plunging his face! His mom and I were in tears, laughing.
Demon Girl and her "No Eye Doll"
This was one of my least favorite students. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get her to pay attention in class. Her favorite trick to avoid participation was to pretend to be asleep. Now, it was early in the morning and I was having none of it. I told her I was about to call her parents if she didn't pay attention. She immediately shot up, rage covering her face. She screamed at the screen and started beating up her tablet as if I were physically inside. Her mom came in at once and yelled at the girl, which seemed to help; I can teach through tears.
With only a few minutes left in the class, the girl left the screen to retrieve an abominable doll. Then she proceeded to shove the doll in the camera and say "No Eye Doll get teacher, No Eye Doll get teacher!" I promptly ended the class at the 25 minute mark, grabbed the crucifix and the holy water, and began to sanctify my room before returning to bed.
The kids that made getting up worth my while:
I had a few kids that were absolute joys to have, not because they spoke English well, but because they were hard workers and kind individuals. There was Mata who taught me the joy of being a teacher. She struggled with grammar structure and pronunciation. Then one day we had a breakthrough. My chest welled up with pride, almost to the point where tears ran over. She gets this!
There was Emily, who loved to draw pictures. She would often go into overtime to draw self portraits or portraits of me. Her family often invited me to come to China and go apple picking in their orchard. Perhaps one day I'll get to go.
Then we have Monica! Her and I would just talk smack about how goofy the material was. She was by far my favorite student to have at 5:30 in the morning.
I look back on the year and it seems like opportunities like this dropped into my lap right before things turned sour. I have so much to be grateful for. Having my basic needs covered is definitely one of them. Now I have all these different drawings that make me giggle!