Not when you’re teaching hilarious middle schoolers, anyway.
This week I have the low level kids at my small school. I usually approach this week with fear and trepidation, wondering if any of them will understand a word that comes out of my mouth, or if it’ll be an “I speak, kids stare blankly, CT translates” show for 45 minutes.
However, my first class of the morning (with the 1st graders, 13-yr-olds) calmed my fears. There are only 6 of them, and they are so cute; even though they can barely understand me, they try really hard. They make an effort to communicate with me, whether in Korean or in English, and that is awesome. It’s when the low level kids sit and stare down at their desks, not trying in English OR Korean, that I have trouble teaching. If the communication lines are open, we can make some progress.
One boy in this class, whom I’ve mentioned before, communicates entirely in “I love you” and other random English words he happens to know. For example, today after the obligatory “OH! MADDY TEACHER I LOVE YOU SO MUCH BABY!”, he asked me inquisitively, “I love you basketball?” I had the distinct feeling that his actual question had nothing to do with basketball or love. He just chose any English that came to mind.
Again, the effort to communicate, even when it makes absolutely zero sense, warms my heart and boosts my confidence to keep trying rather than give up and let my CT explain it all. (Although she is wonderful and knows exactly when to jump in and clear things up for them.)
One class like this makes up for five classes’ worth of kids who don’t care and don’t try.