A Change of Heart

As promised per last post, I wanted to share a small list with you all of a few, select reasons why the 5th graders have transformed me from the Grinch into the typical 23-year-old woman that I apparently am.

(Inside the “Pregnant Oyster” during the Fulbright Conference. Photo courtesy of good friend, J.)

1. There are only four boys in the class but two of them always perk up when they see me. “It’s Jill!!!” they’d cry out whenever I entered the room. They’d then look me in the eye, offer me the sweetest smile and say “Guten Morgen, Jill!” My heart melts a little every single time they do this. It never gets old.

2. Some of the other students always slow down in the hallways or look up when they’re at their lockers to offer me a hello when I walk by.

3. Most of the 5th graders are almost as tall as me. That’s what happens when you’re only 5′ 3/4″ tall.

4. Their pronunciation skills make my day. Here are two fun stories:

One of the students, L, wanted to read one of the sentences that she had to fill in the blank for. B, the teacher, asked her to read her answer out loud. “October 3rd is an impotent day,” she read. B paused and looked at me from across the room as I restrained myself from laughing out loud.

B: Um…L, could you please read that again? (He was grinning widely this time.)

L: October 3rd is an impotent day.

B: Hhhhmm…I think October 3rd is anything but impotent. (He smirked at me.) Who has the right answer? (Que in a classroom filled of children raising their hands and going, “Ooo Ooo…Herr H, I know the answer! Me me me me!!! Pick me!!!”)

Edit: L was trying to pronounce “important”.

On another day: I was in a separate room with half of the class and we were going over the new vocabulary worksheet. There was one answer I wasn’t too sure about as the kids are learning British English but I figured someone had the correct answer anyway (the German word was aufräumen, and I thought of the American English: to clean up). I picked C to give me the answer.

C: Dan and Jo have to titty up the room.

Me: Um…what was that? Could you repeat that for me, C?

C: Dan and Jo have to titty up the room. (Looks at my quizzical face.) Teedee? Tye-dye? Tee-dye?….

Me: Wait wait wait…(looks at his paper). Oooohhhh…TIDY up the room. (I look at the other students.) All right, children, everyone…repeat after me. TIDY.

The students: TIDY.

I never thought I’d be saying this but I am seriously considering teaching elementary school students if I ever go into teaching.

I love kids. They are wonderful.

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