Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Little Things

At the end of class a minute ago, a little girl waved and said, "Have a nice day," as if I had just met her on the street in Chicago. The best part is, I know she knew exactly what it meant. It's these brief exchanges, when you know you've really taught these kids something, that the job feels truly worth it.

There are time (like today) when I, like my English-teaching colleagues, get frustrated because it seems like we don't get through to the kids. They don't pay attention or you just can't explain a simple concept to them, and suddenly you feel like a failure, unable to make a kid understand what "do you like ice cream?" means. It's these times when I want to huddle into a ball and get on a plane to a nation where I can have a conversation with a little kid that's longer than 6 words.

And then a 9 year old girl waves and says, "Have a nice day" as she's leaving.

And I get up and go back in for the next class.


  1. Very cool! Tim

  2. Wow! That is so amazing. See, I've been sitting here and thinking that it's been pretty much sunshine and rainbows after the first couple of weeks. I expected hardships and such but I also thought that after you got into the swing of things that life would be cake.

    But it hasn't, has it? One thing I can say is this: You didn't curl up into a ball and fly back to the good ol' US cause you are an AMAZING TEACHER. Amazing teachers know what options are available to them when they want to get out but they would never ever use them. It isn't an option.

    Hold onto those moments! You're not a failure. You're doing what millions could never do. You're caring. You're Helping. You're there!


  3. The little things do feel good. :)

  4. Scott: Well if nothing else, the equipment was certainly colorful and brightened up your room. Nice to know your room is germ free (well almost). Dad