Today’s article is written for the Reach To Teach Teach Abroad Blog Carnival, a monthly series that focuses on providing helpful tips and advice to ESL teachers around the globe. I’ll be posting a new ESL related article on my blog on the 5th of every month. Check back for more articles, and if you’d like to contribute to next month’s Blog Carnival, please contact Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will let you know how you can start participating!
I teach younger children at my center, ages 3 months old-8 years old. I’ve had some amazing experiences so far with those children and I’d like to share a couple that I’m very proud of! In my Oral English classroom (mostly 3-8 years old) I think one of the best moments I had was when Daisy (one of my favorites) busts out the song, “head shoulders knees and toes”. We had been learning the body part seperatly and singing the song … then one day BOOM, she puts it all together by herself. I have it on video and would love to share it! That same little one astonished me yet again when I asked her, “Daisy would you like a different color” she shook her head, yes, “Daisy what color would you like?” (referring to markers) “PINK” she exclaims! I was awestruck! My translator and I both had huge smiles on our faces and were very proud of her and her accomplishments!
Now Daisy is one of my oldest, but I’d love to share a story about a darling little one. This may not be as exciting to some because she is younger, but I’m going to tell you about Xiao Mei who was just around 1 year and a couple months old at the time. I have had Xiao Mei since she was a baby, around 9 months old, so I’m extremely attached. Xiao Mei was having troubles walking, and severely relied on her grandma and mother to help her. Translator Teresa and I kept telling her parents, “please let her try on her own”. Finally one day in our music room, we exclaimed, “JUST LET HER GO BY HERSELF!”… and amazingly enough Xiao Mei crossed the room into my arms walking all by her self! It was a very very VERY proud moment to be apart of her first steps.
I have to add a picture of my amazing and wonderful translator, Teresa. She helped me communicate with the children, helped with plans, and her and I were an amazing team!
I think no matter what age group though, we are still teaching these children so many valuable lessons. Whether it be English language, basic skills or just becoming accustomed to being around a foreigner (let me tell you I have many stories of children being scared, enthusiastic, or awestruck by my green eyes, and different features). The best part is that in the end you have helped or changed the child’s life and you find they have done the exact same thing for you as well 🙂