Jenniper teacher! Jenniper teacher!

In my short career of teaching I have adopted many titles:  Miss Jen, Miss B., Miss Baillargeon (or some attempt at trying to pronounce Baillargeon), but now I am Jennifer Teacher.  Every morning when I walk into the school grounds, I am greeted by swarms of students who are eager to say my name in their best English.  They are always smiling, bouncing around, and running up to me as soon as I step into the door.  I’m sure this won’t last more than a week, but when I come into school still half asleep each morning, their smiles are contagious and they remind me of what my purpose is here. 

When I am greeted, the conversation typically goes something like this:

Student: Hello, Jenniper teacher. (there is no /f/ in Korean)

Me: Hello.  How are you?

Student: (shyly) I’m fine. (giggles and runs away)

Normally this is the extent of a conversation.  Sometimes you do not even get past “How are you?” Today I was delighted to have a student come up to me, say hello, answer my questions, and proceed to ask me questions.  This is my goal for all of my students this year. 

My grade 5 afterschool group has a hard time speaking English, but yesterday I discovered they are able to read and write very fluently.  I know that they have the skills to speak but now I have to figure out what ways work best.  I wish they could understand that I am in the exact same position as them, except worse.  I am also trying to learn a new language, but I cannot simply rely on my English in most cases.  My first goal is to learn my students’ names who are in my afterschool classes.  I have about 12 in one class and 10 in another.  I had the students make nametags earlier this week so I am hoping that soon I will not need to rely on these nametags.  The students find it funny when I pronounce their names and I hope that shows them that I am also learning and in a very similar boat as them. 

It’s very rainy and I am getting over my cold so I feel like I am going to fall asleep.  Might be able to get away with a nap before my next class at 4…

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2 responses

    • Jenniper, You are a natural writer (as well as a teacher!) So nice to read about your exciting life so far away and so glad you have friends helping you find your way! take care, Penny

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