Thursday, October 10, 2013

The kiddos #2

Nak's vocabulary paper.

The most recent escapades of Moses:

This afternoon I had one English class. I haven't felt up to par today (cough, headache, etc.) so as I walked to the school, I prayed that God would give me strength and wisdom. My kids are fun, but they're definitely a handful! And I only had some vague ideas of what I was going to cover in this particular class.

I got to class, and greeted the students. It's a warm day today, so they begged me to let them go outside. I knew that wouldn't help learning any, so I told them that we were going to stay inside, much to their chagrin. They kept wiggling around and talking, and I finally told them that just for today, they could sit wherever they wanted to. On the floor (the tile is cooler), in the windowsill, on the desk, wherever. Anything to keep them quieter! They moved to their respective locations and I proceeded to teach them about how to write the story I'd told them to, using their vocabulary words for the week.

Moses, as usual, was chattering away, so I asked him to be quiet. Somehow in the ensuing conversation, he told me that he didn't know how to write the story. He asked, " 'Cher, can you just give me your mind? I have a bad memory!" I laughed and told him that he was smart too. The only reason I might be smarter is because I am older, and have had more years of experience!

"But how did you get your mind, 'Cher?" Some of the other students agreed with him. I decided that now was a good time to set aside anything I'd planned before, and sail with this wind.

I asked the students, "How many of you want me to tell you how to have a good mind?" A bunch of hands raised. I proceeded to give them a list of things I have done to help my mind to grow:

  1. Pray (as proved in James 1:5)
  2. Read a lot (they came up with this one on their own)
  3. Talk with your teachers (and if you don't understand something in English, ask!)
  4. Memorize the Bible (it will help you to have a good memory for everything else!)
  5. Listen in class (they definitely have aways to go on this one, hehe)

A funny thing that happened during our discussion... Moses and Nak were talking about how it was hard for them to understand English because it was their second language. I told them that I was sure that was true, and that I admired them for doing so well with it. Someone asked me, " 'Cher, how many languages do you know?" I grinned and asked them how many they thought.

"Three!" "Five!" "TEN!"

I couldn't help but laugh. "Actually, I only know one - English."

You should have seen them, they were so surprised. Our teacher who knows everything, only knows one language? (note: sarcasm)

Moses (as usual) was the first to speak. "I know three! Khmer, English, and Thai!"

My point exactly. "You're smart!" I told him. "I might know more than you in other things, but you know more languages than I do. I didn't know any Khmer before I came here."

He jumped up. " 'Cher, I'll teach you a lot! Many new words and how to say things!"

I thanked him and reciprocated the offer (listen in class, please... lol).

Not all of the students paid close attention, but enough did that I was glad for this teachable moment. What a lesson for all of us to learn! I definitely don't have a perfect mind, but there are ways that I can grow.

Now, I'm going to tell you about a few more of my students...

Number Eight: Leang
When I first started to teach grade 6, I lumped Leang in with all the other troublemaker boys. He is about the same age and size, and so I assumed he was one of them. However, I was wrong. This boy is quiet but smart, and pays attention in class. He rarely misbehaves. I've asked him to do things before, and he's done the tasks faithfully and well. I'm glad to have him in my class!

Number Nine: Lis (pronounced Lee)
She's one of those that I stuck up front so I could keep an eye on her. :) Lis is smart, but she is easily distracted. She doesn't always listen and therefore doesn't understand some things, but when I take the time to explain to her, she often will have a lightbulb moment and say, "Yull!" (Khmer for "I understand!"). She's part of the handful, but she is a sweet girl and I know God has a big work He wants to do in her life.

Number Ten: Rothana
Rothana is half troublemaker and half not. :) He's very smart! Yes, he's quick to throw paper and punch other students, but when it comes to studying, he is quick and accurate. Today I decided I trusted him enough to go and do an errand for me (get colored pencils from the staff room), and he did it well.

Number Eleven: Sun
I adore little Asian boys with hair that sticks straight up. No gel or anything; it just can't be pasted down. Sun has hair like that. :D He's a little guy, and is so cute!! Yesterday I had one of my first opportunities to talk with him one-on-one, and I realized that he has a very high little-boy voice. He was excited about finishing his math test, and we talked together as we walked to the library for the next class. Awwwwww!!!

Number Twelve: Navy (Hun)
She's a really tiny girl, with the sweetest personality. I get her and Leakena mixed up sometimes because they look similar. This week, however, we had a Bible test, and she and two other students participated in cheating (someone let the others look at their paper, I'm not sure who). As promised, I gave them all a zero on their paper, and explained to them today when I gave their papers back. They all took it very well, I was thankful. I think Navy will be careful in the future not to do something like that (I hope anyway!).

Number Thirteen: Navy (Doung)
We've got two Sophalls and two Navys in grade 6. This Navy is quiet, and sits right up front. She is a little slower to understand, but she is well-behaved and usually listens carefully in class.

Number Fourteen: Ro
Same category as Rothana: I'd just have to describe him as half and half. Yes, he's a troublemaker, but he's too sweet and smart to be totally that. He's become more attentive since I moved his seat from the back to the middle of the classroom. Still talks a bunch and throws paper balls, but he does do fairly well with his studies.

OK, that's all for today! Now I'm off to grade math test papers...

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