I had been teaching the kids throughout my time here how to read, solve math equations, and for the little ones, how to write their names, but it wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I was given the task of teaching a formalized class. The subject, naturally, was English.
The girls put their chairs at the table with their notebooks in hand, and I, using the same awe-factor technique as my high school Spanish teacher, start every class speaking only in English for a few minutes. Of course I go back and explain, but if I’m being completely honest, it’s relieving to give the girls a taste of the pure confusion I experienced during my first couple months here.
Once I get that off my chest, it’s on to the specifics: introductions, colors, numbers, types of hobbies, days of the weeks, etc. Plus, since this March we were blessed with a short-term volunteer group working at Poppys House, I was able to slide in a bit of a fear factor. “There are going to be people coming who can only speak English, and you’re going to need to know how to introduce yourselves to them.” Things of that nature.
With this extra boost in mind, the girls learned and are still learning very quickly. Not just out of obligation; they constantly ask me outside of class what words mean and repeat what they have been taught. And when the volunteer group came, all around me I could hear the choppily-said phrases of “How are you? What is your name? Nice to meet you!” coming from my girls. Proud teacher moment right there.
I hope that the girls continue to improve their English throughout their lives, but even if they don’t, I hope even more that they learn that having an education is something meaningful and applicable. It’s something that can be enjoyed and abundantly useful. It’s something that you can grow from and pursue in many different forms. After all, if my makeshift education presented by an unqualified teacher can teach parts of a foreign language, anything is achievable.