Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Teachers' Day!

Yesterday, through the ceaseless sleet and bone-chilling gusts of wind, there shone a ray of simple happiness. Teachers' Day. Yes, they take a day here to honor teachers with presents, flowers, and songs. The secretaries bought us cookies and candies, while the students bashfully presented roses. We even had one duet of "Happy Teachers' Day" (sung to the tune of Happy Birthday, of course). Smiles abounded. Even on the face of yours truly, despite having to teach my babies.

In fact, one of said babies brought me a rose! Out of all of my students, it was the least likely one, in fact, who shyly handed me a red rose just before class.

Joanna. The first day I met her, I was just observing the class as part of my training. She refused to come in from the hallway; her father had to beg and plead with her, eventually giving up and just dragging her inside. The teacher, Ania, told me that she was always like that. I thought, oh, I'll get to deal with her every week once I start teaching. Nice.

Once I took over the class, Joanna would be brought into the classroom by her mother, but not need to be dragged. She still wouldn't talk during class, but I did notice her following along. I could tell that she was learning colors and numbers along with the rest of them, even if she wouldn't answer any of my questions.

Then, last week--a breakthrough. She actually talked in class. And not just to me, but to another girl, too. I could have jumped up and down. Her mother had occasionally asked me if she was participating, so when I told her that Joanna had finally spoken up, she was ecstatic. So, perhaps I did really earn my rose. Regardless, it was very nice to be included, even though I'm so new to all of the kids here.

Happy Teachers' Day to all teachers, especially those of us sweating it out in the trenches!

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