Thursday, 6 May 2010

Marius and his fuzzy sleigh

Madame, madame. Il y a un autre sleigh en anglais.

I'm used to the kids in Suzanne's class speaking to me or hugging me when I drop her off - which is rare these days -they know me since I came to their class every day in December to teach them "Jingle Bells" in English. But this was the first time Marius (isn't that a great name?) spoke to me. I shook my head in agreement and hoped he was convinced by my smile because, in fact, I had no clue what he was talking about. After Suzanne had put her name on the board, kissed all the babies hello and finally let me leave the class, it clicked.

Fives months after the fact, Marius was talking about the one horse open sleigh I'd shown the class a picture of when teaching them the words for jingle bells. Wow! Marius seemed to be a shy kid and never raised his hand when I drilled the kids on the new English words every morning. It amazed me how quickly some of the kids grasped the words and how others would offer the English word so readily. But Marius never said a thing...

Going into Suzanne's class in December and then this brief exchange with Marius last week gave me a feeling of purpose, something I haven't had professionally in a while. It reminded me of the rush I used to get when I was teaching little kids English way back when.

Which I guess brings me to some sort of point. My current professional situation has its purpose and its reason. And, although I may not be getting any warm and fuzzy feelings of fulfilment from Europe and money, I get other things like flexible hours, time with my kids, Wednesdays off, nice co-workers, I don't bring home work...that's all pretty good. You might even say I've got a good thing here.

And until the time is right to make a change, to go back to teaching little kids or follow some other dream, I need to remember that the feeling of purpose I get from teaching English to little kids is something I also get at home in a different capacity. Suzanne is a shining example of what I can do and even if I know I'm not actively teaching Max the way I did for Suzanne, I know that there are certain teaching instincts that are innate. Max and Suzanne are my star pupils and my non-professional motivation.

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