Updates from the chalkface

child sitting at desk jerry wang unsplash

And another riveting English lesson gets under way …

I was rather disappointed that my new pupil, Gladys, didn’t turn up for class on Saturday.  I pictured her with her hair in rollers and a mop in her hand, looking rather out of place amongst the eight-year-olds in the class. And then she didn’t even show up – but perhaps she had an emergency floor to mop.

I’m rather enjoying my new EFL class, for children with virtually no English, which started this week.  It makes a change from the usual near-fluent kids we have and gives me a lot of amusement.

Me: So, let’s practise our basic numbers again.  Ten plus ten equals …?

Student: Tuesday!

Me:  OK – let’s try another one.  Ten plus two equals …?

Student: Tissue!

Me: Hmmm.  Let’s try colours instead.

As I say, it makes a change from our usual children, who put me in my place quite regularly.  Last week a six-year-old asked me, ‘Miss Louise, why do you talk all the time?’

Now in my natural milieu, with teenagers, I would have shot back with something like …  ‘because I’m the teacher, and you won’t learn much if we all sit here in silence.’

But I’m not used to six-year-olds and don’t want a lesson filled with howling and snivelling, so I responded very politely with, ‘Oh, do I talk too much?’

‘Yes,’  she said.

‘Shall I stop talking, then?’

‘Well, you can say something …. just don’t say too much.’

So that was me put in my place.

And then this week, the same child asked if we could sing a song, so I agreed and started off with Old Macdonald.

‘Oh my God!’ she said.  ‘You’re singing kids’ songs.’

‘Don’t you like kids’ songs?’ I asked (bad move, in retrospect).

‘No, I like sexy songs and sad songs.  My favourite is Ariana Grande.  Can we sing I’m into you?’

So we did – and she was word perfect.

Six-year-olds are a whole new breed nowadays.