Before I more on to Honduras, there’s one last post I need to write on Taiwan. This one is for my students.
As I assume most of you know, my occupation while living in Taipei was teaching English. Actually as a kindergarten teacher at Golden American School, I taught all subjects including math, art, science, etc. I have had the privilege of meeting my students as a substitute when they were mere babies in K1, then returning as their teacher from K2 to K3.
In Chinese, the word for ‘children’ is 小朋有which translates into “little friends”. Every day when I walked into the classroom during their breakfast, my students (some still sleepy) would chirp “GOOD MORNING TEACHER KALONG I LOVE YOU” in unison and come running to give me a hug. Imagine starting every day with a siege of children wrapped around around your legs, asking if you’ve had coffee yet. Nothing is better. No matter how sad, tired, stressed or upset I was, being with my students made everything bearable. They were my little angels, always eager to tell me what they did over the weekend or give me stickers. They never gave me time to think too much-they just wanted to play and sing song and be silly…I would have gone into work every day for free just to see their faces!
Before I met my class, I wasn’t sure if I even liked children. Maybe Taiwanese children are an elite group of children, but I wasn’t expecting them to be so smart and head strong, so creative and optimistic even though some of them were still peeing their beds! It wasn’t hard for my heart to melt and love each of my students for the individuals they were. If I had to describe their collaborative personality in one word, it would be HAPPY. I didn’t know that they could make me so happy as well! It was easy to teach them, because they accepted and respected me as one of their own, only taller I guess.
After two years of singing competitions, messy cooking classes, new baby siblings, missing teeth, going from writing ABC’s to full sentences, my students graduated last month. They are now attending elementary school as first graders, and must learn how to adjust themselves in a bigger world. As proud of them as I am, it was so hard to let them go. I couldn’t believe how quickly they grew up, and I hope they’ll be silly and happy forever.
I miss them terribly. Despite all the friends I have in Taipei, my ‘little friends’ were the ones I saw the most and I adored them. Now next week I get to meet a new class. Only these kids will be Honduran. I have no idea what to expect-I just hope that they are just as cool as my Golden kids. And so it continues…