I taught little 5 year old kids English during winter camp in South Korea in January ’08. I had a class of 18 little kids who only had a basic or no knowledge of English and there was no teacher assistant available.
I actually had great fun teaching them but wouldn’t want to teach them for longer than 1 month. It doesn’t matter what kind of teacher you are you always end up referring to your students as your kids. well, my little kids were quite well behaved and they all followed all the little rules that I set up for them. They would all walk quietly in line and not make too much noise when were out playing as I would always let them stay out longer the better they behaved.
It was snowing most of the time so all the teachers took their kids to the gym for playtime. This was my first winter teaching job and I was quite new to snow and the cold so when my class pleaded to go outside I agreed and loved accompanying them.
During the 1st week one of my kids slipped on ice, fell and scraped her knee, so a visit to the school nurse followed. The next day another kid got a snowball in the face and it had some small stones in so on to the nurse with small scrapes in his face.
I had a little girl who kept building snowmen and by the end of the week she had “winter hands”, her little hand were red and cracked and bleeding. I didn’t even know that could happen and had never heard of it before so thought there was something seriously wrong with her. Off to the nurse with her. After that I made sure all my kids kept their gloves on while outside.
During the 2nd week a little boy climbed onto a desk, jumped of and hit his head on the corner. 5 Stitches later he returned from the school nurse. After that I didn’t dare leave them alone for even 5 minutes. One thing I still don’t know how to handle is when the little ones cry. I am not good at consoling little kids as I am not good with physical contact. After a while they got that I didn’t understand them and didn’t know what to do with them when they cried. If one cried they would go the bathroom, wash their faces and then come back and it would all be ok.
During my 3rd week, I looked over and saw one of my little boys crying. I just pointed to the bathroom and off he went. He was gone a long time so I decided to go and inspect what was going on, he might have gotten lost on his way back to the classroom. I walked into the bathroom and was actually shocked at what I saw. This little 5 year old boy was standing at the sink washing his nose while blood was pouring out. He looked over at me and said: “blood not wash away…” A visit to the nurse immediately followed. Turns out the little boy next to him hit broke his nose over a pencil.
I was told at the end of the camp that they have never had so many kids at the nurse from one class….Probably a sign that I should not teach little ones.