I have yet to say anything here about the job that occupies me a whopping 10 hours per week, so today I thought I’d start with some of the adorable things my students have said to me. As we all know, kids say the darndest things. This is especially true when they’re trying to learn a second language.
Italics indicate that something was said in French.
Girl (too little to be one of my students, and therefore especially curious about who I was): Do you speak English?
Me: Yes, I speak English. That’s why I’m here. I’m the English teacher.
Little girl: Oh. Can you talk normally, too?
Me, beginning class as I always do: How are you today?
Girl 1: How do you say you’re thirsty?
Me: I’m thirsty.
Girl 1: I’m thirsty and so-so.
Girl 2: How do you say you’re hungry?
Me: I’m hungry.
Girl 2: I’m hungry and happy.
One of my favorite moments doesn’t quite translate. Several of my girls like to chat with me during recess. I thought that one of them, Yasmin, spoke Arabic at home (a handful of my students come from Arab immigrant families), but I wasn’t sure until she mentioned something about it to her friend. I said, in Arabic, “Oh, you speak Arabic?” She was mystified. I don’t think it had ever occurred to her that a white woman from Amreeka could possibly speak Arabic, too. I told her that it was just one of several magical powers that I possess.
I also find it amusing that my students have asked repeatedly where I live. I found it a bit odd at first. Children are naturally curious, of course, but considering they don’t know street names or neighborhoods, why do they care? Oh right! They don’t understand that I live in France. This begs the question: did they think I teleport here just in time for class or something?
Saving the best for last, however:
5th grade boy, upon learning that my last name was Smith: ARE YOU THE DAUGHTER OF WILL SMITH?!