… sometimes the wee monkeys break my heart.
I have a new student at 2:30 – Chimin. Now, this kid can be real trouble if you have her in your class (and she doesn’t like you). Her mother is overly-involved in her education, and this can be really tiring for the teacher. As in, her mother will stand at your door and watch your class. For the entire class. And I don’t have the energy to be "good teacher" for the entire flipping class. Anyhoo, Chimin is only a problem if she doesn’t like you. Now, I know that kid won’t ever love me as much as she did Woody-Teacher (and I’m cool with that… sort of) but she seems to like me and I’m not having any troubles with her mom (yet). The girl herself is (I think) really cool – she’s smart and funny and she’s got a very likable smile.
Today Chimin didn’t have an important part of her homework done… her presentation. I’m pretty strict about this as presentations help the kids with their writing and speaking. So I told her she would have to do it on the breaktime. When breaktime came, Chimin went to get up and go out the door. So I called her back, reminding her that she had to write her presentation. She looked at me sadly and said, "You mean now, Teacher?" So I said that was exactly what I meant. So she sat back down and looked sadly resigned to do the task I had set before her. And dudes – I mean sad. And tired. So I called her over and sat her down in my lap. She curled up and I asked her if she was busy. She said, "Teacher, I go home and wash my hands. I do homework. I eat dinner. I do homework. I wash. I go to bed." I asked her if she did this everyday. She said yes. I asked, "when do you play?" Chimin sighed like she was 60 and said, "Teacher, I don’t get to play."
Chimin would be only seven years old back home (considered eight here). And every day she goes to at least three different schools. She carries two school bags everywhere. She has dark circles under her eyes.
I told her to forget writing her presentation and to go play with her friends for the only five minute break that poor kid will probably see each day. And I told myself not forget to give her a hug everytime I see her.