The Little Monsters are Growing on Me

 
On Tuesday we will have a Graduation Ceremony for the seven-year-old kindergarten kids. They will officially be finished kindergarten and become "big kids".  They will get blue bags. I won’t get to see them every day anymore. Ryan and Ryan are leaving LCI and I won’t get to see them anymore, period.  And I thought I would be okay with this. I think I’m going to be a wreck.
 
Far be it from me to admit to any weaknesses, I broke down just writing the speach I have to give. Much as I hate to admit it, I really do love the wee buggers and I’m going to miss them a lot.  Damn them! Damn them all!
Here’s the speach. I can be a sappy dillhole if I need to be. The scary part is that I really mean this shite.
 
I have always joked that we are a class of monkeys, but on the Lunar New Year I learned that my students are actually all Dragons, same as I.  Dragons are said to be strong, powerful, enthusiastic, confident, energetic, and intelligent. This description certainly fits each of the children I have been fortunate enough to teach this year.
 
Alice came to our class partway through the year. At first, I was worried that she may not fit into our close-knit group. But Alice is so kind-hearted, sweet, and generous, she quickly became good friends with everyone. Alice is very intelligent and will do very well all through her life.
 
Esther is extremely fair and always makes sure that everyone is playing together nicely. She has a very strong understanding of the English language and often used it to make us all laugh. Esther is very curious and always asked very good questions to further her understanding of things.
 
Jason has a great memory for vocabulary and would often surprise me with the words he would remember. He is very good at doing word searches and would always help others finish their puzzles. Jason often surprised his friends with special treats.
 
Jenny always does her best. She takes so much pride in what she does and I know that Jenny will succeed in whatever she decides to do. I would not be surprised to find out one day that Jenny was president of all of Korea.
 
When I first met Jessica, I was worried how such a sweet, tiny girl would do in a strong and outgoing class. Don’t let Jessica’s looks fool you – she is a strong, intelligent girl who will be able to shine in any group. I know she will be successful not only in elementary school, but throughout her entire life.
 
I’m so happy that Kate came to LCI last March. She has been a star in our class. She is very well-behaved and always does her best job. Kate is always a good friend to everyone. Kate’s generous nature and beautiful smile have been so nice to see each morning.
 
Monica is witty, creative, and outgoing. She has made coming to LCI each day so enjoyable. For me, hearing Monica laugh is like seeing the sun shine after a week of rain. If I ever have a daughter, I can only hope that she would be just like Monica and then I would be the luckiest mother in the world.
 
When I first came to Korea in August 2005, I started teaching a six-year-old class. Rena and Ryan Kim were in that class. I remember when they were just learning to read two-letter syllables such as ba, ka, da. Now they are both strong readers and I am continuously amazed by their achievement. I am so proud of them both and I am so happy that I have been their teacher long enough to see them grow and improve so much!
 
Rena has always been a kind friend to everyone in our class and a hard worker.  She is very sweet and likes helping her friends.
 
Ryan Kim works so hard to do all his work as accurately as possible. He has changed and grown so much that I can’t believe he is the same little boy I met just eighteen months ago.
 
Last, but certainly not least, Ryan Shin, my little Magoo.  Ryan is outgoing and energetic. He learns so quickly and is able to use English creatively. He loves to talk and is an excellent speaker. Ryan gives the best hugs ever.
 
I have felt truly blessed and privileged to have taught your children. I can’t imagine there has ever been, or will ever be, a class as wonderful as these guys.
 
I hope as they grow that somehow each of these children will be able to remember me and the small part I hope I have played in their growth. I promise you that I will never forget them.  They have taught me so much about myself and the world around me. I love each and every one of them with all my heart and I’m so proud of them today.  Thank you so much for allowing me to teach them.
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