Today I am going to tell you al little bit about my experience teaching in the kindergarten. I have been very blessed to become acquainted with numerous cultures through years of traveling with my parents, but I have never had the opportunity to go to Asia, although I have always had the desire to travel to Asia.
When this chance to go and serve in Asia came, I was elated but as the trip grew nearer my excitement was accompanied by trepidation. I had a fear, a fear that these students would not accept me as their instructor, their teacher, but I could not have been more wrong. As we walked into to the enormous, but highly manicured kindergarten on our first day, little boys and girls stared and whispered. At first I thought there was something wrong with me, but a few moments later a little boy came up to our group and said something to Joyce’s mom in Cantonese. After he was finished she laughed and told me that he said, “I have seen them before (referring to Julia and I) on the TV; they are movie stars.” At that moment I let out a laugh along with some of my fear.
A few moments later Joyce and I went into our classroom of 35 five-year-olds. We walked up to the front of the classroom and 70 little eyes stared at us. I was supposed to teach them, I, a young student myself, was supposed to have the authority to teach all of these kids. Right at this moment as fear began to wash over me, each one of them stood up and stated “Hello, Hello Teacher.” I then truly realized I was their teacher and as the week went on I became more comfortable with the concept and more comfortable with the title of “teacher.” As my comfort grew so did my ability. I was able to not only teach English class, but also to help them with their math and art. Although these little five-year-olds who I taught are not fluent in English yet, if you go and ask them, “What is your name?” They may respond “Watermelon!” or “Ice Cream!” They do sing a wonderful rendition of Head-Shoulders-Knees and Toes. And the joy that these children brought to me is more wonderful than I ever imagined.