“Thank you, teacher!”
— said Peter, my ten year-old student right after I said goodbye to him for the second time this afternoon.
I couldn’t explain the overwhelming happiness I felt when I heard him say it. It was unexpected.
It’s not every day that I get to hear this line from my students. I’ve been trying my best to be more patient with the kids. I’ve tried not to get mad or irate when they don’t seem to follow what I say. They’re kids and they also need to be understood.
When we started our class, Peter said he was happy. But when I asked him why he was happy, he couldn’t find the words to say. He was having a hard time expressing himself in spoken English.
I tried to give him options.
Did you play with your friends today? Did you go to the park? Did you eat something delicious?
Nothing. He struggled and when he couldn’t really say what he wanted to say, he decided to keep quiet. His enthusiasm also suddenly vanished.
Whatever you did on your free time today, I’m sure you had so much fun! Am I right?
I tried to cheer him up by showing enthusiasm in my tone.
There he was, happy all over again.
Isn’t it amazing when you make someone feel happy and comfortable with you? There’s nothing more satisfying and fulfilling about teaching than hearing a little kid’s appreciation. It’s very rewarding and motivating, and it makes you feel better about yourself as well.
Thank you, honey.
I said in the back of my mind. He had no idea how much his simple words of appreciation had affected my thoughts and my emotions.