Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lessons Learnt

I've recently begun teaching Sunday School to the toddlers at church. I'm not sure of the official age group that I should be teaching but the kids in the class are 2 - 4 year olds.

I love kids and although I think that I am the worst teacher (have always avoided teaching anyone), I love interacting with them. At that age, I don't really consider myself teaching them. It's more like having conversations with them about stuff. Plus, the actual Bible teaching time, or at least the time I think I have their attention long enough for something to get through to them, in the entire 45 minutes is probably 7 - 10 minutes max, and not all in one go. I actually think I'm getting more from this setup than they are....At the end of the lessons, yes I feel tired from keeping up with them and their hyperactivity but most of all I just feel so much happier from hanging out with kids who, for the most part, really seem to have the eternal joy thing down.

Little things they do that make me smile:
  • One kid started crying because she had a cut on her upper lip and it was hurting. I told her to lick it, then had her come over and gave her a hug. While hugging her, I asked her if she felt better now. With the honesty that kids seem to naturally possess she shook her head and said no.

  • Another kid who came to us last time was very quiet for most of the first week he was here. My sister (who helps out) and I, tried to coax him into talking as much as possible his first week. He participated but didn't speak much. This week, the little fella was up and about showing us everything he did, talking to the other kids and commenting on everything.
    I love how, often when they come to Sunday school and have to let their parents leave, for the first few minutes they look like they are about to dissolve into tears if you touch them but once you talk to them a little, encourage them to listen to your story, colour or play with the play dough they forget that they were even crying.

  • I love that the kids all mimic the speech patterns of their parents. There is one who always says things like "but I sure does like to..." (Guyanese parents) or another who says "Mi like to..." (Jamaican parents) or yet another who tilts his head and talks the way his father talks.

  • As the kids are very young, when a lot of them speak it sounds like a cross between incomprehensible baby talk and words that I recognize. My sister and I will ask them to repeat words over and over until we can figure out what it is that they are saying. However, their patience is amazing! They NEVER get angry or frustrated. They just repeat the word over and over until we figure out what it is they are trying to say or until WE give up.
    I wish I could be like that when I try to speak french. I wish I could just accept that although people will not always understand me I should still TRY.

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