Working with children is something I don't think I could ever live without. Don't get me wrong, they're irritating and overly energetic and they pick their noses all the time, but they are just too funny. And, as is the reason for this blog, they make me happy and help me to remember what's good in life.
Anyway, enough mush. A Polish boy in my class aged 8, is hyperactive and asks about a million questions a day. When everyone else is quietly working, he will have a monologue going on that can't be stopped, directed at no one in particular. He has an incredible memory, and when he wants to do something, there's no persuading him otherwise- a combination that can be a real pain in the butt. The other day we were drawing pictures of central London. I'd told the students a few days before that there was once a whale stuck in the River Thames. The Polish boy came over to me half way through drawing, showing me 'in secret' the tiny whale he'd drawn in his river. Then he said, "shh, or the others will want whale in river too."
The other kids in the class drew their London eye, Buckingham palace, telephone box and taxi the same size as each other on the page, but not him. When I suggested he draw the taxi big to fill up the space, he immediately pointed disapprovingly, "No, but London eye is this big, taxi is on the road."
My suggestion that perhaps it didn't matter, fell on deaf ears.
So here's the picture- can you spot the phone box, the taxi and the whale? I love it.
Today I was left in the office while the kids went to Cambridge. For the first two hours the tranquillity was pure heaven, but after a while I got a bit lonely. Finally I heard the sound of children in the distance, gradually getting louder until in they all burst down the corridor. As if to give me a big slap in the face reminder of why I do this job, a rather tubby Russian boy turned the corner wearing his newly purchased items- a union Jack t-shirt, with matching hat and bag. When I saw him and started laughing (I couldn't help it) he just beamed proudly from ear to ear.
Then last night we watched some of the opening ceremony of the Olympics. It was past bed time and I went to turn the TV off, to be met with a chorus of pleas from 24 little faces, begging me to let them watch a bit longer. But it was when a nine year old Thai boy said (in his lispy voice and with perfect English), "Please Rachel, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity," my heart just melted. Because he is so right; the ceremony was special and it made me proud. But more than that, I am so happy that I get to work with children. They are just great.