Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kids Say the Darndest Things....

It's a good thing I didn't have a chance to post this yesterday like I wanted to... because I think today topped everything I heard yesterday.

~~Alex, one of the 6 year olds at the kindy, was telling me about some Lego Star Wars videos
Me: That's cool... my little brother likes Star Wars Legos too, but he's a bit older than you.
Alex: How old is he?
Me: 11
Alex: How old are you?
Me: Old enough to be your teacher.
Alex: 45?
.... Actually, it was really nice to be not seen as a middle school kid for once (although I'm closer to that then 45)

~~ I was in the bathroom waiting to see if any of the little ones needed help. One little girl about 3 years old was sitting on the toilet pooping. She said something to me but I couldn't quite hear what it was. When I asked her, she repeated herself. I still couldn't tell what she was saying, expecting it to be something like "I'm finished" or "wipe please" .... nope. The little dear was telling me "I love you." You know you've "arrived" as a kindy teacher when kids make declarations of love from the toilet.

~~ To be fair, I didn't hear the actual comment in this case only the other teacher's response. Again taking place in the bathroom:
Teacher: There is no girl soap and boy soap! There is only soap!

That was Monday at the kindy... today at school, my English lessons ended up having a common theme that I definitely didn't plan. I suppose I should have expected something when I decided to have 6a read "The Emperor's New Clothes." We got about 3/4 of the way through before some of the boys in the back realized what was happening in the story ... being 11-13, of course they found it absolutely hilarious. So was the line describing how happy the Emperor was as being "uncommonly gay."

With 6a, that's not out of the ordinary. My English class with 5a was another matter. As an ongoing project, they are writing pen-pal emails to one of my brother's friends who is also in fifth grade. This also allows for me to look at their language use in context and sometimes address small vocabulary or grammatical points (today it was would/could vs. will/can). After they write their letters each week, they can spend the rest of the time playing Apples to Apples Junior... it's a great way for them to be using vocabulary and they enjoy it very much.

Although I'm not allowed to understand anything they say, I will often call the kids out on using Hungarian by asking them to repeat what they said in English. Sometimes, I will select comments that I catch but other times I just hear the Hungarian but don't hear what it is. One such thing happened today. My class was playing Apples to Apples in groups of five students. I walk back and forth between the groups, making comments and helping with definitions if they don't understand word as well as trying to keep the Hungarian in check. Walking over to this group, I noticed two things 1. they were all laughing and talking about something in Hungarian and 2. one of the words was "meatballs." I honestly didn't hear what they were saying, although I had a couple of fair assumptions, so I asked them to repeat it in English. The stunned, embarrassed looks on their faces were only topped by their explanation. To their credit, they didn't say it was "nothing" nor did they leave one person to deal with it. Together they all blundered through telling me that "Meatballs don't always look like balls, sometimes, like in the school cafeteria, they look more like" here they paused, not knowing a polite term for what they were trying to describe, before continuing "a cucumber in a man's pants." Teachable moments... they got a new vocabulary word (although I didn't make a big deal just told them the term they were looking for) and learned that using a common nickname for Richard is really not a good choice in most settings.

Never a dull moment, that's for sure.

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