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Our First Success!

August 28, 2006

Well, last week, I finally met a couple of my students. Two girls were practicing for the English Speech Contest which was held … last Thursday I think. So I only had three days to try and train them up as the only Native English speaker they'd come in contact with since they decided to try and enter this competition (School hasn't officially resumed from the holidays yet).

The girls were on completely different levels. One was pretty good, and one … wasn't. One thing I'm going to have to get used to is the students' apparent horror at admitting they don't understand something. So many times, I'd ask a question like "Is that OK?" "Do you understand that?" "Is there a piece you're having trouble with?", and they'd nod and say yes then intently examine the piece of paper, as if searching for a piece to point out to me. After a few minutes, I realised they had no idea what I had asked. Every time.

Anyway, they moved ahead in leaps and bounds. The girl who wasn't so hot ended up performing pretty well, and the better girl actually ended up getting second place! Stoked. The poor girl cried after her performance because she thought she'd messed it up, then cried again when she got her award cos she was so happy. This whole teaching thing might actually be pretty cool.

She suddenly has a huge interest in English (her teacher said she never did before). She said that she wants to go to NZ to study once she finishes school here, and is going to start writing a diary in English which she wants me to check… an idea which has high potential for awkwardness, I think, but we'll have to wait and see.

Speaking of adoring students, some of the other kids have started turning up, mostly to prepare for the upcoming sports day, I think. Making banners and stuff. The staff room that I have sat in since the Speech Contest has a door onto the main hallway, with a huge window in it. Hordes of girls have taken to gathering at the window and staring in at me as I'm trying to prepare a lesson or eat my lunch. It started off pretty cool, but it's beginning to make me a little self-conscious, especially when I fumble with my chopsticks! Every now and then I treat them to a wave or a smile and watch them all start jumping around and giggling at each other and clasping each other's hands. Lucky girls.

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