Tomorrow will be the final day of my first week teaching at Lotus Children’s Center. As you might know, I’ve been working with the kids to make sure they know the basics of using computers and, primarily, the proper way to type using a QWERTY keyboard. Up until now my only experience in teaching has been teaching English, so I was eager to see how I would take to a new subject.
Luckily, teaching computer use and typing is right up my alley. The three years I spent selling mobile phones don’t hurt too much. Add to that a maximum class size of four students and I have been in teaching heaven.
By far the most enjoyable part of my day is working with the kids. With only an exception or two, the students are so eager and excited to learn they put most of my Korean classes to shame. Some of the students coming into their second class with me would burst into the classroom, grab my arm, drag me to a computer, and proudly plop their fingers on home row; beaming with pride all the while.
Another student, Enkhee, had a meltdown during the first class. He kept making mistakes during one of the intro exercises and became frustrated when the other boys in the group kept finishing before him. He started stamping his feet and sniffling, but I would go over, calm him down, and ask him to try again. I was so proud of his determination. Each time he would slowly master his emotions, put his fingers back on home row, and give it another shot. That first day ended with him in tears, but he stuck through the whole lesson. Day 2? He sauntered in with a serious swagger and dominated the class with the fastest times and best accuracy. The best part? He would sing out the letters as he typed them. Someone was practicing…
Some of the older girls have blown through the lessons, and are already typing around 15 words per minute (only using the middle and top rows)… that’s from hunt and pecking their names on Monday!
My reward is at the end of the day, though, when the kids finish their classes and all gather together for a fun activity; which I shamelessly join. Whether it’s playing with Legos, drawing pictures, or watching Happy Feet 2; the activity inevitably involves hugs, kids playing with my hair, and generally being smothered with affection.
One of the biggest doters on me is Tushnuu. She’s absolutely adorable, and calls me crazy boy whenever I do something wrong (she can be a little controlling).
Another is Ulaanaa. She hangs on me whenever possible; I’ve got to peel her off sometimes so I can interact with other students.
Anand is also very concerned every time he detects any sort of stubble on my chin. I had to pinkie promise him I would shave today. Tyrant.
Remember Tushnuu and Ulaanaa? They each drew me pictures. I think they pretty much speak for themselves…
I am totally looking forward to next week. I’m only teaching a few days, since I’ll be helping Sugi catch up on a backlog of emails and streamline their communication system. It’s going to be busy but I also know it’s going to be an amazing week… just like this was!