Teacher Life: Almost, but not quite…

I often shamelessly laugh at my students when they mix up their English words. For example, today a boy said he was wearing a “cat” on his head instead of a “cap.” Or there was the infamous day I asked the class to identify a picture of a kitchen, and a third grader jumped out of his seat and declared, “CHICKEN!”

Sorry, no.

Well, sometimes I get a taste of my own medicine.

A student finished his worksheet early today, so I told him (in Korean) to draw a picture of “autumn.” At least that was what I meant to say. Turns out, I accidentally told him to draw a picture of a mirror. When he returned, I was like, “What is this??” Then I realized my mistake and told him to draw another picture, adjusting my pronunciation. He returned with a nice wintry scene of snow falling on a snowman. I was about to question his knowledge of the seasons when it dawned on me that once again it was my bad. (I’m sorry but “gaw-ool,” “gyaw-ool,” and “gah-ul” are really easy to mix up…I guess kind of like “cat” and “cap”…)

I finally figured out the right pronunciation (my students are more than willing teachers) and said, “Okay great, now can you draw a picture of AUTUMN?” Smile on my face.

Dramatic sigh. “Tea-cher!”

In response, I buried my face in my arms and had a good laugh.

When he showed me his first picture, I have to admit that for a minute I thought he was producing some kind of abstract art…



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Elizabeth is a teacher, preacher, musician, and writer. She has a Master's of Divinity and a Master's of Music, which represent her two great loves: Jesus and the arts. A half-Korean, half-white American, she spent seven years in South Korea teaching English. Elizabeth is a perpetual learner, a deep feeler, and a pursuer of beauty and truth.

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