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 holds to simple faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is constantly learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace. Elizabeth is currently finishing up her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary and serving on staff at a church in downtown LA.

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