If my mental math isn’t failing me, I’ve been teaching for about 12 years, which means I haven’t had the good sense to hook, reel, and catch a ‘sugar daddy’. Nor have I been able to launch my misplaced passion for writing into any lucrative side hustle or ‘cash cow’.
Throughout the years, I’ve come to understand the balancing act of bladder control, why teachers drink and smoke, and the utter exhaustion that comes from ‘working with’ students in a room in which there is no escape for a period of time.
When folks first teach abroad one of the first things they notice are the differences, and we are eager to share our newfound knowledge! But here’s a short list of the similarities I’ve noticed from teaching both in America and Asia.
N is for nose picking. It turns out that everyone enjoys ‘digging for gold’. I usually stare at the offender while they are two knuckles deep, and continue to stare until they stop. Results may vary.
S is for spaz. Yeah, there’s usually one in every class. Typically it’s a male, but I’ve got a female student who likes to circle the room and socialize like a debutante showing too much skin and teeth. It’s amazing how quick she is to pose in front of a camera, like a sunflower towards the light.
B is for blockhead, body odor, and brainy. (I don’t believe this needs explaining.)
L is for lipstick. I came into class wearing my new red lipstick. Not two minutes later my preteens started dabbing on color on their lips and cheeks. I haven’t tried to ‘ol underwear on the head yet, but I’d imagine my boys would soon follow.
D is for daydreamer and dozing. We all stare off from time to time, but it’s another thing when you see students doing it. No, I’m not a Sargent trying to keep his soldiers awake during a night watch, but I’m not running an old folks home either. It’s more like the airline stewardess hitting you with the inflight trolley when you’ve finally fallen asleep during a red-eye.
C is for copying. Dear parents, this is where the students really excel in ‘collaborate work’ and using their creative minds to get the tasks done.
F is for farts. By both yours truly and the students. The difference is we empty the classroom when it’s one of the students.
H is for hugs. They’re sweet. One of the perks of the job. Way better than the free instant coffee in the teachers room that stains your teeth.