i had always loved kids and wanted to experience what its like to work as an educator. recently i managed to check this off my bucket list of to dos after my short stint in kumon. during my interview, i explicitly express my interest in the younger kids, especially those pre-school children and i am glad i was given the opportunity to deal with pre-school children although its rather challenging. on my very first day, i was taught the ropes by two slightly bossy students before my colleagues could tell me anything. well, i must say its a rather detailed tutorial and they were pretty well mannered. i like how they will always say thank you and goodbye before they leave. i remember going back at the end of the first day and texting my friend saying that there’s something very magical about hearing the students address me as teacher, teacher.
there was this very cute girl thats very bright for her age as she was at a more advanced level compared to her peers. she reminds me of myself a little and made me wonder what i was like when i was her age as she seems to enjoy reading and is sometimes in a dreamlike state. then there is this student in the teen group that exudes a sense of quiet intelligence who has the habit of playing with his hair while he’s working through the maths problem. shortly after that i was tasked to coach the pre-school children in a separate room. they require more attention and usually need a lot of guidance. it was really tiring! i felt like i had difficulties coping when i had to handle more than 3 kids at the same time. but after a while, i got the hang of it and learnt how to maintain my cool.
one day, i had a surprise as one of the kid just dash into my room and handed me a sticker. i was so stunned i didnt know how to react but it made my day. the kid wasnt even in the pre-school group and i had not deal with him previously and he was pretty well known to be very loud and mischievous. he was one of my favourite students as i had always loved dealing with the more mischievous kids. they usually have very short attention span, can be rather defiant and loud but at the same time, they are always very bright, observant and never fails to do stuff that surprise me.
i will always remember the very outspoken boy who wrote his name as mr.bean on his worksheets. he was so thrilled when he pass the test to advance to the next level. then there was this very talkative boy who will fill me in on his day as he complete his worksheets. what i like best about him is, although he’s talkative, he always respects me and obeys my instructions.
i find it very cute that like adults, they need a lot of reassurance and validation from other people. working with children had always made me realise that as we grow older, we tend to hide our true selves and mask our inner emotions to conform to society. we started out all brave and wearing our heart on our sleeves but as we grew older, somehow the bravery slowly peels off as we hide our heart deeper.
on my final day at kumon, i was rather sad that i wouldnt be seeing the kids again. but i am glad that i took up this job despite the protest from my parents. yes, handling young children can be tough and a draining experience but i am glad that my love for young children remains after this brief exposure =)