Last week I helped out at a kids camp for my church. We were out in the country at this little school, and the kids were sooo cute! Actually they reminded me a lot of the kids in Yuli, a lot of them were aboriginals. For me it was fun, but kind of a challenge. The worst thing about the camp was that there were these venomous monster mosquitoes out there, that left itching red welts on my legs, if I ever go back there, I'll definitely wear long pants, 33 degrees and no air conditioner regardless. Anyways, I was teaching the youngest age group, which is quite different from the high school and adult students I'm used to. They take a lot more energy, that's for sure!
Some ways teaching 7-year-olds is different from teaching adults:
- You have to accompany your students to the bathroom
- You have to worry about students putting their food into the hair of the person next to them
- You use the word "xiao peng you" ('little friends') a lot
- Your tone of voice alternates between sweet and authoritative, "Ok, come here everyone, I'm going to tell you a story, would you like to hear a story? Jim, get your hands out of the fish tank, NOW! Ok Ruby honey, you can sit next to me, but you need to give Jacki a turn next. Jim, I'm not going to tell you again!"
- Your students take off, stand on their desks, and put your teaching materials in their mouth
One thing I was reminded of is that kids have no internal censor yet. They say whatever is on their minds, whether it's telling on someone, announcing they have to pee, or sharing in great detail what they did the night before. It was refreshing to have such honesty, but a good reminder too that we are called to be wise in our words. We are supposed to have "faith like a child" yet, we are called to "grow up" in our salvation. It brought to mind Hebrews 5:11-13:
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.