Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Colt!

Sorry it has taken me so long to blog again, but I've been super busy. I know you are all dying to know how my lovely Chinese student is doing. Well we are making progress. Our teaching assistant has taken him under her wing. He still calls us "teacher," but we found out that in China they address their teacher with their first name followed by "teacher." So we're used to it now. He is so funny and you can't help but laugh at some of the things he does and says. He tells me everyday if the lunch we are having is "China's food." Then he tells us thank you at the end of every school day. I catch myself always looking for him and starting panic when I do not see him right away. Let's just say he keeps us 2nd grade teachers on our toes.

So back to the title of my post, last weekend Josh and I went to Phenix City to celebrate Colt's first birthday. If you don't know Katie and I have been friends all our lives. Our mothers were friends, our fathers were friends, so of course our children will be friends. I am still amazed that we are at an age now that we are having our own children's birthdays!!! Christmas was the last time we were in town, so it was good to catch up with friends! I look forward to many more of these birthday parties. We're all grown up now!!!

The Russell's trying to get Colt to dig into his cake.

The birthday boy with his cake. Such a cutie!!

Did I mention it was Katie's birthday too. Happy Birthday Katie and Colt!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Welcome to America!

Oh the joys of being a school teacher. The school I teach at has a partnership with the Mercedes Benz plant in nearby Vance, AL. Because of this we get a lot of German families that come over to work for Mercedes and their children attend TA. These children are for the most part sweet, polite, smart children. There are a few that have a special place in my heart. They are so happy to be here in America that they want to learn and do and visit America as much as possible. The families go on the best vacations and have great stories and photographs from their trips. Oh did I mention they love to give their teachers German Chocolate?!?! It is delicious!

However this post is not about my sweet little Von Trap German students. No, in fact this is a story about our new Chinese student. Yes, Chinese. There is a small group of families that have come to America for work reasons and their children are attending TA for the time they are here. When the students come to America they are given an "American" name. It is interesting how they come up with these names. I think they pick names that apply to their personalities. Anyway our student arrived on Monday and he was quite....for about the first 10 minutes. He has one tone when he talks.....VERY LOUD. Yes I know what you are saying, "Meagan you are VERY LOUD!" No it is worse. He does not know any of our names, so we are addressed as "TEACHER! TEACHER!" "TEACHER TEACHER I NEED WATER." "TEACHER TEACHER YOU MUST TELL ME THE WORDS! I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THIS IS!!" All day long it is like this. At first yes you chuckle because I know this is probably stressful for him to be in a strange country, not knowing anyone or anything. However after you have heard that from 7:45 to 3:00 it starts to drive you a little bananas. And speaking of bananas he cannot sit still at lunch. He just gets up walks around and sits, talks, eats, where and what he wants. The first day he got behind the serving line at school and tried to serve himself before the lunch lady could. Because in his country he serves himself at lunch time. Today he wanted to eat off the teacher's salad bar. So what did he do? He walked his little self over there and started to serve himself. "TEACHER TEACHER I DON'T UNDERSTAND I WANT TO EAT THIS." It is hard to enjoy your lunch when he is getting up every 3 minutes. However the whole time I am secretly laughing at how funny we look running around a lunch room chasing a little kid.

I have to keep telling myself, "He is new, in a foreign place. He'll get the hang of it." I say this SEVERAL times a day. So when you say your prayers tonight please say a prayer for the 2nd grade teachers at Tuscaloosa Academy. Pray for patience and that we can get him to learn our names instead of "TEACHER! TEACHER!"