So who would have thought, me teaching? Yes, I can hear all of my big sisters laughing from here. Because you can ask them, and they will tell you that out of all of us sisters, I was probably the one who was least suited to be a teacher. The little baby of the family, who could never cross the road alone, who never did anything without a sister at her side doing it for her, whether it be going to the shop for sweets - from fear that the scary shop keeper man would actually talk to me and ask me my name! I just always remember someone being there.
My little 5 year old Egyptian student, reminded me of me when I was young. As he walked into the classroom, with a cap on his head, making sure that it covered his eyes, he would not look at me as I asked him his name. I got a reply "Adam" but his cap remained down. His mum had told me previously that he was a very shy and easily scared little person, and I replied to her "Don't worry, I understand, so am I!"
So Adam and I sit in the classroom, His eyes still down, I can only see the bottom half of his face, and I chat away, he has no idea what I am saying, but I chat anyway, and I don't invade his space by looking under his cap into his face, because with shy people, you will find, that the more "in their face" you are, the more they will shy away from you, you have to wait for them to be comfortable and make a first move. I get a result eventually, as he does peek up now and again to see what this crazy woman is going on about.
"Soooo Adam, I think you know your ABC?" I say, and I see a smile creep on his face, which I guess is an indication, that this is something familiar, thank God. And so I start; "A, Apple, B, Boy, C, Cat." I get no response at first, but as I go along he cant help himself but to say a few along the way, and his cap is raised a little this time, to peer at the colorful pictures I show him. Suddenly the door opens, and his big sister rushes in (almost like to rescue him) and she sits right beside him. And everything changes. His cap is right up and he is looking straight at me, and with prompts from his sister (who is small too) he even sings the whole alphabet to me on his own.
I could most definitely see myself in little Adam. Timid and shy when all alone, but once I knew someone was there for me, that gave me the courage to accomplish and be successful. And isn't that the case with us younger siblings who are almost always reliant on the older ones, and its only until we are alone that we realise how much that they actually unknowingly helped us, even if it was just with giving us confidence to buy sweets from the scary shop keeper man next door or cross the road.
Overall my first day teaching was a sweet experience, I look forward to watching my little student grow, and perhaps even myself inshallah.