Head, shoulders, knees and what?

Kimfucius says…there is nothing more intimidating than a room full of four year olds! I taught pre-school for the first time today, and boy, was it an experience! The school is located on DUT’s campus, and about 85% of the students are professors’ children. I found out that they were desperate for a “young, pretty, female, American teacher” to teach English classes to the kids…and the rest is history. I am teaching four classes a week, 30 minutes each. Plus I’m making a little bit of extra spending money that will definitely come in handy (100 RMB/hour).

So today was my first day. I arrived and found Jane, the English coordinator, who informed me that the classes I was supposed to teach (5 year olds) were busy today, so I would teach different classes (4 year olds). No biggie. We went to the first classroom, where the kids were all asleep on little plastic beds. The teachers, thoroughly embarrassed, abruptly woke the kids up. It was cute seeing them all running around in their underwear, groggily getting dressed. I began my lesson with a hello song, then we did some counting and counting activities, when the smartass little girl next to me whined in Chinese, “We already know how to count.” Ok, then, moving on…

We did some “One, two, buckle my shoe…”, Simon Says, and sang some “One little, two little, three little students” and then I looked at my watch and we still had 15 minutes left. I was losing their attention, and “1, 2, 3, eyes on me” (which we had practiced earlier) was not working. I scrambled to do a few more activities that I had jotted down beforehand. One failed miserably, and Jane began yelling at the kids, telling them that they weren’t listening to me. I felt horrible. I knew I could count on the ol’ staple “Head, shoulders, knees and toes.” I began singing and it was all fine until we got to the eyes, ears, mouth and nose part. I had no idea how that part of the song went. One little boy kept trying to correct me, “It’s nose before mouth” and I would just trail off, awkwardly offbeat naming the parts of the face, and then get really hyped up for the head, shoulders, knees and toes part. Oops! Now I’m watching youtube videos of children’s songs and nursery rhymes. I need to be on my A game for the kiddos next time!

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2 thoughts on “Head, shoulders, knees and what?

  1. Hey preschool teacher, welcome to one sixth of my teaching experience each week. Try “ABC, 123, when I open my eyes I will magically see…all my friends sitting in their listening position…” My kinders and first graders love it and usually all scramble to be in position right away to make the magic happen. Ham it up with lots of amazement. Enjoy!

  2. Sounds like you had a very enjoyable day with the little ones. Wish I could have been a little mouse in the corner watching you and your students.

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