What Can You Learn From a Kid?

I have started doing lately what I have always loved the most – that is teaching English! I have not been doing that for at least a year, even though I have an active advertisement on one of the tutoring websites. I was just not being contacted that often. And suddenly there is this woman who wants me to teach her and her 11-year old daughter English twice a week. They live completely the other side of Warsaw. It takes me around 1,5h by public transport to get there! Many of my friends commented that it too far, what is the point?, why can’t they came to have lessons at my place? First of all the mother wanted the lessons to take place in their place, second of all I have forgotten already how much pleasure teaching English was giving me.

The moment I started I got along with the 11-year old very quickly. She is such a positive and smart girl and I feel I will be able to help her develop quickly in the matter. The mother, however, seemed closed. I thought I might have a big problem with her as for me teaching is not only sharing my knowledge with other, but also building relationships. With the girl, as I mentioned – we clicked immediately. She is smiling, open-minded, catches the grammar and the vocabulary very quickly. Does not get offended while being corrected and show willingness to learn. After just two lessons with me, she had a test at school and the mark she got was A+! I was so thrilled! 🙂 She is not a bad student, just an average getting Bs and Cs. Anyway, I do not think marks at school define one’s worth. The mother however is young, in her mid-30s and emotionally closed. I really thought our lessons would look like these from my school time: texts to be read, exercises to be done and tests to be passed: / However last time she opened. By opening I mean she revealed a bit about her traumatic childhood. I felt it somehow brought us closer. I also know she did it only becasue I was not afraid of speaking openly about mine. I know it will take us some time to build at least a friendship relation, but at least I see such a possibility. At the beginning, I was a bit afraid there will be the coldness between us all the time. However I got to know why she builds such a the distance and in the same got to know she is very aware of it. It will help me a lot communicating with her.

On the other hand the 11-year old girl is incredibly adorable. One hour with her passes by so quickly! It only makes me realize how much I have always loved teaching. Usually I go there on Wednesdays and Sundays, but the dates are always flexible. Last time when I was leaving and asked the mother when she wants to me to come again, the girl said: “tomorrow” 🙂 It made me smile. It made me realize how much the kid already likes me and how quickly we have built a relationship. When I was thinking deeper about it and discussed it during my therapy, the psychologist said that it looks like I have given her hope. Then I started thinking more about the hope and it made me realize that having such a close mother must be tough. Well, I know it also from my experience as I had an emotionally absent mother during not only my childhood, but an adult life too. However I am a grown-up now. I do notice that the girl’s mother is a really good one. She cares about the girl, spends a lot of time with her, drives her to school and back, cooks with her etc. All of these responsible parents tasks she fulfills perfectly. What lacks is love. And it makes me sad. From one hand because I see how much the girls needs her mother just to hug her and on the other because I see the same pattern of what I have experienced during my childhood. And I feel how hurts the girl.

Looks like I have appeared in their lives for a reason. I also have an opinion that we meet certain people in our lives for a purpose. I hope I will give the girl at least a bit of positive attitude, smile, attention and love. I know it will not substitute mother’s love, however maybe, in time, I will manage to open the mother that she stops being afraid of showing a bit of affection to her kid. Building distance in my opinion is a way of protecting oneself and, I am not against. While it is being done toward other grown-ups, it is totally fine, but just do not do it to the kids! They need a parent who will also filfill their emotional needs! A simple smile, a simple affection, no judging if the kid gets a C at school and no comparing to others! Small things like that will make a kid a happy one. And a happy kid will have a happy life while being an adult.

My relationship with the 11-year-old is mutual. I see what emotions she lacks and in the same, I see what I was lacking in my childhood. At least I can share a bit of my love with her and in return, I get it back! Kids are incredibly smart and if we only treated them with respect, we’d get it back! I am looking forward to observe how my relationships with these two are changing and what positive emotions I will get while teaching both of them.

Teaching has always been my passion. I have been doing that since I was 17 years old and always managed to build incredible friendships with the students! I have only forgotten how much pleasure I was getting out of it and this girl keeps reminding me about it twice a week! 🙂 So I carry on smiling 🙂

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