Shh and Sit down!


Mario, please take your finger out of your nose.

Eduardo, please sit down.

Mario, take your finger out of Giuseppe’s nose.

Eduardo, please sit down!

Maria, stop kissing Daniele, I don’t think he really likes it.

Eduardo, Sit Down!

Mario!!!! Please don’t eat it….

And so began my first lesson teaching a class of seventeen 4 & 5 year olds.

After one hour I was utterly exhausted and needed a stiff grappa to get me through the rest of the day.

I regularly teach English to children aged between 8 and 12, and it is normally great fun, I even have two classes of 6 year olds but the difference between a 6 year old and a 5 year old is astonishing.

In two seconds flat they can close their eyes and fall into a deep slumber right before my eyes….

Claudia, count to ten. 1… 2 …. 3 ….5……6 …..Zzzzzz

Teaching children has certainly changed since I was a chilblain, I vividly remember how adept my teacher was with the use of the ruler on a set of knuckles or how Mr Fearn could silence a class for the whole year by simply slippering one child on the first day of term.

I get a real buzz from teaching children (with the exclusion of children who eat their own bogies).

A couple of weeks ago I was writing a sentence on the blackboard, as I took a quick glance over my shoulder to make sure the kids were behaving I managed to catch a little six year old girl licking the top of her desk!!!

My tummy flipped twice, I looked at her and wagged my finger, she stared at me with big blue eyes and her tongue still hanging out… Bless her

At the moment I am gearing up for our English Summer Camp. Over a period of two weeks 46 children will descend on our house and sleep in two massive tents that have been provided by the local civil protection service.

Last year was our first year and we started off with 29 children over the two weeks…

Hopefully this year the kids will have as much fun.

14 thoughts on “Shh and Sit down!

    • It will be organised chaos, the youngest is 7 and the oldest is 14.
      Nearly all the children from last year applied for this year, so I think they enjoyed it.

      And yes I will have a stash of wine and grappa hidden somewhere. ๐Ÿ˜œ

      Liked by 1 person

  1. In 2011 I taught English for all the classes for a whole term in a scuola materna in Macerata. The 4/5 years old had the penultimate lesson on a Friday! For an HOUR! At the end of the lesson one week, I waited for the teacher to come in and take over so that I could go to the next class and she didn’t arrive. When I called for help I was told, ‘Oh didn’t we tell you? The other class are out on a trip so you have this lot for another hour.’ I was horrified and had to quickly summon up a second lesson plan for the next 60 minutes. Singing, drawing, dancing…and that was just me…the kids were too tired to join in and those that weren’t exhausted, just ran riot!

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  2. You have just conjured up memories of my year spent teaching English to Infant and Primary school children in France. The highlight was the day I had been teaching them vocabulary for rainy weather, then mimed various things to elicit the vocabulary. As I sat on a chair, stuck my leg out and pulled on imaginary foot wear, the entire class of 28 seven year olds screamed, “WILLIES!!!” The teacher was somewhat perplexed to see me dissolve into helpless fits of laughter.

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  3. Hilarious! Quite honestly I am not sure how anyone can do it…teaching kids that age. I used to teach high school (primarily seniors) and I would choose teenagers any day over 5-6 year olds! You must be a saint, or the grappa makes a big difference! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  4. Funny stuff! When I taught English in Italy, I found that young children weren’t trained in classroom etiquette. Even if they attended some sort of nursery school, they didn’t seem to be aware that school was a place to learn and participate in a form of society. I also was surprised at how they hadn’t ever played group games and that there wasn’t any follow-the-leader mentality and they didn’t look around to see what the quicker or older kids were doing and then play along. So teaching Duck, Duck, Goose, for example was formidable.

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