My kids at school…

I have been teaching English at a private English school here since October, thank the Lord, and I have had many moments of fun, laughter, frustration, headache, and complete discombobulation too. No matter the highs or lows of the job, I am really thankful to be working every single day. As a wonderful result of this job, we will be able to visit the States this summer, and it is because of this job that my sanity is still mostly in tact… let’s just say that I was not made to be a housewife.  

I adore almost all of my students, and it seems every class has its angels and devils, for a lack of better comparison. Overall, the kids exhaust me and bring joy to my heart, likely, it is the same for all teachers! And like every other teacher, I have more than a handful of stories to share. Slightly different though, is the fact that I am missing the ability to effectively communicate. I juggle 3 cultures trying to explain what the heck I am talking about; I am an American (1) living in Greece (2) teaching British (3) English. Let’s just say, I have been just as clueless as the students at times. Seriously though, these words have completely different meanings: jam, dinky, and fag…just to name a few. 

Imagine that if you say, I will “knock you up” in England, it is harmless, simply meaning to wake them up; If you tell an American I will “knock you up,” your chances of getting slapped just increased 862%.

Here is a rather funny list of some words that are most confusing: (American vs. British)

Pants vs. Trousers
Sidewalk vs. Pavement
Sneakers vs. Trainers
Flashlight vs. Torch
Pharmacy vs. Chemist
Faucet vs. Tap
Hobo vs. Tramp
Shorts vs. Underpants
Pacifier vs. Dummy
Movie vs. Film
Sick vs. Ill
Math vs. Maths
Diaper vs. Nappy
Sedan (Car) vs. Saloon
Trunk vs. Boot
Hood vs. Bonnet
Gas vs. Petrol
Elevator vs. Lift
Zucchini vs. Courgette
Eraser vs. Rubber
Cookies vs. Biscuits
Cross Walks vs. Zebra Crossing vs. Piano Keys
Truck vs. Lorry
Chips vs. Crisps
French Fries vs. Chips
Eggplant vs. Aubergine
Candy vs. Sweets
“Z” vs. Zed

In Greece, they use all the British words because everyone is taught British English, where do I fit in?

Other, random and funny stories…

Once, I was telling one of my students to draw big lips on a face on the board when he hesitated for a moment, then turned and asked, “like Botox?” He was maybe 8 years old. 

I was explaining to my students who paramedics were and what they did for their job. I proceeded to explain, “if you get into an accident or ….”, when they interrupted me by either knocking on their desks vigorously or spitting down their shirts!!!! Apparently, fake spitting down your blouse means the same thing as knocking on wood!

Since my students assume that I do not understand Greek at all, they are constantly cussing and making inappropriate hand gestures to each other, that is until I tell them in Greek that I do understand some Greek and now they are in trouble — their smiles quickly fade into a “oh crap, I just got caught” frown.

I am also guilty though of saying somewhat bad or inappropriate words in class, but the difference was that I had no idea. I try so hard to explain to my younger classes, in my broken Greek, what I am talking about or what we are going to do, but there has been several occasions where I had a slip of the tongue myself, very easy to do in Greek. I probably shouldn’t list the offensive words on my blog, but let’s just say that there are several words that if you stress the wrong vowel, you will surely be embarrassed and apologizing once you realize your mistake.

I consider teaching an adventure… especially these days! With all the fun and jokes, I am trying my best to make sure they leave speaking and understanding more English each time!!! Fingers crossed at least. 


3 thoughts on “My kids at school…

  1. It makes me laugh to picture you saying bad stuff in class, then trying to explain yourself. You know they go home and tell people what you said. Hehe. 🙂

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