An innocent yet comical interaction with one of my elementary school students.
Let’s get one thing out of the way, I’ve NEVER talked about drinking with my students! That would never be appropriate, no matter what age your students are. But this interaction was a first for me and it reminded me of how innocent and comical children can be.
Before I became an online teacher, I taught in person at an elementary school and it was challenging. I taught French to grades 4 to 8 and really struggled keeping up with lesson plans for each grade (but that’s a story for another day). My grade 4 students were magnificent, they were learning French for the first time and were so excited to learn the ABC’s, numbers and the weather. I had a blast with this grade! My grade 7 and 8 classes were challenging to say the least. They were over French and looking forward to taking their last course in grade 9 and being done with it. Some students did enjoy French and wanted to pursue it throughout high school but they were few and far between. I would try to make learning French fun and engaging and applicable to real experiences, but they would much rather be on their phones sending snap chats to their friends.
Christmas was approaching and everyone was getting excited for Christmas break. Some students would ask me what I wanted for Christmas which I would respond with “all I want is for you to enjoy your break with your family”, part of me was being genuine but the other part just wanted to say “a Starbucks gift card, please”. But really parents shouldn’t feel obligated to buy teachers gifts, while it’s a kind gesture and very much appreciated, it isn’t necessary (to me). It’s such an expensive time of year, and parents having to buy something for each of their children’s teachers adds up!
One day, I came into my grade 5 class and one student came up to me and asked “Mlle, are you an alcoholic?” I was so confused by the question and didn’t know how to respond. I enjoy having the occasional glass of wine or beer but I wouldn’t say I had a problem. Also this is a child, so I shouldn’t get into the nitty gritty of my drinking habits. So I responded with “no, why do you ask?” He looked disappointed and explained that his mom wanted to get me a bottle of wine for Christmas but wasn’t sure if I liked wine or not.
I couldn’t help but laugh, it reminded me how innocent children can be. He was trying to be sweet and wanted to make sure he got me something for Christmas that I would enjoy. As an elementary school teacher, I never thought I would have to explain the difference between being an alcoholic and enjoying a drink every once in a while, but teaching is FULL of surprises.