This article was written by Laura McMahon. Laura is a freelance writer and online english teacher in Thailand. An avid reader, documentary watcher and small business owner, she spends her time writing posts when she's not teaching english online with DADA ABC.
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1. You chant everything you hear.
Whether or not it’s an actual chant, you’ll chant it anyway. This is the best way to get kids excited about learning new words and it will help them to remember the words for a long time, but unfortunately the chant will also remain in your head for at least 24 hours after you’ve taught the lesson. You don’t just have to chant about ice-cream and sports teams. In fact, the most popular chants are the most obscure, and can include ways of getting to school and what you eat for breakfast.
2. Your house is filled with puppets, finger puppets, dolls, teddies, rainbows, flags, soft toys, and bouncing balls.
You’ve got an extra $100 of discretionary income in your bank account this month - what will you buy? New clothes? Nooo. More props! You already have about four puppets, 6 flags, 8 bouncy balls, 12 facemasks and hundreds of soft toys and teddies, but you need moooore. Props make your lessons fun, they make the children smile, and you’d be lying if you said you were not looking for an excuse to play with puppets and wear masks all day.
3. You think of ways you could reuse old paper, cardboard boxes, newspapers, and turn them into tools for teaching.
Your friend is throwing out some old newspapers and a cardboard cereal box. Hmm, could you make a cardboard boat with sails and all? Yep, think so! You are queen of reusing old socks with holes to make hand puppets, and the art store knows you as the crazy woman who buys pipe cleaners every other week, so she can make some kickass animal masks.
4. You have children’s songs stuck in your head.
Some people like Pop music, some people like Indie, and others, well.. they teach Kindergarten and they like to sing along to “The Wheels on the Bus” and “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”. Just two of the songs that you can play over and over again in your head on teaching days.
5. You can’t help but notice every time you hear one of the alphabet vocab words
You hear the word Boy and you repeat in your head, “B is for Boy” and practice sounding out the letter B phonetically, "Ba ba ba BOY." Yep, you’re weird, but you’re okay with it.
6. You’re way too good at miming out words and doing actions.
Come Christmas time, nobody else in your family has a chance of beating you in a game of Charades. You have been indirectly practicing for this, all year. You love to act out all the words that you teach your kids, and your facial expressions are unbeatable. Sometimes your housemates may hear you jumping up and down or running around in your room while you’re teaching, but they are oh so used to it.
7. You speak ridiculously slowly.
Your parents used to say that you speak too quickly, but now you talk ridiculously slowly. You’re used to using the most basic words possible, and sometimes you accidentally mimic a child’s voice. A huge benefit of this is that everybody understands you when you go abroad and are speaking to non-native English speakers, and sometimes you even act as a translator.
8. You can’t say the names of animals without also doing the sound they make.
A dog says woof woof. A cat goes meow. A cow says mooooo. You have wayyy too much fun doing all the animal voices and noises, and singing along to Old MacDonald had a farm.
9. You always count on your fingers.
Whether you’re counting to three or to ten, you will always count on your fingers. You just can’t help it.
10. Your mouth hurts from smiling too much.
Your mouth may hurt from smiling too much and from laughing along with the children, but at least you get to do a job every day that makes you so damn happy.