Tales From Teaching in Thailand: Snakes and Shoes.

Have you ever had a conversation with a child that makes you question their mental age? Last week I wrote about a conversation between myself and one of my six-year-old students, and today? Today I taught that student again, and once more she shocked me with words. Although this time it was for an entirely different reason…

6: Do you believe in God?

Me: Erm… (A few seconds may have passed whilst I searched for a way out of this conversation.)

6: Yes or no?

Me: But what if you don’t like my answer?

6: That’s ok, I don’t like most things people say but I always think people should answer me and be honest.

Me: …

6: Is that a no?

Me: Yes, that’s a no.

6: Thank you.

Me: For what?

6: Being honest. Grown-ups go all funny when I ask them that.

Me: I think it’s because different people believe in different things.

6: I think so too. You know why I ask?

Me: No, why did you ask?

6: Well, Miss Amy, first because I wanted to know, but twooooo because I’m a Christian. See! (shows me her necklace) I wear this cross so everybody knows that I am a Christian.

Me: It’s a very nice necklace.

6: Although sometimes I wonder about being a Christian.

Me: What do you wonder about?

6: If like, I’m really a Christian or not really.

Me: …

6: He never talks to me. Sometimes I wonder if he is like, busy talking to other people and stuff, but then I wonder why is he talking to them and not me because I am really funny.

Me: I know, last week you told me how funny you are.

6: I did, didn’t I? But anyway, so he doesn’t speak to me aaaaaand I really love science and then there’s this. Me and mummy went to the zoo, well it was kind of a zoo but they had a snake farm and it was full of snakes.

Me: There were snakes on the snake farm? No way.

6: Haha, yeah I guess that you can guess that because it’s a snake farm. But we went there and a snake wiggled around and mummy screamed because she was SOO scared. And it was really funny for me, but mummy was scared so it wasn’t funny for her *giggles* but it was so so funny. But when we went home mummy was upset that the snake wiggled near her so I prayed. I prayed that no snakes would ever go near mummy because it was scary for her. And mummy hasn’t seen snakes any more.

Me: Ok…

6: But I can’t tell if that’s because we live in Bangkok and there’s too many people. Snakes don’t come near lots of people because they are scared. So I don’t know if it’s because snakes don’t like people or if it’s because God answered my prayers. I mean come on man, how do you know?

Me: I don’t think you ever truly know.

6: But I think I believe in Science. I love science. No. I love, love, love science! I say love three times because I have so much love for science, like really lots of love. *Sigh* I’m six. This stuff is just too much tricky. I don’t want to think about it, but it goes round and round and round my head and I just can’t get them thoughts out of my brain. I just want to play with my pet shop monkey and go shopping for shoes-es.

Me: Shoes-es?

6: Yeah! More than one shoe is shoes-es.

Me: … Are you sure?

6: Well if you need to make a word mean more than one and there is a s on the end of the word you add an e and an s.

Me: Ok you are right about the rule, we do add an e and an s, but look, shoe ends in e. So we just need to add an s at the end.

6: Ohhh yeah. *ten second pause* OH. MY. GOD.

Me: What?

6: I have been saying shoes-es for two whole weeks now. That is sooooo embarrassing!

And just like that the six-year-old was back!

over and out,
Amy Morgan