Monday, 20 February 2012

Tigers, Mermaids, & ELCC

Their hand prints...sort of
On Tuesdays I work at the Ecumenical Learning Center for Children, ELCC. The center is a school for Filipino children. For some of the children the school is preparing them to go to Japanese school. For others it is preparing them to go back to the Philippines. They take music, Japanese, Tagalog, English, history, math, science, home economics, art and PE classes. I teach English and art to the 4-5 years old. I teach English and PE the two 12 year olds. 

I am never fully prepared for what Tuesdays will bring. I never know what is going to happen. The moment I walk into the building I am surrounded by the noises of very energetic children. My first class of the day is the English class for the four and five year olds. The children speak Japanese and Tagalog. With my little Japanese and their short attention spans, it is always an experience. They love singing so I try to use songs often. One day we sang the song Old McDonald Has a Farm. We had the usual animals you know cows, ducks, tigers and pigs…what you didn’t know that Old McDonald’s farm had tigers? Well it does now. This is what happens when you let the kids pick the animals. 

The next class I have is with the two very bright middle school girls. They are a blast! The three of us are very talkative girls so we get off topic a lot. But in the end the point is they are talking in English. In the beginning one of the girls was a bit shy and relied on the other one to communicate. Luckily she has grown more confident or maybe just more comfortable with me. She now will speak English with very little assistance from her friend. Both of these girls will be graduating from ELCC in March. They will go on to Japanese school. It's going to be so strange without them. I am not looking forward to it but I know that this will be a great thing for them.

What they want to be when they grow up

When I was first asked to help with the elementary art class, I was hesitant. I am not a crafty person and felt very much out of my element. But now I look forward to those classes. I love seeing what their imaginations come up with. One of the projects was to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grow up. I kid you not, one of the girls wants to be a mermaid. In her picture the only beings that could talk to the mermaids were the aliens that visited earth… it was glorious. I would have loved to frame that picture. Among the crafts we have made adventure hats, multi-colored elephants, paper chains, colored dragons, multi-colored snowflakes, and an attempt at God Eyes. I love seeing their personalities come out in these projects.

Being with these kids is a highlight of my week. Since the children are so lively and always want to play between classes I tend to become a human jungle gym. Also I fear for my hearing. These tiny kids have some very powerful lungs and they love to use them any chance they get. Tuesdays on long days but well worth the exhaustion. 

God's Peace,


  1. I am so happy you are doing this. In our desire for perfection we often shut off talents because we are not perfect or don't think we can do something as well as someone else. I am proud of you for working out of your "comfort zone". I know that is a trite phrase now but it that doesn't mean its not an effective description.

    Love MoM