by Geraldine Gregorio (34th Batch)
Not only do they play, they also learn. I gave them a rule that they have to speak English during the games. It was fine with them. Through this, they would be motivated to speak English. Playing together also helped us become much closer to each other.
Unfortunately, one of my students kicked the soccer ball so hard one time that he hit the neighbor’s glass window. We felt a bit scared! On the other hand, we were grateful that despite the strong impact, the window was still intact. I waited should our neighbor would complain, but he didn’t. I warned my students not to kick the ball that hard next time.
But for the second time and the third time, the ball hit the neighbor’s window again! Still, there wasn’t any complaints so we just ignored what had happened .
Unexpectedly one afternoon, our neighbor came to the academy and was looking for my pastor. I told him that my pastor wasn’t around. I called my Korean partner to help me understand what my neighbor was saying. I found out that he was complaining about what happened the previous day and he forbade us to play soccer anymore.
We asked for an apology and he accepted it. I felt so sad and thought about ways on how to explain the situation to my dear students.
The next day, some of my students came early and they were so eager to play, but I told them that they couldn’t play soccer anymore. I told them of our neighbor’s prohibition. Their eager expressions just turned into such grave disappointment. Some even got mad; some were murmuring.
Hearing their sentiments, I felt really bad. My heart bled. I was once a kid, too. I really do understand them.
From that time on, I hid the soccer ball so that they would not be reminded of playing. But one time, one of my students brought his soccer ball with him. I just pretended I was mad, but deep within me I felt sorry for them. I wanted them to play soccer but I just couldn’t allow them to. I just included them in my sincere prayers.
God answered my prayers! He gave me a better way on how to motivate them. English would still be interesting and fun! Once a week, I hold my class outside.
“You are a good teacher,” they were grateful. I told them that I wanted them to be happy and God wants us to be happy.
With God nothing is really impossible. He has a thousand ways to make us happy.