Sunday, April 7, 2013

Kids Say the Darndest Things: Ranui Edition

My time here in New Zealand is coming to an end. This is my last semester taking classes in the BYU elementary education program. In a stroke of good luck, I got chosen for an internship! That means that instead of doing student teaching for a semester I will have my own class for a whole school year. I even get paid half a first year teacher's salary (I'm gonna be rich!) So, next fall I will be teaching a second grade class at Spring Creek Elementary. Yeah, they're gonna trust me with a whole class of second graders. Hahahahahaha. It's gonna be awesome.

My Future. Could not be more excited.

I spent the last five weeks here in New Zealand working as a student teacher at Ranui Primary School. As mentioned previously, Ranui is worlds different from any previous teaching experiences I have had, but I loved every minute of it!

Happy times at Ranui School

*A difference I forgot to mention, instead of calling me Miss Earl, my kids called me Whaea Kylie. Whaea is the Maori word for teacher. The 'wh' makes the sound of an f, the 'ae' makes the long i sound and the 'a' is like a short u sound. It's like saying 'fire' with a Boston accent. Somehow having kids yelling, "Whaea! Whaea! Whaea!" at you is way cuter then when they yell, "Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!"*

Me and some of my kids

Being the tall, blonde, and extremely white Americans that we are, Brooke and I were easy to recognize and quickly gained celebrity status around the school. Kids we had never seen before would run up to hug us and say, "Good morning Kylie! You and Brooke look beautiful today!" It was pretty awesome.

Chillin at recess. Naisali liked to treat me like his arm candy.
The funny thing about kids is that they literally say whatever they think most of the time, so they can tear you down just as fast as they brought you up. One kid will walk up to you and say, "You look like Taylor Swift. I wish I could be as pretty as you." and the next one gets you with, "Wow, your stomach is really big." Bubble officially bursted.

One day I took them outside and spent 45 minutes teaching them how to play Ships and Sailors. #educationthatmatters
But that leads me to my post. May I present...

Kids Say the Darndest Things: Ranui Edition

I'm walking to the teacher's lounge when a little girl comes out of nowhere and stops in front of me
little girl: "You look like a coconut tree."
me: "Uh... thanks?"
little girl pulls me down and whispers in my ear: "That's why you're so tall."

"Reading" at the library

Ben and Lafi at Recess and me with a kid on each side in the background. They would not leave my sides, especially on the last day.

Naisali gives me a hug
Naisali: "How big are you?"
me: "How big am I? Just look at me."
Naisali: "No, how big are you? like a number!"
me: "Oh! How much do I weigh? I only know it in pounds, not kilos, so it wouldn't make sense to you."
Naisali: "But haven't you gone to the doctor? They tell you how big you are."
me: "I've been to the doctor in America, but never in New Zealand so I still don't know my weight."
Naisali thinks for a while: "Can you get hurt?"
me: "What do you mean?"
Naisali: "Can you get hurt? and then go to the doctors?
me: "Well yes, if I got hurt I could go to the doctors."
Naisali: "Oh good! You get hurt, then you go to the doctors and you can tell me how big you are. Can I hurt you???"


Playing duck duck goose

I am on recess duty walking around with a group of my kids as I "monitor" the field
Ben: Whaea, can I hold your water bottle?
me: Sure
Ezekiel: Can I hold your badge?
me: Sure
Illisani: Can I hold your clipboard?
me: Sure
and then I am left walking around hands empty while the kids truck around me stuff
Illisani: This is fun! It's like we're your slaves!

my team of hair professionals

They challenged me to a race. I tripped on my skirt and the whole thing almost came off. Plus I lost. It was so much fun!

I am sitting in my teacher chair and Ben comes over, sits at my feet, and begins rubbing my calf
me: Ben, what are you doing
Ben (With a face that clearly says duh): Rubbing your legs.
me: Well don't do that
Ben: Well then can I rub your shoulders?
Ezekiel: No! Let me rub your shoulders!
me: No!
Ben as he pouts off to his desk: You never let me rub your shoulders!

Ben being Ben


Ben just came and sat on my legs like it was the most normal thing in the world. I am mildly obsessed with this kid.
Random little girl at recess: Do you know Justin Bieber?
me: Not personally, but I have heard of him
girl: Do you want to date him?
me: Nope
girl looking really relieved: Oh thank goodness! Because he just broke up with Selena Gomez and she is DESPERATE to get back with him.

Niang, Anna, Luta, and Afelini

Luta and Afleini

I had a hard time pronouncing some of the children's names and the kids liked to give me grief about it. I had to repeatedly explain that I was doing the best that I could, but sometimes the names sound funny when I say them because of my accent. I was in the middle of teaching a lesson in the computer lab and the kids were just on a rampage. No one was listening and I was at my wits end. In an effort to use my positive reinforcement training I said, "Thank you Foga, for sitting quietly and waiting for instructions." To which someone in the class replied, "Did you say FONGA? That's not how you say her name." I was just about to lose it when dear, sweet little Foga yelled, "Give her a break! She is an AMERICAN!"

Foga and Ana

Ben getting ready for swimming

The boys in class were commenting on the ring on my fingers
Ezekiel: You've got rings, that means you're married.
me: No, I would wear it on this finger if I were married, but I wear it on this finger because I'm single.
Kian: Wait, how old are you again?
me: 21
Kian: I'm 11. How old will you be when I'm 21?
me: I'll be 31
Kian: Well, that's not too old at all!



I was telling my class that I was waiting to hear if I got an internship
me: If I don't get a job, I'm not sure what I will do.
Muna: You can move back here! We will give you a job!
Class: Yeah! Move back here!
Popua: Yeah, if you move back here, I would let you be the janitor!

My kids are total camera hogs

Ben got a free sample of sunscreen, so he put it all over his face naturally.

Man I am going miss these kids so much! I mean look at those faces, wouldn't you?


  1. This was amazing. I wish you could stay too...

    Congrats on the internship! I didn't know until you explained it in this post how excited I really should have been! Lucky 2nd graders... want to adopt Scarlet and take her with you? Think of the wonders you could do with her schooling! She told me yesterday that her name was Scarlet Kylie Nielsen :)

  2. oh my goodness those kids are adorable...I would never leave. :) Congrats on the job!

  3. That post was so funny! So glad you shared all that. Those kids are so cute!! I'm so proud of you!!!

  4. I'm so glad you remembered these things and wrote them down Kylie. I love that they can touch and maul you there.

    Is SC in NV? If it is, that's the school my sister was a principal at before she began teaching at BYU-I. If not, well, now you know that tidbit that will forever be useless to you.

    I would love you as a teacher. I'm proud of you.