I love my job teaching English here in Taiwan, and the other day I having a discussion with someone about what's it's like to realize how much your kids have learned. Most of my classes that I teach were started by someone else, and are co-taught with a Taiwanese teacher, so when I started them, they already had plenty of progress with their English. I was given one class last September though where I was the teacher 3 times a week. Two times a week we did the regular class books, while one other day we would have a reading class. This involved new vocabulary, games, reading a book (usually about science or nature) and then the students got to draw about the book in their "reading passport."
When I started this class there were a few students who went to English kindergarten, so they new A-Z and plenty of vocabulary words. Others were very new. This past week it kind of hit me how much they've grown. I mean I'm not saying I can discuss art or the meaning of life with these kids, but it's funny some of the conversations we can hold now. Little things like: what toy someone bought this weekend, how many teeth a student has lost, what kind of sea creatures you can eat, even one students ridiculously cute impressions of me. It's been a really rewarding experience teaching them, as with all my students. With any of my students, I love seeing what crazy conversations we have, seeing their personalities grow, and having them teach me things about Taiwan. Funny to see how differently I feel about things after a year and a half!