Last week, Kate’s Chinese teacher was briefing them about their Show & Tell and asked who was ready to present on Friday.
A few of the older kids raised their hands and the teacher noted down their names and instructed them to go home and practice their lines.
Kate also raised her hand to indicate her interest although I am quite certain she did not fully understand the requirements of presenting a Show & Tell.
In fact, she might have raised her hand just because the other kids were doing so, not knowing what was going on.
As she is new to the class, her lao shi told her that she will have her turn the following week to allow for ample time to prepare.
Kate nodded her head even though she probably only understood half of what her lao shi was saying.
Friday came, and the kids who were allocated to do their Show & Tell deposited their items in the basket at the front of the class.
After all the kids on the list were done, there was still 1 item sitting in the basket.
As the lao shi turned to scan the students, Kate looked straight at her and raised her hand.
She asked Kate if the toy was hers and Kate said yes and went up to the front.
Of course she had no idea what to say as her command of Mandarin is limited to songs and simple words, but she gamely stood there holding her toy.
I am glad her lao shi did not turn her down because of a lack of time but allowed her to have a go.
She asked Kate to repeat after her in Mandarin, “My name is Kate. Today I have brought a toy, etc etc.”
Kate repeated sentence after sentence loudly and confidently.
I could still see the lao shi’s amusement while recounting the story.
She said Kate has courage and a willingness to learn which should be encouraged.
For some children, the greatest hurdle is to get them to stand in front of the class while for others, it is to speak up audibly so that everyone can hear.
Kate doesn’t seem to have any problem with both!
At home, I told the older kids what had happened and we were all tickled by the story.
I simply had to find out what was going on in her mind.
Me: Did you do Show & Tell today?
Me: How do you do it?
Kate: You raise your hand to tell lao shi, bring your toy, put it in the basket and wait for your turn.
Me: That’s it?
Kate: Uh-huh. Very easy.
We all burst out laughing.
Kate’s idea of Show & Tell is “Bring your toy to show your friends” and lao shi will do the rest.