In a week, my first class will graduate from Level 1 to Level 2. This is our inaugural class, the class that started the school, the class that has stuck with us for a whole school year, and has served as our guinea pig class as well as our model class.
This is a big milestone for the kids. They’ve finished a whole book, they’re on to Book 2. While they’re still at the beginner stage, they’ve accomplished something a lot of kids never will. These kids, 7 girls and 1 boy, aged 8-11, have gone from speaking barely any English to being able to introduce themselves, able to make requests, able to say what they’re doing and what they like doing, name the rooms in a house and what happens in each room, name clothes and what you wear in hot and cold weather, name the body parts, and a whole lot more. They have a vocabulary of probably 500 or so words, not too bad for eight months! A lot of them have taken a real interest in English, and in their own primary schools have gone from being so-so English students to the top of their class, examples for others.
I’m proud of this class. Their graduation is a milestone not just for the kids, but for our school as well. When this class started, they were our first and only students. We now have over 100 students, kindergarten, primary school, high school and adults. We now have not one, but 12 classes of varying levels. We have new students signing up every day. Our school is, slowly but surely, growing, and this first graduating class was there from the start.
I hope these kids stick with us until they all go off to college, but even if they don’t, they’ll always have a special place in my heart. I couldn’t have made this school what it is without them, and for that, they deserve my thanks.