Number one for English language teachers

Anecdote: A wild teacher!

Type: Anecdote

Chip Small shares his anecdote about teaching in Taiwan and unintentionally frightening a young student with his 'wild' appearance.

Back in 2000, I was teaching in Taiwan.

Being one of only about 40 westerners in a small city, I tended to get treated as something of a novelty. I also had quite long hair at the time (tied back in a ponytail). Added to this was the fact that my hair is ginger. As a consequence of all of these things, lots of people reacted quite strangely on seeing me.

I was teaching one of my first classes - children between 7 and 8 years old. I came into the classroom and immediately one of the girls in the class opened her mouth and started wailing. She was ushered out of the room by one of the teaching assistants. When I asked the TA what was wrong, she didn't say anything specific, except that the girl was frightened. Later she told me the real reason - it turns out the child didn't realize I was human and thought I was some kind of oversized wild animal!

To the best of my knowledge, I didn't teach her again.

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