Kids I Want to Hang Out With

The time has come. I have cleaned out my desk, written my last report and made my last lesson plan. I will not miss many things about teaching, especially the crazy parents. But, I will miss 90% of my students. The 10% that didn’t make the cut will be missed but in a different way.

So, for my last week of teaching I want to introduce you to some of my students. Overall I teach about 58 students but I’m going to tell you about some kids that I would like to hang out with. They aren’t all my favorites either and they aren’t the best students. They just have their own little charm about them that I can definitely see hanging out with or even taking them to a baseball game.


The first day of school Cooper did not have an English name. I had the great honor of giving my 5 year old kindergarten kids their “new” names. I had written a list of names based off of family and friends’ suggestions. I had just named a little boy “Dustin” because he looked like my brother Dustin, only asian. The kid sitting next to him was crying his eyes out. I barely noticed because I was greatly distracted by amazing mullet that was being rocked by my little crier. His long dark hair reminded me of my brother Dustin’s dog. The dog’s name is Cooper. It sounded good to me.

I wasn’t sure if I made a good choice for his name because the first few weeks for Cooper were rough. He was very shy and quick to shed a tear over anything. He was lost and scared most of the time.

I don’t know that little boy anymore. Cooper has transformed into an outgoing little boy with about 25 English jokes that don’t make sense (but they make him laugh). He loves to cuddle me and call me different animal names. I tell him he’s my lovebug, and he smiles and then tells me with a serious face “NO teacher, no lovebug.”

Cooper has worked very hard at speaking and writing well. I was scared that his English was not going to get  better than “me no” until one day he just decided to learn everything. He loves animals, wearing shoes that are a little too big, and holding silly faces for long periods of time. Cooper, I would hang out with you any day.


Cooper and Dustin were a pair from day one so it’s only fitting that I write about them both. I immediately noticed Dustin for two reasons. 1) He looked like my brother’s Asian twin 2) He was the smallest boy in the class. He was literally drowning in his clothes. The first day I met him he didn’t say much or do anything crazy. Those days were short lived.

I tried to blame Dustin’s craziness on the fact that he didn’t understand English and what I was asking of him. Well, as his English took off, so did his antics. He was working full time to make up for his small stature with physical comedy skills. He would and still does anything for a laugh. I one time found Dustin “surfing” ontop of the desk as we learned beach vocabulary. It’s no surprise that gym is Dustin’s favorite subject.

But like a diamond in the rough, Dustin is full of surprises. It’s really easy to just see him as a “pain” or “hyper” but once you sit back and watch him work, you see the most dedicated student. Dustin colors every picture with precision and skill. He is a very talented artist and blew me away with his paintings. He also would rather finish his writing assignment in class, by himself, than play a game. He never rushes to get done for a sticker. He loves writing each letter with the steady hand of seasoned writer. He never asks if his work is good, or brags to me about new shoes. He just does what he does, for the laughs mostly.

My favorite thing about Dustin is his ability to tell me how he is feeling. So many Korean students will just answer “happy” but Dustin thinks about it, flashes a little devilish grin and says “I am wonderful teacher.”  Then he usually cracks up laughing. Dustin, I would hang out with you any time.

One Response to “Kids I Want to Hang Out With”

  1. Courtney says:

    Love it! Making me choked up!! You are such a good teacher Ashley. These little guys are going to miss you so much 🙂

Leave a Reply