Thursday, May 24, 2012

What They Call Me In Preschool

We started reading about different animals every two weeks for the science portion of my preschool class.  A while back, we were going through the Fox book for the first time.  We were just reading it as usual, but Judy kept on stopping to "aww" over the pictures.

"Oh, cute!  Teacher, fox is cute!"
"Yes, Judy, the fox is cute, but we need to read the book right now.  Please turn the page."
"Gasp!  Cute!  Cute!  This fox cute, too!"

We weren't getting very far, and Judy was starting to influence the other girls in the class.  By the fifth page into the book, they had all dissolved into fawning, and I had escalated to frustrated.  Just when I was about to lay down the strong teacher voice, Judy made this comment.
"Teacher is cute.  ...Teacher is fox!"

Not gonna lie, I turned on her.

"Judy!  I am not a fox!"
"Yes!  Teacher is fox!"
She and the others were all smiles.
"Oh really?  So I have red fur?"  I rubbed my arms to bring attention that I do not have red fur.
"Yes! Fox Teacher!"
Their defiant happiness in the face of my sternness started to convince me to at least let them have their fun.
"And I have tall, pointy ears?"  I made triangle shapes over my head.
"Yes, yes! Teacher is fox!"
By this point, the children were in one of their wild manias.  They were the embodiment of unbridled glee.  There would be no reasoning with them.
"And I have... a tail?"
"YES!!  YES!!  YES!!  TEACHER IS FOX!!" they screamed as I turned around looking for my tail.

And so it happened.  I've been quite surprised to see how it's stuck ever since the first day.  During our "How are you's," they will often ask, "How are you today, Fox Teacher?"  And, when I come in for the morning, they will smile and say, "Fox Teacher!"  They've even gone so far as to say, "Your Korean name is Lindsay Teacher.  Your English name is Fox Teacher."  Whatever that means...

So far, no one's brought up the legend of the kumiho (구미호) which is the nine-tailed fox shape shifting girl who seduces men and eats their hearts.  In fact, I'm going to assume that my students haven't yet been introduced to any of the personality traits associated with foxes worldwide.  Right now, to them, foxes are just cute and they give stickers for good reading.


  1. Haha. Foxes are cute and give stickers for good reading :)
    So, how is it that fox means sly and devious, but it's also used as a compliment, like in "stone cold fox"?

  2. I really like this story.


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