Awesome Crying

Last week the strings that pull my conscience one way or the other were vigorously yanked...To the right.

Every month I administer a Spelling Bee to my two groups of smarter kids. One group are 5-year-old's and the other group are 4-year-old's. This month's Spelling Bee unfolded like this.

The 5-year-old's went as usual. One of the smarter kids won, the appropriate high-fives were administered. It was pretty standard. I think it's cruel to put children this old into any type of educational competition, but I walked out with a smile

The 4-year-old class on the other hand exceeded all precedents for a Spelling Bee with tiny people.

Instead of explaining how everything unfolded I will skip to the final round where four kids stood at the front of the class. Three of the students had already won the Bee more than two times. The other student, named Oliva, had not ever won. As a matter of fact, she had never made it to the final round. In the final round I present four words to each student and the student with the most spelled c0rrectly, wins. This Spelling Bee is designed so I can influence the winner. So I did.

(Olivia had been falling behind lately with her English and I have recently made it my goal to help improve her reading. I like Olivia. She told the other students she likes Markuh Teacha' very early on. So naturally, she has been a long time favorite of mine.)

At the end of the round I asked the final four students how many words they spelled correctly. The first said three. The second one said three. The third one said three. The fourth one, Olivia, looked at me shocked, surprised, astonished and simply ecstatic when she finally realized she had spelled four words correctly and had won. With a jump of pure joy she yelled, "FOUR!" She then proceeded to run to my side, wraps her arms around my waist and dig her smiling face into my hip. It was special.

But all of sudden, I noticed another student, Rachel, crying. Her face ran soaked with tears. Her face scrunched together with emotion and she could not hold it in. Everyone in the room paused hoping she was upset because of losing. My Korean co-teacher asked her if she was OK, she nodded slightly. My co-teacher, looking surprised, then asked her, "Are you happy?" She nodded, once again, yes.

My heart dropped. Olivia ran into her friend Rachel's arms and two bawled with happiness over Olivia's accomplishment. They could not hold back the tears of joy.

Witnessing this type of purity turned a page on humanity for me. Rachel was truly happy for her friend. So much so it brought her to tears. This brought me to appreciate my job. I will forever take that moment away with me when I think back on my year of teaching tiny Korean pre-schoolers.

{Rachel on the left and Olivia on the right.}

Get Lost my friends....


  1. This is amazing! Hope for humanity is now restored. I wish we all still acted like four year olds.

  2. I've already heard this story but I'm crying again.

  3. Beautiful? Do you mind if I post it on my FB wall?

  4. The first question mark was suppose to be an exclamation point. I wasn't questioning the beauty of the story. :-)