I almost got kicked out of preschool; my American teacher was inexperienced with English Language Learners. Up until my first day at the program, I have never had the need to communicate in English. In all three years of my life, the only language I was exposed to was Chinese. And boy, was I fluent, I was told I was considerably smart in my language. But going into the program, sensing that I was in fact, far behind due to the language barrier, I rejected anything American in that classroom. Preschool students cry for the first few days of school as they adapt, its common, even expect. But I rebelled hard. I didn’t want to learn the alphabet, I refused to sing the songs, I was ill-mannered to other classmates. I wanted them to speak like me, and I threw tantrums when I did not understand them, or when they could not understand me. My teacher saw no progress after a month has passed, and requested that I be removed from the program. This caught my family’s attention. Who will take care of the screaming child during the work hours? All six adults in my household had jobs. My grandparents figured by bribing me with this yogurt drink, I would be more compliant in school. If I went a whole day without crying, I would receive one as a treat at the end of the day. Results? I learned English. This nostalgic Asian drink saved my preschool career.
– S. H.