Teacher’s Pets

Now I know that teachers aren’t supposed to have favorite students… but every time I see some of my kids I just want to laugh at the silly (and often ridiculously precocious) things they say and pinch their chubby little cheeks until they cry. Of course, I would never do such a thing, being a professional. Ha.

So, let me introduce to you some of my favorite students. Some are my favorites because they are just so little and clever, some because they have the most squeezable cheeks you’ll ever find, some because they’re always happy, and others just because.

This is Avan. She’s in 3rd grade, and loves to read. She has this beautiful book of children’s stories in English that she carts to school every day, and sometimes gets in trouble for reading during class instead of doing an assignment. This one’s going places.

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These two angels are Dea and Hoven, the sweetest little girls you’ll ever meet. “Teacher, I love you” is their way of saying hello and goodbye. Dea wants to be a doctor when she grows up, and whenever her younger siblings, cousins, or neighborhood friends get hurt, she plays nurse and puts a bandaid on their boo-boo. Beyond adorable.

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Rasty here has the best cheeks, so squishy and pinchable. He’s not very fond of doing work, unlike what this photo of intense concentration shows. His father is a producer for Kurdistan TV, and occasionally comes by school to film. Rasty says he wants to be a cameraman like his dad.

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Oooh, this one’s got so much sass! Mahamad Soran has the raspiest chainsmoker-esque voice an 8-year old can possibly have, which combined with his cheekiness, makes for hilarious classes. He also likes to rap and have dance battles with his buddy Arya.

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Here’s Rasty again, with Saro! Saro is such a sweet child, always happy and upbeat, and looking for ways to help. Sometimes cheeky, but really tries to make an effort to be good in class. “Teacher, I am quiet today?” is a daily question at the end of each class. He’s not often quiet, but usually good. Always happy and excited for English, which is enough.

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This little one is Saya, a right princess. She spent a few years in England, and consequently has the accent and intonation of a posh little English girl. “Teeeeacher, can I pleease sit with Rahela today?” Always trying to negotiate with me, this one. The most precocious little girl you’ll ever meet. Has also inspired some new hairstyles on my part.


Zhiwar has the prettiest eyes I’ve ever seen – these beautiful green pools you could just get lost in. Not in a creepy way. He’s the oldest son of the family, and with his father currently studying in England, has taken on the role of the man of the family at the tender age of 8.


Paewand also has adorable pinchable cheeks, and a super high-pitched voice with which he’s often squealing as he runs down the corridor. He’s always so chuffed whenever he gets a question right, and especially during the spelling games we play in class. Possibly my favorite in Grade 4.


Ah, but then there’s also Lina, with her beautiful curls, chubby cheeks, and adorable baby voice. I’m starting to see a pattern here. The chubs kids with the cheeks are by far the cutest.


Vana here isn’t actually one of my students, but she always comes up to me to give me a huge hug and kiss on the cheek. Don’t let her sparkly eyes, smile, and beautiful curly hair fool you – this one’s quite the terror of the schoolyard. She’s the boss of her class, fights with the boys, and generally seems to push the other kids around. We’re working on that.


Milan is my poster child for the Kurdish version of the Sartorialist. She’s always so fashionably dressed, either in coordinating pink and red pieces, or in beautiful, breezy sundresses. Milan is also one of most conscientious students, and really makes an effort during class, always writing down new English words along with the Kurdish equivalent. She’s not one of the strongest in her class, by far, but A+ for effort. And another + for style.


Ummm.. Spongebob backpack. ‘Nuff said. Blund automatically qualifies for teacher’s pet.


And Akar – that goofy smile, how can you resist??


Adorable, no? Can you see how it’s hard not to have favorites? I love all my babies students, but these kids are particularly cool. Fingers crossed that they remain cool kids as they grow older.


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