Sunday, September 16, 2007

Why it's worth teaching

there are times when it's been hard. as much as i love my school and homestay, clearly a year in korea is, well, a year in korea.

then there are these things that make it all seem worth it:

at lunch the other day, one of the 1st grade teachers told me that 2 of her boys changed their "life dream" after english camp and meeting me to be an english teacher. they said that they want to be "멋있는" english teachers like miss christine. =)

one of my first graders who previously had no interest in english expressed that he wants to learn more english and keep going to english camp

my little angel boy in 1-4 from last week SPOKE SOME ENGLISH on wednesday!!! and he was responsive to me! he went from completely ignoring the class to looking up and paying attention (even if he didn't vocally participate). i dont know if his teacher coached him, but i'm guessing it was at least a 90 degree attitude change. also, he was ok with the one sentence in english at the end with a little coaxing.

also, it's nice to see the students exceed my expectations:
there is one boy in 2nd grade who is has ADHD and usually doesnt participate or pay attn. one girl brought him into the card game and she kept explaining it for him and was showing him how to play and the other children were supportive, he did well and then she told the teachers how he knew words that no one else knew and i could tell he felt very good about himself. i was surprised by the behavior of the other students in his group. i had assumed they would just ignore him and he would just fool around in his chair like usual.

adorable haiku from one of my 6th grade boys
"so i say i don't like you
but i can't do that
anymore because i like you"
(p.s. teacher this is not about you)

he hands it to me as he blushes and runs away.

2 downsides to teaching:
i had to get headshots taken for my school ID. in korea they photoshop all photos. so my school id card is lighter-complexioned and has much clearer skin than i normally do.
2 of my 2nd grade girls: this picture doesn't look like you.
me: what do you mean?
girls: it looks very different from you
me: how so?
girls: the picture is very beautiful. you are not even wearing make up today.

also, i stopped giving out high 5s because i'm scaerd of catching pinkeye and other various diseases. they weren't kidding at orientation when they said koreans come to school regardless of how sick they are. this past week, everyone students and teachers alike were all dying and sneezing and coughing all over the place. it's a wonder i'm alive.

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