Reinforcement


This morning, I arrived at my boy’s class for the day.  The home room teacher was there, and he barked out some instructions to the boys.  And then, then THE MALE CO-TEACHER SHOWED UP  – WITH HIS STICK.

The boys were quiet the rest of the class.  Amazing what a little muscle flexing can do.

The co-teacher didn’t stay the entire lesson, so I didn’t get the opportunity to thank him.  I am sure he thought I spoke too fast and that the lesson did not include the students speaking enough.  I am hyper-sensitive to criticism about my classes, I know.  This particular lesson about the environment is also very dry.  However, I wanted to point out things I have seen in Korea that the students can do to help the environment:

  • Bring their own cups and stop using disposable paper cups – they are EVERYWHERE, half of the trash seems to be full of paper cups
  • Bring their own chopsticks and keep some in their backpacks for when they eat out
  • Stop accepting plastic bags at every store, when their backpacks can hold the items they purchase – again, the trash cans are full of plastic bags
  • Stop buying individually packaged single serve items and buy large items that can be divided instead
  • Stop turning the heat up so high and wear sweaters and socks.  I was told 28 degrees Celsius was a good temperature to set the thermostat at – that’s 82 degrees Farenheit!  I told them my thermostat was set at 23, and they were shocked.  I told them that Europeans set their thermostats at 20, and they were even more shocked.  I had thought that Koreans would be used to the harsh climate here, but instead their rooms are over-heated, and they wear coats in the hallways and shiver, complaining about the cold.  I told them they could easily save a million won in the winter if they would just put on a sweater and turn down the heat.
  • Stop washing clothes in hot water

I hope my expanding definition of English teacher does not get me in trouble – but if there’s any way I can get this small country to be less dependent on imports – imports that fuel wars, denude forests, and pollute the water and food sources, then I will gladly plead guilty.

ADDED:  The co-teacher is scarey.  I also don’t know who he is – they say he is an English teacher, but he looks the same to me as the math teacher who was introduced to me before school as my co-teacher. To be fair to me, I’ve only spoken with this guy once – when the Freshman were assembled the first day of school.

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