Teacher’s Day


Okay, so this is how behind I am blogging – I’m finally getting to teacher’s day, which was May 15th.

At my high school, they have a big ceremony put on by the student body at the same church where they meet every Friday morning.  I almost opted out of it because I figured it would become an oportunity for sermonizing, but I was assured that the entire event was totally run by the kids and not to worry.  I’d never been to the church and didn’t know how to get there, so one of the teachers waited for me and Mr. Oh drove me and a carload full of teachers to the church / convention center.  I say convention center, because it seemed like a small city convention center.  I asked what denomination the church was, and I was told Presbyterian (of course) and that it was the largest church building in all of Korea.  I also asked if our missionary school was Presbyterian, and was told no, but it was the only building nearby which would hold the entire student body, and so they rented it every Friday morning.

Of course my camera batteries crapped out on me again, which really sucks, because I wanted you to see how huge the whole thing was!  And my video camera records everything pink now, and I haven’t had time to troubleshoot it or see if it’s really broken.  Anyway, the kids lead us in church songs, some performances, and the choir performed.  These must be generated from Saturday club activities, as I never see or hear anything like this happening during the school day…Then they had all the teachers get on the stage and the kids sang us the teacher’s song and then there was much cheering, shouting, and applause.  I wanted to get excited, but really my heart was confused, because these were the same kids who call you laughable names in Korean behind your back..Then some appointed student specifically assigned to you comes up and gives you a single red carnation and the student hugs the teacher. I got one from the girls’ classes and one from the boy’s classes.  I didn’t hug either of them, though, as they looked terrified!

Back at school, teachers left and right were getting many visits and gifts, etc.  I also got the same gift box everyone else was getting.  During teacher prep times, various students would walk independently into the teacher’s offices and give individual gifts and sing the teachers songs or bring in cake and treats, balloon cartoon caricatures of the teachers, and give and get hugs.  Often times, alumni students would show up, which was very cool to see the hakseng all grown up, looking like young adults out of uniform.  The kids were all giddy and the teachers did various fun activities with them instead of real lessons.

So it was kind of a weird day for us foreign teachers.  Seeing the children only once a week, we can’t possibly form the depth of relationships the Korean teachers can, and then too there is a gulf of communication because of the language difference, so it’s kind of easy to feel like an outsider, no matter how inclusive everyone is. My lesson that week was a little atypical, though, and I taught it regardless of the holiday.  That was the week I played the Sol Flower song, which they all loved.  I spoke about adoption, showed the kids some of my photographs as a kid, (“So Cute!”  they all said) pointed out how different and awkward I looked in the family photos, and explained how most adoptees, even those who weren’t abused, had photos like that.  I ended up with the photo of me demonstrating and handing out flyers at the Bosingak Bell Tower in Seoul.  Then I asked them that as they became adults and members of society: doctors, lawyers, legislators, voters, moms and dads – to please think about taking care of ALL members of society and make Korean society stronger so no mom has to send their child away for international adoption, to KEEP Korean children IN KOREA.  The kids nodded their heads in agreement.  I hesitated to show them the Hankyoreh cover, but finally did towards the end of the week, which brought out audible gasps and wows like I was famous or something.

So I did get one class card and another class covered the chalkboard with notes, and that effort was really nice.  Not the same measure as for their Korean teachers, but it was a lot considering the small amount of time I have with the kids.  Here are is a selection of some of the notes on my card:

Hi~

My name is Jeong Da Woon

♡ I love you so much~!♡

I’m very good at English

Thank you ~ ♡

.

My name is Choi Kyu Eun

Nice to meet you.

I’m fine thank you & you?

Thank you very much.

Have a nice day ~ !!

.

btw, I DO NOT teach that standard dialog!

.

Oh my god!

You are so pretty ☺

hi, teacher!  my name is Gabin (you know?)

English name is Ann-Shirly ㅋㅋ

Your class is full of fun and brightness.

Teacher is very good.  Thank you

last, I love you ♥ more more

from Gabin

.

I got you under my skin

Kyung hee

.

Because of you

I never stray to far from

the sidewalk

Because of you I find a

hard to trust no only me

but everyone around me

because of you

lips of an angle

love in the ice

TVXQ JJang!!! (I’m TVXQ’s leader JJYH’s wife) ✩

Teacher I love you ~♡

.

Hi my name is Ju Jeong

I think you’re so beautiful

I thinkyou’re so sexy

Thank you!

.

Hi, teacher!

I’m Kyeong Hwa Lee

I love your class.

It’s very fun and exciting

I’ll study hard from now on.

Thank you very much

I love you and thank you♡

.

Hi Teacher!

My name is Youngkyung ♡

I am a goddess ♡

Your class is very fun ㅎㅎ

♡ I love you ♡

Ha!  I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!

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2 thoughts on “Teacher’s Day

  1. I’m crying. If I was in your class when you were talking about adoption, you would have been disturbed by my sobbing.
    You are awesome suki. I’m so proud of you.

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