Today all of the teachers in my office left at 2pm to go to Seol’s (one of the teachers) garden. It was about a 30 minute drive from the school. We got to pick some things from the garden then barbecued steaks. Yum!
There are days like today when it feels good to be a teacher. I have a student, Jun Min, who tries so hard but always seems to come up short test time.
I asked him to come to my office after school. We spent a good 30 minutes studying for the upcoming test. I made him an extra study guide to do over the long weekend. At the top I put
Fighting! You can do it! I believe in you!
It took him a minute to figure out what it said. I asked if he knew what it meant. He said,
Thank you teacher. I think I can do it.
Insert warm fuzzy feelings here.
The original plan for the winter camp cooking day was to create tacos using ingredients from Costco. Korea Costco will deliver…but halts deliveries the last week in December. Unfortunately, we needed the ingredients before they resume deliveries. So instead of driving to Costco my co teachers hmm and haw, debate over several different stores to buy things from (spend way more than they would have at Costco) and we still need to buy ground beef.
Which leads us here.
We should have gone to Costco. Smh.
I’ve been sick. I look sick. I don’t have on any makeup. This is going to be a sucky picture. -_- SMH.
I came across this youtube video of a teen who had been bullied. I cried through the whole video.
Western society tends to be a individualistic society. Students are encouraged to be unique. They are taught that it’s ok to be different. Students learn (or are supposed learn) to embrace what makes us similar and different. As a result, students form and align themselves with people who share their views and interests. When you walk through a western school (its easily seen starting in middle school), you see different cliques of people. They have many different labels–popular kids, theatre kids, geeks, jocks, goths, etc. Though not always, there is usually SOMEONE to relate to in a school, to befriend, to talk to, that can empathize with you.
I’ve been told that the Korea is a collectivist society where the group is the most important in everything from fashion, to beliefs. In my first month of being here, I hadn’t seen anything that screamed COLLECTIVISM!!!!! However, today was my first real taste of it and it didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth.
I have a 6th grade boy who is the outcast in his class. He is a little less mature than his classmates and still cries easily if someone upsets him. It embarrasses him and I can tell he’d rather be able to suck it up, but he can’t help let a few tears fall. He has NO friends. Students tease him, take his things and play monkey in the middle. Another student tried to take his glasses today, and when it looked like he was going to break them this friendless boy hit his bully. My co-teacher saw this happening and went to break it up and speak with the boys.
My co-teacher told me that she feels bad for the boy because he has no friends. It’s not because he’s a mean boy, but because a couple of students decided not to like him because he was a “crybaby”. As a result, when a few decide they don’t like you the rest of the class follows suit. No one will friend him because if they do, they will become outcasts. This isn’t the only case either. She said there is usually one in every grade and it can go from simple teasing remarks to putting someone in the hospital.I offered to be a listener and someone to talk to–language barrier aside, but he needs a friend his age. It breaks my heart to know that this child feels so miserable at school. I pray nothing happens to him. I pray that he goes to middle school next year and finds a friend.