we are very hungry, so we eat boodaejjigae. We eat more than next table’s boys.
I’m ever summer was born. I’m eat some blood. I’m fly bug. I’m bear in water. I’m comeing night. people is. kill me. electricity whip. is fire my body. my mouth is very long! my body is head, breast, and abdomen. I heat F killer! see you soon
One day, when is puppy sleeping. However I heard laughting. It’s unretable situation. The sound forward to puppy! Maybe puppy is dreaaming. So laughing. It’s very mystery sound. but my puppy is pretty and lovely!!! I will love my puppy.
(I love how she describes the dog as laughing!)
A later I want grow beautiful and quietly live in the marado.
Hello, my soul. I’m your body. I’m really throb. because I go to the Jeju island. tomorrow morning. You too? Ah!! I must speak you. first, You think seriously of every thing. I speak to your think. I am a very difficulty. Second, keep the mind, please. Many people laughed by my expression. I’m very shame. But. I love you. You have an original idea. It is a very important, in our time. We must succeed in our time. good luck my soul ~.
[Grabbing my arm] No, don’t go! I have more questions…
[Seeing me pass out letters for them] Ahhhhhhhh!!! [not a squeal, but a full-on scream]
[Opening my letter] Teacher, you’re so sentimental…!
-Do you wanna ask me a question?
While playing the one word story game (where each person adds one word to a developing story):
Yesterday…i…went…to…the…bathroom…to…wash…my…body. My…grandfather…visited…me, and he came into…the bathroom!!
From writing assignments:
They always look for hot girl even if they looks like potato.
I like to go shopping because my eyes are very excited.
I like blue & pink on ordinary times. Because Blue is gloomy and like a daydream. And Blue give to me imaginative power, so I can dream through the blue.
I’m pretty much set on not renewing my contract next year. And here’s why:
1. I’m not appreciated at my school. I work harder than any other teacher here. I’m pretty sure i’m the only one who brings work home everyday and never gets enough sleep. I spend countless hours planning and editing lessons to continually challenge my students while taking into account their varied abilities and interests. More importantly, i teach because it’s always been my dream to teach. I love what i do, and i’m grateful that i was given this opportunity. Teaching is emotional for me. Whatever happens at school can make or break my day; so much of my emotional well-being depends on how i do at my job. And when you are this dedicated to your work but no one recognizes it, it just hurts. My coworkers have no regard for my schedule and workload. They keep piling on more work for me (unrelated to my classes) because they know how hard-working i am and that i wouldn’t refuse.
2. This job is becoming meaningless for me. I realized last night that i’m a trainer, not a teacher. How do people teach EFL? I hate not being able to talk about open-ended, thought-provoking topics with my students. I hate that it’s a struggle just to get them to understand me. I hate that i can’t communicate with them on an intellectual level. I hate that they can’t express to me everything that they want. It hurts to see them give up (i know how it feels). I hate that they feel dumb because they can’t communicate with me, and i hate that i can’t help them improve. Why are they not improving? I want to teach them about the world, other people, other ways of thinking, other possibilities, but my role is to train them in a foreign language, which considerably limits how much you can do with any given topic. I’m obviously failing at improving their English, so i feel like all i do is train them in responsibility. And that’s exactly what i resolved to never do as a teacher. I learned in my Youth Media class that schools are designed to produce working citizens, and that this can have a hazardous effect on a child’s personal growth. I’m at a loss as to what to do. I think i’ve reached this point because it’s all i can do, but i should stop. But then how else would i grade? I don’t like to take too many points away for bad English, because if their English is bad, that’s my fault. When they don’t follow instructions, however, i penalize them, but i’m starting to think i shouldn’t. All i’m doing is training them to not make mistakes in the future and to follow instructions whether they like them or not, and that’s not healthy. It might help them in the workplace, but it’s not healthy for their creative development.
A dragonfly at the SETI campus, 10/15/10
The last three days have been so emotionally charged, i don’t even know where to begin.
Things have been amazing at work. My girls and i have bonded so much that i already get misty thinking about how i won’t get to continue teaching my 2nd graders next year when they move up to the 3rd grade. One of my favorite students took the opportunity of my midterm exam essay prompt to write a letter to me expressing the same exact sentiment, thanking me for all my efforts and dedication, and asking if we can be friends. Luckily, she lives across the street from me, so i’ll be able to hang out with her next year.
The days leading up to the SETI training were so stressful with students mobbing me to argue about grades that the training was the most gratifying vacation i could’ve asked for. It was so good seeing everyone (well, mostly everyone) in one place again; i wanted to hug everybody but there were just too many people. I think learning is my favorite bonding experience. I can’t help but bond with fellow students (i don’t like the word “trainees”), and i just feel so at ease in a learning environment. I’ve always loved school. I love that i still get to go to school everyday, and i hope to learn and teach in some manner for the rest of my life. I want my second home to be a school, always.
And finally, i don’t know what i’d do without the friends i’ve made here. I have friends who travel over an hour just to help me mark essays, and we somehow make a great time of it. I think that in itself is a testament to how amazing they are. And i now have an important person in my life whom i can care for and who cares about me in return. He makes my life here complete.
For once, i’m perfectly content.
I made a student cry today. She didn’t cry in front of me, but her friend later came to me in the office and told me about it.
I know it’s hard for them to ask me questions and admit that they don’t understand things. It’s just the culture. But these girls are so economically disadvantaged already that i feel obligated as their teacher to train them so they can become more responsible. That way, they’ll at least have a chance at getting a job after they graduate. There is so little disciplinary action in this school; the students are in very bad shape, both in terms of attitude and work ethic. I don’t know how they are in other classes, but in my classes, they don’t listen. For some reason, they think that if they can’t understand what i’m saying, they might as well ignore me and chit chat. The ones who try ask the high-level students to translate, but most give up. I don’t have a problem with them giving up. That’s their right, and i can’t force them to learn if they don’t want to. But when they talk, other students who want to try can’t hear me, and as a result, most of the class gets things wrong and loses points. And i don’t give second chances, because they should know my rules already.
This student didn’t know my policy of never accepting late work because she either didn’t listen or didn’t understand but neglected to ask for clarification. When i refused to accept her late timed writing, she quietly walked away. It would be unfair for me to accept her work, because i’ve been refusing all late submissions. When her friend came to plead with me to accept it, i took it and told her i’d correct it but that i’d have to give it a zero. I later caved and gave the student who submitted her work late a letter explaining that i’ll only take 5 points off and that she shouldn’t take it personally, because i can’t veer from my rules if i’m to be fair to everybody. I had to mull it over for a good hour, but i eventually decided that i’m not being too unfair because this class is a bit behind, and i did accept late work the first few weeks.
I want these kids to succeed. I really do. They want so many things in life—they tell me these things in their journals—and if no one helps them now to become responsible citizens, they’re never gonna get those things. I don’t understand why the teachers here protect them so much. These girls don’t need protection; they need training. I feel like everyone here thinks God is the answer to everything. ‘These girls might be irresponsible and unmotivated but God will somehow help them in the end, so let’s just pray.’ I wish somebody would cooperate with me.
Filed under korea, teaching
It’s official: i’m going to be a Guest English Teacher at a public school in Seoul starting September. All i can say is, i am beyond excited. I even watched Master of Study to learn about public schools in Seoul and the Korean educational system and culture in general. It moved my heart and inspired me to be the best teacher i can be—“an unforgettable teacher.” At first, i thought that was a rather self-centered, ego-inflated way of looking at things. But then i realized that teachers who really care can’t help but want their students to care in return. Teachers are human, too.
My main reason for going is to take a year or two “off” from where i am right now and focus on myself. I want to be free from all restrictions (or as much as i can manage abroad, away from home) and just do anything my heart desires. I probably shouldn’t have picked Seoul because i know even more people there who will bother me and take away my time, but i wanted to go someplace familiar and where i spoke the language fluently.
By time “off,” i certainly don’t mean that i won’t be taking my time there seriously. There are two projects that i will have to take very seriously, the first one being obvious: my job. It has always been my dream to teach, and though i don’t think of ESL education in particular as a long-term endeavor for me, i do enjoy parsing and teaching language and believe that knowing English is an important asset. However, i am hoping that i’ll be able to teach my students more than just the English language. I hope to allow them to discover a lifelong joy of learning–and in themselves, self-worth–and i’m sure i’ll have a lot to learn from them as well.
My second project will be to familiarize myself with as many of the great philosophers and their works as possible. I plan on going to grad school for Philosophy in a few years, and i feel that i am not quite up to par as those with a B.A. in the subject. And so, i’ve begun collecting books to bring with me to Seoul to study in my free time. Please leave suggestions if you have any, especially for ancient philosophy.
I’ll be leaving August 9th.