I was nervous about what the dynamic in the classroom would be like here. I definitely employ the philosophy that kids are way more willing to engage if they are having fun. If class is not fun I think they check out and don’t try and don’t care. This creates a toxic learning environment both in the pool and the classroom. So, I try to use as much interaction, games and engaging exercises as possible. I want class to be fun! I was worried that this wouldn’t fly here and I would be asked to adhere to super strict code of conduct.
But actually, I was given almost complete autonomy over my classroom and was encouraged to make my classes fun and have since realized that kids are just kids everywhere you go.
They are cute and funny and sassy and hooligans and exhausting all at the same time. There are good days and bad days but there is never a day where I don’t laugh. The language barrier keeps me on my toes and sometimes outright stumps me. Here is a little snapshot of what life is like in the Korean classroom.
Me: Edwin, how are you today?
Me: Worried, why?
Edwin: Ghost Dream!
Me: Raphael, can you describe your brother?
(We were practicing saying hair colors and eye colors, every child had gone before and said “he has brown hair and brown eyes”)
Raphael: He looks like a goblin!
Student: When I was a baby I was raised a dog!
Me: Do you think Valentine’s Day is a good idea?
Student: No! Because I am solo love boy! Solo!
Oh that time I had to teach a story called The Sweet Fart Seller? It was about a man who ate honey and sold his farts to the local bakery because they smelled so sweet. The bakery used them in their cookies (wtf!?!?). Then his brother tried to sell his farts too but forgot to eat the honey so they didn’t smell very sweet. Everyone got mad at the brother for trying to be a copycat and ran him out of town! Moral of the story: Copycats Always Fail.
Or the time I had to teach kids to conjugate violent terms in the past tense.
Stay tuned, the adventures continue!