Wow. I can’t believe it. Today was our VERY last day of teaching at Songwon Elementary School.
I may just be an emotional woman, but I was sad to go. I lingered around, cleaned my classroom, said my silent goodbyes to the school that I remember being terrified of when we first arrived two years ago.
I didn’t know what I was doing then, when we flew halfway across the world to teach little children our native tongue. I remember thinking, oh, I’ve done it now. How am I ever going to make it through a year of this strangeness? The children’s stares and point blank questions about my weight and why I don’t have a baby if I am married; the strange smells emanating from the too-hot-in-summer-too-cold-in-winter cafeteria; and the strict vice principal lurking around every corner before then asking us the same family planning questions.
But we came. We saw. We taught. We conquered.
You can ask anyone who knows me. I never wanted to be a teacher. But somehow over the course of two years, somewhere along the line, I started answering automatically to the title. It has a nice ring to it, especially coming out of the mouth of the cute Songwon kids.
And I’ve learned A LOT. It’s amazing what you can learn about a culture from its children, who hide absolutely nothing through their beautiful innocence and naivety.
Sure there were rough days. Days when I wanted a whole grade (translated: 6th) to jump off a cliff never to be seen again. Or the days when my first graders made me play Simon Says one too many times. Or the day the kid threw up his breakfast in the form of rice right in front of the class.
But all-in-all, we had an amazing job with amazing students. I consider myself blessed to have been part of of those kids’ education. And I’m even more lucky to be able to finish the year on a great note with my English camp class, a group of kids so cute even Hitler would have hugged ’em.
Take a look for yourself. This was the class video I put together. (It gets a little longwinded during the newscast so skip forward toward the fun stuff in the second half.) You can also see a guest cameo by Brittany, who was the subject of one of our lessons on hobbies and sports this week because of her recent skydiving (!) adventure.