Sometimes I get a bit bored with my own blog posts. Hopefully my readers do not feel the same way.
I had a rough C-level 2nd grade class today. There’s a joke in Korea about “2nd Grade Middle School Syndrome,” and whatever that is, this particular class definitely has it.
But my point here isn’t to complain about squirrelly 14-year-olds, but rather to share something that is neither cute nor funny – something quite small, but which I found troubling and sad. I was helping the kids think of a hypothetical problem so their partner could give them advice, and I went over to check on a really quiet boy and saw that he had written (to my knowledge, without any prompting or help):
“I can’t see well.”
Granted, I have no knowledge of whether this problem is his actual personal problem or not, but for some reason it just broke my heart. I don’t know if it will strike you, the secondhand recipient of the story, the same way – however, in that moment I wanted to give him a hug or something, and still now I’m sitting here mulling over it and worrying about him. It’s quite possibly true, and also quite possible that his family can’t afford / doesn’t care enough to get him glasses.
Sometimes what pains me the most about this job is the very reason that I was hired to do it – I speak a different language. I can’t always connect with them in meaningful ways when they need it.
So as not to end on that sad note, I’ll finish by saying that I really love my small school main co-teacher. She’s one of those brightly efficient, smart-as-a-whip, always-busy-but-never-too-busy-to-smile-and-say-hi people. She’s barely 5’2″ with her three-inch platform sandals – a tiny firecracker of energy and intelligence. She also gives me fantastic support in the classroom and knows when to jump in with a Korean explanation if needed. I had the great fortune of teaching with her during my very first class on my very first day as an ESL teacher, and I feel like she set me on the right track from there. Love her.
… speaking test at main school starts tomorrow. T minus 10 hours. It feels strange not to be able to do anything to prepare for such an important, weighty event (other than to visualize all my students acing it, of course ^^).