Well, I have a teacher facebook now, which has helped me communicate with students in new ways, but has also helped me realize some things about my students. First, I’ve realized that my kids are terrible spellers. Seriously though, it’s so hard to figure out what they’re saying sometimes because I’ll stare at a word and try to figure out what it is only to realize that it’s a word I know spelled wrong – what’s worse is sometimes they do this on purpose to be cute, like writing 잇다 instead of 있다, (있다 is the verb “to be” so as you can probably guess, it’s used very frequently). There’s also the habit of adding ㅇ to the end of words (at the end of the word it makes an “ng” sound) – 감사합니다 (kamsahamnida: thank you) becomes 감사합니당 (kamsahamnidang). It’s supposed to be “cute” but it drives me insane. On a more serious note, it’s interesting to see how the gender divide isn’t as prevalent on facebook, and how sometimes the students will update their statuses or send me messages while they’re in class.
Accepting friend requests has been taking forever, because not all the students have pictures, and I want to make sure I know who every student is before accepting their requests. Following a friend’s advice, I took home my picture roster and have spent the last three days matching students’ pictures with their names, and then writing them messages. It’s taken awhile, but it’s been worth it.
A few days ago class 2.2, one of my sweetest all-girl’s classes, had one of their students pretend that her “yearbook” was ripped so that I would give her another one. Then many of the students in that class wrote me messages and presented me with the yearbook. All of the messages were sweet, but there was one that was particularly poignant from a student named SH. SH stated that she wanted to be a foreign teacher like me, and live abroad and teach Korean to foreigners. She said that I was like her mentor, and I inspired her to work hard to accomplish her dream. The day after giving me this yearbook, she friended me on facebook, and the following conversation took place:
The facebook is also an interesting way to start dialogues with students. Last night, South Korea elected it’s first female president, 박근혜 (Park Geun Hye – Park being her family name) from 새누리당 (Senuri Party), the main conservative party. As I’m not Korean, nor am I especially knowledgeable about Korean politics I’m hesitant to state my own opinion about the election, however I will say that most of the people I’ve talked to are incredibly unhappy with the result. Nationwide, most young people (20′s, 30′s, and 40′s) voted for the main opposing candidate, Moon Jae-in, while Park Geun Hye was supported mainly by people in their 50′s and 60′s. On my teacher facebook, I asked my students what they thought of the election results, and this is what they said:
We’ll see if students continue to respond, and if they do what they say.