This is my last week of classes.
I teach only 12 classes, which is a very small number compared to most of the other F*bright teachers (contractually, we can be asked to teach up to 20 hours a week). However, there are only 18 classes at my school, and because my school does not want me to teach 3rd grade, and because they want me to teach classes only once a week, I can only teach 12 classes. I chose my six of my classes (two from each English level group) to write letters to next year’s teacher. What I wasn’t expecting, was for two students to sneakily take extra paper and also write me letters. Super cute.
For the most part, I feel a tighter bond with my second graders than my first graders. Since the Korean school year starts in March, I did not teach my current first graders last semester, so the second graders are the only students I’ve had for a full year. Therefore even my really low-level shy or unmotivated students have grown a lot more comfortable with me than their first grade counterparts. Today I started my day teaching class 2.4 (2nd grade, fourth class – all boys, about 18 students, low level) during first period. We did a class on American high schools versus Korean high schools, wrote letters to the new teacher, and then just hung out for a bit after class. At the end of class, five of my boys came up in order to shake my hand, doing the two-handed handshake that denotes respect, while slightly bowing.
Though I feel more strongly connected to my second graders, I can’t help but love the raw energy that my first graders have to offer. I wish I was staying longer so I could get to know them – I’ve gotten to know a few of them one-on-one, but having students for six months versus a full year is not the same. After teaching class 2.4 I went on to teach class 1.4 (first grade, co-ed, approximately 30 students, intermediate) during second period. Apparently as part of their English final exam (which I had no part in, did not write the questions, grade the test, nor did I see any of the answers), the intermediate first grade students had to write a letter in English to one of their friends. One of the students chose to write a letter to me. When my co-teacher asked him why, he said that he was going to miss me when I left and he wanted to say thank you. My co-teacher then gave me the letter:
Dear Teacher Emily
Your class taught me so many things.
I will miss you…
I was really happy to study with a good teacher like you.
I’ll be looking forward to see you again someday!
You’ll be someday back and we’ll be someday meet again.
PS.I’ll remember you. I’ll believe you would make you remember me.
From: Smiles [for the sake of his privacy, if his friends ever for some reason find my blog sludge through all the weird words and parenthetical clauses and happen upon this entry, I'm giving him the pseudonym "Smiles" because he has the most adorable smile.]
This student happens to be one of my favorites (I mean what? I don’t have favorites…) During Random Hamburgers on my Desk Week (blog entry for that coming soon) he was one of the students that made me a hamburger and wrote me a note. I’m going to miss Smiles. Don’t worry, we’ll someday meet again.