Club class was cancelled today, so I was sitting at my desk with plenty of extra time when one of my favorite students, EC, came over. EC and I have a great relationship. Unfortunately, what I wrote about her last year still holds true; she’s being pushed way too hard by her father and other teachers, but for right now she’s doing okay. Actually, she’s doing more than okay – she got the top score out of the entire second grade on the mock test. Academically she’s swell, but I still worry.
EC and I have a notebook exchange going on right now. She keeps a journal where she writes about various subjects, and I edit it and sometimes write short letters back. In that journal I taught her the expression “burning the candle at both ends” and cautioned her to makes sure she gets enough rest.
She dropped by my desk with a can of plum juice. A handwritten note and a tiny purple flower were taped to the can.
“달개비 – (닭의장풀)
It’s name was derived from the fat that it usually grows in a nearby henhouse. 닭의 – a chicken’s, 장 – cage, 풀 – weed.
닭의 -> 달괴 -> 달개
I happened to recognize this flower’s name few days ago and it was a really cool experience. Before knowing the name, I regarded it as a weed. It didn’t mean something special for me. never did it. However, the only fact that I recognize the name of it changed my mind and made me repeat it’s name, 달개비, 달개비, 달개비… now I believe that knowing something’s name has power that makes somebody think of it and attracts others to remember itself. I’m glad that I know not only your name but also how you’re nice, wonderful, and important to me.”
While reading this, I started to tear up in the teacher’s office. As a teacher, you come to terms with the fact that you are probably way more attached to your students than they are to you. I look back on my time in elementary, middle, and high school, and I feel guilty about how I didn’t recognize how much work my teachers did for me. I know I was a good student, and I know teachers liked me, and while I liked them I rarely ever interacted with them outside of the classroom on purpose. It’s always wonderful when a student reaches out to you.