I rag on the first graders a lot. I complain about them to the other teachers, to my friends, and on this blog. The first graders are not as mature as the second graders, I see them less, they respect me less, they’re younger, etc. However, I do really like the first graders, even if they’re not my darling second graders (and once they finally become second graders, I adore them). I especially like them right around this time of year – they’re settling down but they’ve still got that touch of whimsy that a lot of the second graders as a result of buckling down for the Suneung (there’s a countdown in one of the second grade homerooms – 359 days until they take it) have lost.
Remember this kid? He’s been switching it up. Today he didn’t even ask me how I was. I guess he thinks we’ve progressed past small talk and onto topics of the heart. I was walking around outside after lunch, and as I walked past the soccer field he and another first grade boy broke off from their game and ran towards me.
This Kid: HIIIIIIIIIIII!
Other Kid: HIIIIIIIIIIII!
This Kid to the other kid: 야 왜 인사 했어? 에밀리 쌤에 말하지마! [Hey, why did you greet her? Don't talk to Emily teacher!]
This Kid to me: DO YOU KNOW I AM YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Me: Yes. You told me last week.
This Kid: THEN WHY ARE YOU SO FRIENDLY WITH HIM?
Other Kid to This Kid: She loves me best.
Other Kid to me: One day I will marry you.
Me: No, I’m sorry, the age difference is too big. It would be bad.
Other Kid: Age is just… just a-
This Kid: WAIT THREE YEARS. I WILL GRADUATE HERE THEN I WILL BE A UNIVERSITY. THEN I WILL BE NO LONGER A STUDENT.
Me: No… you’ll still be a student. Just a university student.
This Kid: IT DOES NOT MATTER.
Me: Yeah. Sorry. Not happening. See you later.
This Kid: BUT I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.
I then ran into one of my club class kids. He was talking with some other first graders, and using his hands to sweep the gorgeous neon yellow ginko leaves into a pile. I asked what he was doing, as he picked up giant armful, and he sheepishly looked at me and replied “Sometimes I am a little crazy” and threw them in the air, grinning as they came raining down on his head.