Archive for the ‘facebook’ Category


Sunday, January 6th, 2013

I promise one day soon I’ll write a blog post that doesn’t involve my teacher facebook.

Something a lot of my Korean students do is post pictures of celebrities as their profile picture on facebook. This gets really annoying, because over the last two academic years I’ve taught over 900 CPHS kids (this doesn’t even include the SGHS kids) and while I may not remember all (most >.<) of their names, I am pretty good with faces. Celebrity pictures do not help. What’s even more strange is that students will generally put a celebrity that they think is attractive as their profile picture. This, I guess, makes sense – if you’re going to put a random person’s picture up as your own then why does it matter if they’re the same gender as you – but it still creates cognitive dissonance when I go to write on their walls.

Anyway, TH is a male first/second grader (I won’t consider them really second graders until the new school year starts in March) and was in my club class. I waffled on whether or not to poke fun of him for his profile picture, but figured that as a student I saw more often he’d probably get that it was a joke.

The kid out-punked me. What do you even say to that. I’ll probably respond with my usual response to awkward things students say to me (Teacher! I love you!), either “Thank you” or “I know.”

Upgrading Increasingly

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

I’m back in CP and preparing to teach on Monday. I teach a one week long winter “camp” which just means that I teach as normal, except that instead of teaching both first and second grade, I  just teach second grade. I actually like it, because I get to see second grade twice in one week! This is novel, especially considering that when they were first graders (a month ago) I saw them once every two weeks if I was lucky. After this one week camp, I’ve got one week of nothing in CP and then travel and living in Seoul.

During the super-short winter vacation our students have, they were pretty active on facebook. The first and second graders were alternately bemoaning their short break and complaining that they missed their friends and wanted to go back to school. The second graders in particular seemed to be having mini-meltdowns on facebook as they realized that this was their last real break before the 수능 next November. However, the third graders. The third graders. The third graders were absolutely adorable.

First, I didn’t actually tell any of the third graders that I had a teacher facebook because I didn’t teach them, but a few of them managed to find me and it’s been snowballing from there. They’ve been studying hard for most of their time at CP, and now they’ve found themselves free. They’ve been reveling in their sudden almost overwhelming amount of free time, and have been posting the most adorable photos of their homerooms and their friends.

How can you not grin when you read that?

Typing in Korean – Be Careful

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012


Thursday, December 20th, 2012

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.