It’s been nearly six months since I have moved to Korea. It’s been…an experience so far. This country has a numerous amount of things to see: towers, skylines, beaches, kimchi, boys holding boy’s hands, girls holding girl’s hands, children under the age of 12 walking on the streets alone, cars parked on the sidewalk, bike’s crashing into older people who don’t move for shit (even when bike courtesy is heard *bell ringing*), and lastly (something I saw today) is kid’s crying in the classroom. I only saw one kid crying, but still. I won’t say why she was crying, either (I promise I did not do anything to hurt her or touch her in any inappropriate way ha-ha).
Six months in, Korea has allowed me to do the one thing I hate most: to confront myself. Like my mother, I hate confrontation; whether it be confronting someone else with a problem I have with them (or them with me), or confronting myself about any issue that comes around, which seems to be happening more and more these days because of this new “self-evaluating” internal, emotion-thing I have going on now. However, the point is that when I saw this girl crying in my classroom today I was suddenly brought back into reality-a sphere that I look at as mostly a joke because I have had things easy all of my life. Today, I had to look at the definition of teacher again. I had to look into the one thing I hate most: myself. As a teacher, we are everything: moms, dads, role-models, ambassadors, celebrities (especially in Korea), we are life instructors to everyone. Me as a teacher: slacking in my ability to role-model, slacking in the ability to help people learn from me (not just students), and taking advantage of my time in Korea and treating it as a vacation (that’s only when mom comes soon). And maybe Halloween.
Before Korea, I had plans; I was on a fast-track to success (in my mind) and Korea came as an opening for that. Today, as a teacher, and after my “self-evaluation”, I made a vow to myself: no kid will ever cry in my classroom, and that I will continue on this track to success by pushing myself in the classroom everyday with my students, and eventually pushing myself through graduate school when I begin in October.
So now I ask this… What is your vow as a teacher? How do you plan to be a “life- instructor”?