Old, ancient, or… fossil?

Today’s lesson in my advanced class was on the elderly in South Korea. The elderlys make up a huge portion of the population but almost 50% of them are living in poverty. It’s a really sensitive topic.

I showed them this video in class and wanted to get the students to discuss it. But the atmosphere was really tense and no one was saying anything. After a few minutes, a student blurted out, “Teacher, I’m so old.”

He’s only 14 years old but I knew he was trying to change the mood. Going along with him, I asked him, “If you’re old, does that make me ancient?”

Some of the students laughed but his next words caught me off guard. With a completely straight face, he said, “No, teacher! You’re a living fossil!” Then started cracking up.

I love my advanced class ๐Ÿ˜‚

You’re not a doctor and that’s okay.

I was teaching my advanced students a lesson about stress. To start a discussion, I asked my students what stresses them out and to give me examples.

They gave me typical answers such as school, boyfriends/girlfriends, exams, etc. Finally one student said family and he gave me an example that his parents are stressful because they want him to go to a good high school then to go to a good college.

Based on his answer, I asked my students if their parents expected them to be a doctor or lawyer. Their reply shocked me! They immediately said, “Teacher! That way of thinking is so old!” and “My parents want me to do whatever I like as long as I go to a good school.”

Growing up in America with a Vietnamese family, I was always expected to become a doctor or lawyer. It doesn’t help that I’m the only person in my family that didn’t major in a STEM related field. I told my students that and one not said the sweetest thing to me:

You’re not a doctor and that’s okay. You’re a successful teacher now and that’s even better.

I cried internally after hearing him say that. I have such sweet middle school students ๐Ÿ˜