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˜‚

Halloween 2018

Halloween is my favorite holiday but this year, I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. I’m the only foreigner teacher at my school and my manager wanted me to plan the annual Halloween party for 80 students. I’m a perfectionist but I hate making plans for anything. It takes me forever making a schedule, coming with games, and splitting all the classes into teams. And worst of all, we were going to split the Halloween party based on class blocks. That means planning six separate events instead of one big event.

The April classes only gets 40 minutes for their Halloween party while Chungdahm classes get 1 hour. We decided to have a Human Curling competition as the main event and do Spider Racing as the side game. The manager wanted me to do makeup for the kids so we added that in too. At the end of the party, there would be a costume contest and then a prize ceremony. Needless to say there was a lot to fit in with very little time. It was beyond stressful making the schedule but it was worth it in the end! Everyone has so much fun during the party.

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˜