“You’re not here just to teach them English but also be a mentor to them.” — Sophia Kim, a teacher I worked with while in Korea in my second year there.
I was reminded of this at our school Christmas Party. Usually it is the students performing some Christmas songs for the lower levels (Grade 1 to 3) then the higher levels do what they wish. This year featured a lot of classes doing Gangnam Style.
I have a co-teacher, Ivy, who is also my “boss” since she is the English Panel Chair. I call her more of my mentor. She is an amazing teacher in the class. She is able to give knowledge and help students. For me, the most amazing thing is how much she cares for “her kids.” Those kids are every kid in the school.
Instead of going to the Grade 1-3 part of the concert I went to the Grade 4 class. They were having a party, doing the Secret Santa. It was all done in Chinese but it was just nice to sit in. Everyone was laughing including the three teachers.
The other teacher is a new one and a temporary one. He does not speak a lot of English but I can just feel like he is a great teacher. During our school picnic at a local camp ground he asked each kid in his class to pick something up that represents them. They then explained it to him in Chinese. Ivy translated it all and it was amazing to see how much insight the kids have about themselves. It’s also an activity I’d never think of.
During the class time today, he had them do performances about anything they want to do. The kids where put on the spot and had no time to prepare. They performed, in Chinese, and it was really good. The kids had fun and felt good. I hope there is a way to hire him full time.
After school and after classes, Ivy and I have always talked. It’s almost always about the kids. I’m always asking for ideas and ways to help the kids more in English and also in their self-esteem. I follow her advice since I know it comes from an amazing place.
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