I love teaching kindergarten. Just love it. I get why other people don't – it's noisy and they cry and they're messy and they don't listen and lord knows someone's not going to make it to the bathroom in time at least once in a while. And in Korea, it means an early morning schedule too. I definitely get the downsides. But man, teaching kindie is awesome. They will laugh at your tired,corny old jokes like you're the Eddie Izzard of teaching – and once you find a joke they like, you can just reuse it everyday. They'll watch the most boring phonics videos, and absorb all that new stuff - just because it was in a song. They'll have chats in the bathroom about who is a princess and who is a a fairy. And some of them give you hugs in between driving you nuts.
|Watching Christmas videos is serious business.|
So even though I hated the 'job' parts of my last job, I still miss the teaching parts. And that made my last day more than a little bittersweet. It started with a lot of stress: Lacey and I ended up having to move all our worldly possessions to the school for the day. But my boss managed to rein in her natural awfulness, and didn't kick up a fuss about that (or my lateness...) And the kids were so thrilled about their moms coming to school, and not having normal classes, that they actually behaved themselves. Of course they looked adorable in their costumes, and of course the Korean teachers made the library look great, and of course nothing quite went to plan. But aside from a few tears, and scratched off face-paint, they pulled off a good show: the songs all got sung, the letters to Santa got read and the big kids remembered all the words to their play.
The moms all stayed to have lunch with their kids, and the atmosphere was about as relaxed as I'd ever known it to be. Maybe that was just the buzz from it being my last day... I managed not to cry in front of anybody, but when Andy (the monster) walked up to me and said 'Don't go home', well, that was a tough one. After lunch, I got a bunch of cards that other teachers had made with the kids and tons of photos to keep. I never get around to making stuff like that so I really appreciate having those. Lacey was even allowed to stick around to take photos (the boss must've been feeling especially festive!)
|Who knew the monster would turn out so cute?|
After our trip around South East Asia, we went back to Busan for a few days, and happened to be in the area one day when the kindergarteners were leaving school. I was a little nervous that they wouldn't remember me, or care about seeing their old teacher, but it ended up being kind of nice that they weren't that bothered about me anymore. I still got a hug from Isabelle, and, like all 6 year olds, they were all jazzed about showing someone their latest crafts, but they'd already moved on, just as they should.