And that’s a wrap! Well, for now.
This week we completed our teaching journey at Jiguchon School. Over the last four weeks, we had the opportunity to teach English, build relationships, and have so much fun with the elementary school kids here. Personally, it was a very eye-opening experience. Prior to teaching, I was told that these kids came from less fortunate backgrounds and may have had traumatic experiences. Hearing that, I anticipated kids who are rowdy, disobedient and unmotivated. Instead, I was greeted with a bunch of wonderfully engaged students. Of course, there are times where classroom behavior can get out of hand, but they’re still kids, and that’s what they do.
In this final week, we taught the students in the preschool class. These students are grouped together as they have just recently arrived in South Korea and are still in the process of learning and adjusting to Korea. The class of ten of I was in charge of consisted of eight Chinese students. We had some issues with language at first, but we eventually came around to figuring out the best way to teach. I want to give my fellow DESKer Brandon a shoutout here. It was tough for him this week as he didn’t speak the language, but he tried his very best to befriend a Chinese girl named Amy in our class. Through the help of google translate and I, he built a very tight relationship with her (She said Brandon was her favorite teacher!). He really showed me that language is not a barrier to teaching or building successful friendships.
The last day of Jiguchon was both a fun and emotional one. At the goodbye assembly, the 3rd and 4th grade girls along with the girls of our group performed a very well-rehearsed version of kpop dance TT considering the short amount of time they had. We watched the music video and documentary that we filmed and shared some final words of wisdom with the children. at last, they presented us with lovely hand-crafted gifts and notes. Reading the letters they wrote us, I was very proud of them and grateful for the opportunity I had to interact with this amazing group of individuals. Tears were shed and hugs were tight. Although this might possibly be the last time I see a lot of them, I’m sure we would keep in touch through chat or letters.
Next week, we will embark on a new journey teaching at Wooridle School(우리들학교), a school of North Korean students. As for now, fairwell Jiguchon!