As the second week of teaching started, I became excited to meet a new group of students.Based on my experience with the chaotic 5th graders, I expected teaching 4th graders would be a more challenging task. However, surprisingly, 4th graders seemed much more organized than the classes I’ve seen last week, and some of the 4th graders spoke and understood better than
Similar to the previous week, I started off with a brief introduction of ourselves and asked the students to make a name tag that shows what they do and like. While doing the group activity, I became in charge of the D group which had 3 students – Chris, Dean, and Pig. As the D group had the lowest level of English skills, it was extremely difficult for me to communicate solely through English. At first, I tried to refrain from using Korean and assisted their understanding with body language. Nevertheless, my group seemed to have zero interest in what I was saying and made no effort to understand it.
After the first period, their homeroom teacher came up to me and told me that two of the kids in my group were suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Thus, it became clear that I needed a different strategy to approach the kids. From the next period, rather than standing in front of the whole classroom to give them a lecture, I sat next to their table to catch their attention. Although my primary task was to teach them English, I knew that without strong relationship with them, I wouldn’t be able to teach anything. I started asking about their favorite things, and after two days, I felt confident about my relationship with the three students. Spending time with the students during lunch break definitely helped, but most importantly, conversation I shared with the kids formed a tight connection with them.
On the weekend, I went out to Han River Park with my fellow DESKers to enjoy the riverside view of Seoul and the food festival called “Bamdokkaebi”. The vibrant and festive decorations and the lively vibes with music concerts gave me a nice little break from work and recharged me for the upcoming work with the 2nd graders.