Sunday, July 17, 2011

"See you next time, bye bye!"

The title of this post is dedicated to the scripted close of every English Broadcast I have (airing Wednesday mornings at 9am through my whole school). I love and hate this greeting because often students will use it in a caricature-ish fashion to say goodbye to me. However, when I found myself faced with my last week of regular classes, I found I couldn't say "goodbye" and opted for this cliche'd expression instead, much to the delight of my students.

 My lucky penny idea went off without a hitch. In fact, many teachers also wanted their own 'lucky penny'. It's a full-blown fad over here at Yaksa Elementary! I also found the whole venture to be somewhat lucrative:

Fortunately the only person to openly cry my last week was me (hidden in my office of course!... crying is for wimps and losers!*), although I did have a lot of dejected-looking kids come up to me, or, with furrowed brow, ask me if they would see me next week. No matter how much I explained I still have a few weeks at Yaksa, the 'last class' thing really got to them.

The great thing about being a kid is that what seems sad now will be forgotten in a matter of minutes or days. Sure, they will remember me, but once the buzz of summer vacation hits (and then shortly after, the new foreign teacher comes), they won't be sad anymore.

Some of my students asked for my email. I gave it to them and have already received two in my inbox.

This one made me particularly happy that I didn't give all my students an email address to contact. I want to be able to respond properly to these kids if they get in touch, instead of feeling overwhelmed with a short burst of 'fan mail' I never reply to.

Lastly, one thing I worked really hard to do was have some Yaksa students sign a t-shirt for me. I started this process about 3 weeks ago, bringing in a plain white tee and asking kids to write whatever they wanted, or draw pictures, too. Signing t-shirts is not common in Korea (unless you are a celebrity autographing one), so my students found this to be really fun and special, and I felt the same knowing secretly that it was a parting gift they were making for me. By the end things got pretty detailed:

I still have 4 weeks left in Korea: 1 devoted to deskwarming (creative posts sure to follow this week!); 1 for Yaksa camp; 2 for low-level classes. However, with regular classes out of the way, things are definitely starting to wrap up.

So as they (and by 'they' I mean 'I') say, "See you next time... bye bye!"

-Laura Teacher

*This is just what I told myself while holding a fan to my face so I can get to the next class without tearing up. I'm my own emotion ninja.
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