Yesterday was Sports Day for my school, and it was my duty to keep watch of one class of children. There I was, out on the field standing behind the long line of children as they did their salute to the Korean flag. The parent's were in the bleachers looking down at their children and us. As I stood there I couldn't help but look up at the Korean flag and the big blue sky behind it, and wonder just how I got here. Thinking, how did I get to this point in my life where I was standing on Korean soil, participating in a National celebration with these people, certainly gave me a profound feeling.
Perhaps, my deep thinking was due to that the night before I didn't get very good sleep. The days leading up to Sports Day were kind of stressful. There has been one particular student who we haven't been able to "crack." What I mean is that he has been misbehaving a lot and doesn't seem to respond to anything we have tried yet. My frustration peeked when I talked to his homeroom teacher who wants us (the foreign teachers) to figure out on our own how to help him. I generally disagreed with her that it is not only up to us to manage him, when she has a role in it too. But we agreed to work on it together and find solutions.
This job, although essentially a lot better than the ones I have had in the past, is still full of typical Korean workplace troubles. I haven't escaped from poor communication and confusion. However, because of my experience I know how to handle it more. At work I try my best not to blow up when there are last minute changes, or in this example when no one is really clear on punishment policies. Yet, it seems the stress is still within me, and that is why I didn't sleep well Wednesday night.
I have come to realize that we just need to have a group meeting on what we can do for the little boy, and so that does mean I need to research methods for teaching "challenging" students. (My mom had a more technical term for it, but I don't remember).
Really though, I have today off and don't go back to work till next Wednesday. So I really just want to get back to that realization I had on the field of understanding where I am in the world.
Happy Children's Day
Happy Mother's Day
Happy Buddhist's Birthday.