Coco In Korea

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Teacher, I Thought Everyone In America Was White!

Posted by cocoinkorea on March 8, 2010

(Image from here.)
So today began my first official day of teaching and I thought a good way to start off the year would be to let the children get to know about me, my family, and my home. I then thought it would be a good idea to get to know a little bit about them, and then have them ask me any question that they wanted to ask and I would answer, no matter what.

I started off by showing the kids a PowerPoint presentation about myself. I told them all about my family, and my home in New York. I then asked them their names, their ages and what they did over the weekend. Some of the kids said that they slept, some said they played computer games, some said that they watched tv and others told me that they studied. All of the baseball players in the room told me they played baseball (Side Note: Sokkyo Elementary is famous in the province for baseball; my school has the best baseball players in the area and they wear their uniforms in school all day long.)

Everything was going pretty well until it was my turn to answer the questions. Most of the people wanted to know about New York while others wanted to know about my personal life…. Here is how it went: (S=student T=teacher[me])

S: Teacher, how many people live in New York City
T: About ten million
S: Wow!

S: Teacher, are you married?
T: No, not yet

S: Teacher, do you live alone in Korea?
T: Yes, I do.

S: Teacher, I thought everyone in America was white!

The last was clearly not a question. I had to explain that the United States is a big mixture of people, white, brown (“like me” I said), Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Indian…. They were very suprised. I think I have to find a multicultural movie for my classes so they can see that America is full of many different nationalities.

Most of the classes went on in this way. The boys were definitely the more vocal students in the classes while the girls were more shy and reserved. In one of my sixth grade classes, one boy with dyed hair asked me what dong (area) I lived in and I told him. He then proceeded to tell me that he lived in the same area. He then asked for my address and I laughed. My co-teacher Monica told him that he could not have my address and he certainly could not go knocking on my door.
My co-teacher was so helpful today and now I understand the need for co-teaching in a Korean classroom. She had to assist me with language difficulties between me and the children since a lot of the things I said they did not understand or needed clarification for. The main difficulty in my classroom is that students are at many different levels. Some students are at the correct English level for their age while others are struggling severely with learning the language.

Tomorrow is teast day at my school so no classes!


One Response to “Teacher, I Thought Everyone In America Was White!”

  1. kis said

    You have picked the perfect place to start a teaching career!Cousin Laurie

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