Category: Thank you students

Thank you, students

I went to Seoul last weekend for the final Fulbright shindig dinner dealio.  More on that in my next blog.  But at the meeting, there was a plethora of speeches and presentations given – some boring, some interesting; some professional, some heartwarming.  However, there was one speech in particular that really affected me.  It was called, “Thank you, teacher”, and was an interpretation of what many of our students would say to us if they could, thanking us for what we’ve done for them over this past year.  Inspired by that, I have decided to write my own version, coming from the other direction.  Here is what I could say to all of my students, if I could.  This is my thank you letter to them.

Thank you, students

Thank you, students.  
Thank you for always waving at me and saying hello to me in the hallway, 
even if you’re unbearably shy and never say anything during class time.  
It’s nice to know that you know who I am.  
Thank you, students, for giving up your precious free time during meals to spend it with me.  
Thank you for always being so willing to share anything and everything that you have, 
and for feeding me from your own plates when you think that I haven’t eaten enough.  
Thank you, students, for putting up with me as I learned how to become a teacher.  
Thank you for slogging through the bad lessons with me, 
and for clapping after the good ones.  
Thank you for coming up to me after class and apologizing for sleeping through it.  
I know that you’re tired, but I appreciate you recognizing my efforts, 
even if you were too sleepy to stay awake for it.  
Thank you, students, for coming to talk to me in between your classes.
Knowing that you went out of your way, just to spend 6 or 7 minutes talking with me, 
warms my heart more than you will ever know.
Thank you, students, for translating for me when the other English teachers were too busy to help.  
Thank you, students, for telling me about your dreams, your hopes, your worries, and your problems.  Sometimes I have a hard time doing that in my native language, 
with people that I’ve known all of my life…..
I will never forget the courage that it took for you to do that in a second language.
Thank you, students, for trusting me with your secrets.  
Thank you for telling me about your secret crushes, or forbidden boyfriends, 
or days spent playing hooky, or arguments with your family.  
You have made me feel like not just your teacher….you have made me feel like your friend.  
And that has made all the difference.  
Thank you, students, for somehow always having the energy to greet me with a hug and a smile, sometimes even with a running start, regardless of your 18 hour days at school.  
You are an inspiration to me.
Thank you, students, for reminding me to smile when I was unhappy and frustrated, 
and for calling me beautiful when I felt like crap.
Thank you, students, for also being my teachers.  
Thank you for teaching me about your language, your culture, and your lives.  
I am so much richer because of it.
Thank you, students, for showing me your special corners of Gyeongju.  
Thank you for taking me to decorate cakes, and eat dumplings, and make cupcakes, 
and take sticker pictures, and sing karaoke.  
You showed me beautiful parts of your lives, 
that I would have never seen without your willingness to share it with me.

Thank you, students, for giving up your precious days off to take me to dinner, 
or go on day trips with me to other cities.  
Those are some of my most treasured memories from my entire year.

Thank you students, for not only sharing your lives with me, 
but being willing to hear about mine.  
Thank you for asking to see pictures of my family, and asking about my life back in America, 
and talking with my friends on Skype.  
Your interest in my culture made me feel so welcome, 
and I will forever miss your excited oooohhhhhs and aaaaahhhhs 
when I tell you something interesting about my life.
Thank you students, for not forgetting about me on teacher’s day.  
The flood of little notes and cards and gifts that I got from you simply made my heart soar.
I will treasure them forever.
Thank you, students, for writing random, “just because” letters to me.  
I know that some of you spent an hour or more on each letter, 
slaving over the proper grammar and drawing cute little pictures on the finished product.  
The fact that you worked so hard for me did not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
Thank you, students, for teaching me how to be a better person.  
Although I am the one with the title “teacher,” 
you have taught me more than I could ever hope to teach you.  
You have taught me about generosity, kindness, love, forgiveness, patience, and a host of other things.  You have taught me how to accept and include people who are different from me.  
You have taught me how to give more to people than I ever thought possible.  
You are the reason that I survived this past year.
You are the reason that I am in love with Korea.  
You are the reason that Korea is my home.    
So, my wonderful students, as I prepare to leave Korea, let me say one last time….thank you.  
Thank you, dear students.  I will love you for the rest of my life.  

Pepero day

I would like to introduce you to the wonder, the joy, the incredible awesomeness that is….pepero day.  I mentioned in my last post that I made some pepero sticks with my host sister a few days ago, but I have yet to talk about the actual event!  I would be highly remiss in my duties as a blogger if I did not do that, so let me remedy the situation now.Pepero day, 11-11-11, was last Friday.  It’s supposed to be a day when students give pepero to teachers that they appreciate.  However, there were 2 things working against me – A) I’m the new teacher, the low man on the totem pole, as it were, and B) I had been told that pepero day wasn’t really celebrated by students in my school, so I wasn’t really expecting that much.  Most of the day went by with my assumptions being confirmed – by 3:30 or so, I had received 1 box of store-bought pepero, and that was it.  I was ok with that, no biggie.

But then it started coming.  And coming.  And coming.  By the end of the day, I had 9 boxes of store-bought pepero, and 4 bags of homemade stuff.  But the best part for me was the notes.  I got some of the best notes ever – the kind of notes that a teacher dreams of getting.  I’ve posted pictures of all of them here, but my favorite one is the one with the butterfly on the paper – she called me her favorite teacher, and thanked me for the work that I do in class.  Needless to say, I was on cloud nine, and her note is one that I will probably keep for the rest of my life.

I had so many wonderful interactions with students on Friday.  It was also dance class day, so that’s always fun.  I met a senior who asked me to help her with a French essay – I’m not sure how helpful I’ll be with that, but her English was really good, and she was bright and ambitious, and so we exchanged email addresses and hopefully we’ll be able to keep in touch.  Also, if you haven’t checked out the school blog lately, you should take a look at it!  Students have started writing, I’m showcasing some of their work, and overall it’s super exciting!!  🙂 http://seondeokhighschool.blogspot.com/

Some of my favorite favorite students.  The girl with the red blanket wrote the butterfly note <3
This was apparently not just a note, but a “love note.”  That’s my name in Korean at the top…
For Loren teacher: Hi!  My name is …hehe Su-eun.  Today is peapearo day! (^_^) So I prepared that I give you peapearo and choco.  I hope you love
Dear Lauren ^_^,  Hello! Lauren.  It’s Bo-min Su in class 3 in the first grade.  I said hello to you several times before.  I don’t know if you remember me.  You are my favorite teacher. Your class was more helpful and much more fun!!! ^_^  Playing games with us, simple examples that you gave us really helped our understandings.  Every week, I just couldn’t wait for the A class on Friday.  I hope you also had fun with us, class A.  Then, don’t catch a cold.  Have a good winter. Many thanks for what you’ve done so far.  From, 1-3 Bo-min.
All of my Pepero day loot, minus 3 boxes that I gave away 🙂
My new high school senior friend! 🙂