Today, one of my middle school students looked out the classroom window and announced to no one in particular (or anyone who would listen): “Raining cats, cats, cats, cats and dogs, dogs, dogs dogs.” A giant flash of light played across the window, adding an exclamation point to his words.
Pretty much sums up today.
Alright, I’ll fess. There’s a little artistic license taken with the above description (there may or may not have been a conveniently timed flash of lightning) but it preserves the best part. I think he was just excited that he could finally use an idiom he’d learned. Yay, for being able to apply knowledge! Of course, then he added extra cats and dogs to the phrase since the normal amount didn’t seem enough.
How to students in Korea compare to students back home?
It’s one of those questions you hear a lot if you are an English teacher here.
I have no experience as a teacher back home so I’d have to draw from my memories of being a student. I’ve also never been an elementary/middle school student in Korea. I only have my job to look to for insight. Understandably, this creates a rather uneven perspective on my part.
Sure, I can impart common, accepted knowledge like the fact that Koreans spend a substantial amount of money on education. Or how about the bit that, while educators may not focus much on teaching critical thinking skills, students excel at rote learning and memorization. Students are also, reportedly, much more respectful towards their teachers than students back home.
But that’s just what I’ve heard. I can’t really give any comparisons based off my own experiences.
What I can do, however, is provide snippets of my daily life and encounters with my students. We’ll see what sorts of things are revealed through that.
Of course, this means I have to start taking note of those moments again.
On a side note: I am constantly amazed by the things my elementary and middle schoolers are expected to handle or have already achieved. Here, it’s normal for them to spend 8 hours in school followed by several hours at any number of hagwons, then stay up late to complete their homework.