So I had one of my brighter students break down on me today and give up when I pressed her on an answer...I thought, '"This is weird." Pulled her aside after class to figure out what's going on in her life to make her that upset. After some coaxing I got it out of her that she got a bad grade on a Korean writing assignment that she disagreed with. Amid tears and tissues, I explained to her that one bad grade does not make her a bad student. One bad grade does not mean her life is over. Yeah, today sucks but tomorrow and the next day and next day and when she's in a great college etc....she won't even remember this little grade.
As a consequence, our relationship is better and I've probably taught her something that NO Korean high school teacher would ever have taught her.
There is a big debate right now among Koreans that foreign teachers are not helpful or needed, especially in high schools where students should just be focusing on the test that will make or break their lives. But don't tell me that Korean high school students don't need foreign teachers, even if our most important job is just to give them a dose of reality and teach them how to cope with their overly stressful lives.
In other words, this job is awesome and important despite my serious issues with my coteacher daily... And I've had a great day even though its only 11am.
COME ON WORLD, BRING ME WHAT YOU'VE GOT!