Yes, it has been a year later. My bad. I promise to try to update you more often. Lately I've had a lot more to say about what is going on around me. Stories are just as funny and I think that sometimes a lot of people could use a laugh.
Teaching at Andong Girls' Middle School is full of that for sure!! My first years are darlings but so were my 2nd years last year. What the heck happened? Oh yeah. Puberty. The struggle to be popular. Make up. Boys. Damnit. I can't compete.
Or can I?
This year I'm on fire. I've revamped my lessons. Kicked out the ones that didn't work and replaced them with new and improved ones.
My current lesson plan is all about loving oneself and showing compassion to others.
Why would I construct this lesson? What purpose do I have in making these girls love themselves and others? If you really need to ask that question then you need to seek help. You won't find it here.
Girls at this age are so impressionable about their self worth. In Korea it is 100 times worse. In the past two months two girls have killed themselves. One because of bullying and the other because of the pressure her parents (and teachers) put on her to be the PERFECT student. Both of them broke. They felt they didn't fit in and never would.
It breaks my heart thinking that this is a SOLUTION to a problem. It isn't.
A friend of mine once said, "More people will die of suicide in Korea than they will of car accidents" If you've seen these people drive you would be as shocked as I was.
So, I'm going to make a difference. I want my girls to feel loved, beautiful, special, and awesome. I want them to take those feelings of self worth and respect and shower the world with it. Bullying is NOT an option in my class. Mirrors are banned. Brushes and make up are banned. We are female and we are beautiful Just the Way We Are.
Side note: Make up, mirrors, brushes, etc. are not evil or in anyway horrible inventions. I just don't want them in my classroom. They are a distraction and take away from class time. Not to mention the implication that a girl needs to be 100% all the time. *sigh*
So with my students I'm taking away their sight, hearing, taste, and Touch. Yup. Interesting lesson. I will blind fold them and make them walk around the classroom. I'll put plugs in their ears and make them translate what is being said to them. Basically I'm going to take things away from them that they take for granted--and then I'm going to teach them how to cope. Hopefully this will steer them in the right direction. To think compassionately about those around them who struggle every day with being "different". To offer help and protection against the bully's of the world.
I hope it works. I'm going to be using songs and sign language. If I can get the videos posted on this blog I'll try to show the end project and if the message sunk in or not.