Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back from Korea -- and ready to blog about my experiences!

SO, after over a month of traveling to South Korea and the Western USA, I am finally back in DC. Much of my time this week is consumed by preparing for the new school year, but I do want to take some time to document my amazing travel experiences.

I kept a journal on both trips and would like to transcribe them for you below. Both were phenomenal, life-changing experiences. I hope you enjoy reading about them!

SOUTH KOREA - July 31, 2010

Hello from Jeju Island in South Korea! I am here as an international volunteer with CADIP (out of Canada) teaching and traveling with five other volunteers and five Korean experts. For two weeks, we are working and playing with two groups of Korean children at the summer International Peace Camp at Gotjawal Little School, one with young middle school students and the other with older high school students.

Marking my midpoint here (I arrived in Korea on July 26), I am bursting with lots of different emotions. First and foremost, I am blown away by the kindness, youth, innocence, generosity, and all-around joy the young children here possess. Each day, the kids have boundless energy and are fully prepared to joyfully put their entire selves into each and every activity. They take us by the hand and want us to never leave their side, no matter what their mood or the weather may be. Very unlike my own eighth graders, these children do not need to be "plugged into" technology 24/7. Not once in our week together did they EVER mention TV, gaming systems, cell phones, iPods, or anything like that. Consequently, they emerge as some of the most carefree and happy kids I have ever met. Perhaps my own students could learn a great deal from them.

Summary of first week with the younger children:

Monday, 7/26 - arrival at airport; met and played with the kids
Tuesday, 7/27 - played with the kids and worked on original stone carvings in the park
Wednesday, 7/28 - lunch at a traditional restaurant and lots of good times at the beach!
Thursday, 7/29 - learned Korean traditional music and prepared for evening cultural festival where we arranged our own rendition of "Stand By Me" for the children (As a singer, I was in heaven!)
Friday, 7/30 - exchanged gifts and goodbyes with the younger kids; ate a nice lunch out; lots of driving across the island to key tourist destinations (including the beautiful waterfall and lonely stone!); ended day at a traditional Korean spa and sauna (More about that later!)
Saturday, 7/31 - enjoyed Korean spa again; did more sightseeing and traveling to another beach; visited an art gallery; toured a traditional folk village; and ate in downtown Jeju City

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