I've already passed the 11-month mark here in Korea. It is so surreal to go from being that wide-eyed new kid on the block meeting all these savvy foreigners who can spit out what sounds like gobbledegook and help you navigate your way around Korean streets, food, and culture to being the person who seemed to know so much--without really knowing anything at all!
Yes, a lot has changed.
I think about leaving my students and I get horribly sad. I don't want to think about it for a second. I have to start training the Loud American to be me. And it's so hard. I don't want to think about my kindy's loving on another teacher, holding their hand and trying to monopolize their attention. That's MY job. I'm already mourning the loss of them and I'm not even leaving for another three and a half months.
I'm sure you think I'm exaggerating, but even on their worst days, I just love hanging out with these silly five year olds.
Even when they spit on me because they were holding water in their mouths and then they started laughing.
Or cough in my face.
Or break my shoe.
Or steal my food.
Or seven of them are calling "teacherrrrr!" at the exact same time.
Or they bawl their eyes out.
Or they cling to me and try to rip off my arms.
Or play with glitter all over the table and make a huge mess.
There are just as many times they come to sit on my lap for no reason at all.
And come to the teacher's room to tell me a story about something that happened during lunch.
Or shout "See you tomorrow!"/"Goodnight!"/"See you in 300 million years!"
Or make jokes about the air conditioning sounding like a coffee maker. "Teacher wants coffee?"
Or draw cute pictures of us together.
Or clean up my classroom for me.
Or tell people how much they love me.
I'm really savoring these moments now because I know I'm going to blink, and then they'll be gone. :(