Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teachers’ Day (16 May)

5 May was Children’s Day.  It’s a national holiday and a chance for kids to just be kids – something they don’t often get to do in Korea.  Similarly, on 15 May, we celebrate Teachers’ Day.  Although it’s not a national holiday, it’s a day full of celebration nonetheless.  Since it falls on a Sunday this year, my students decide to celebrate on Monday instead.  I had forgotten that it was Teachers’ Day and so was a little puzzled by the sight that greeted me at the main entrance of my school this morning.

Basically, Teachers’ Day is a day where the students show how much they appreciate and like their teachers.  Essentially, it’s a bit of a popularity competition and a contest between classes as each homeroom class tries to outdo the others.  It’s mostly the homeroom teachers who are recognised and celebrated by the students but some students acknowledge other teachers too.  I was fortunate enough to receive a few letters from some of my students telling me how much they enjoy and appreciate my classes. 

The students photo shop their teachers’ faces onto various other pictures like movie posters, bodies of figure skaters, doing skateboard tricks, etc.  My personal favourite this year was that of Six-pack, the PE teacher, whose face was photo shopped onto the physique of a bodybuilder.  Fortunately, the teachers all take the pictures in a good natured manner and, I think, they really appreciate the efforts of the students.  There's even an attempt at matchmaking between two of the single teachers.  Sadly, the match is unsuccessful but the teachers take it all in a good-natured manner.

Some classes even get balloons and line the paths from the office of their homeroom teacher to their classroom, paste post-it notes all over the school, decorate every available wall space with pictures and notes, have balloon decorations or make big banners.  It’s fun to read all of the notes, even though I don’t understand most of them, and to look at the pictures.  Here are some of the photos I took around my school:

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