My students enjoyed parties in their homerooms this morning, complete with cakes and balloons. Teachers' Day in Korea is no small celebration---like always, Koreans celebrate thoroughly. But, having said that, it wasn't entirely different from a regular day. I'm greeted with expressions like "I love you, teacher" on a regular basis. Students often run up to me in the halls and hug me. Sometimes little presents are left on my desk, like snacks, pictures, or random trinkets. In fact, I get so many snacks that I keep a box on my desk to hold them all, so that whenever I'm hungry, I can easily find a little something to munch on.
Today, I got all of those, too: a slice of cake (complete with candles), a sweet letter, and a carnation. Just another day that's got me thinking, I love my job. The note left on my desk read:
Dear the most beautiful teacher
Hello, teacher. We really thank you for teaching us earnestly. We will also try harder to learn more even though there are some difficulties from every students to understand you. We really respect your courage to move to such a far country from Canada without family. We hope to learn your adventures personality. Teacher, Dong Duk students always love you!!
Sincerely, Dong Duk students
I don't think there could be anything sweeter than that!
On Teachers' Day in Korea, it's common for ex-students to visit their old teachers and give them a carnation flower. Some of my co-workers have plans to visit their old teachers this weekend. This holiday really shows how much teachers are valued here, and I'm so happy I get to be a part of it.
Jacques Barzun, a French-American cultural historian and author, once said, "In teaching, you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years." That couldn't be more true. And Teachers' Day is one way that Koreans show their appreciation for their teachers, even years later.