Next week is my 1st week with my own class. I've been learning the way things work around here. The curriculum is very similar to that of back home. The library is stocked full of books any elementary student in the States would recognize. The children here put in extraordinary hours towards school. Many of my kinder students have schedules that would rival that of a grad student working on their thesis! An ordinary day has them in my class by 0930. They get a twenty min break and thirty min lunch. We end class at 1430 and their day is just beginning. Many go straight to a music school where they learn various instruments. Some of the girls are enrolled in ballet where they hone their skills for a few hours a day. Soccer is big here and boys and girls play. The homework that we are instructed to give them can be anywhere between 2-3hours a night. I'm sure most of these kids don't get to bed this side of midnight. Remember these kids are only 5-6 years old. The older kids that come in the afternoon have all those extra curricular's, plus Korean elementary school. No wonder the US lags behind in so many educational categories. Oh and the government and parents are backing teachers and education.
Ok, I promise I won't go into a political rant, I don't have the answers by any means. Well... maybe I'll make one small comment. I always come back to a quote I saw back in college. It just sort of stuck in my head... it just made sense to me.
"The only way tomorrow's problems can be solved today is by getting today's population ready to face them." -Arthur F. Corey
I guess the debate would be, "Well, how do you prepare them?' By the time the debate was over or one side ran out of air I'm guessing the problems would be many.
On another note, I've been wondering how this experience is going to change me and if I'll be able to have the perspective to recognize it. I look back on my life and analysis important personal events and most of the time it is hard for me to differentiate from who I was and who I became. It's easy to say that I've matured in some aspects of life but the ideas, concepts, and beliefs I've held, discarded, and looked at with new eyes are harder to pinpoint. We all continue to evolve and sometimes it happens without us even knowing it.