This morning, I arrived at my boy’s class for the day. The home room teacher was there, and he barked out some instructions to the boys. And then, then THE MALE CO-TEACHER SHOWED UP – WITH HIS STICK.
The boys were quiet the rest of the class. Amazing what a little muscle flexing can do.
The co-teacher didn’t stay the entire lesson, so I didn’t get the opportunity to thank him. I am sure he thought I spoke too fast and that the lesson did not include the students speaking enough. I am hyper-sensitive to criticism about my classes, I know. This particular lesson about the environment is also very dry. However, I wanted to point out things I have seen in Korea that the students can do to help the environment:
- Bring their own cups and stop using disposable paper cups – they are EVERYWHERE, half of the trash seems to be full of paper cups
- Bring their own chopsticks and keep some in their backpacks for when they eat out
- Stop accepting plastic bags at every store, when their backpacks can hold the items they purchase – again, the trash cans are full of plastic bags
- Stop buying individually packaged single serve items and buy large items that can be divided instead
- Stop turning the heat up so high and wear sweaters and socks. I was told 28 degrees Celsius was a good temperature to set the thermostat at – that’s 82 degrees Farenheit! I told them my thermostat was set at 23, and they were shocked. I told them that Europeans set their thermostats at 20, and they were even more shocked. I had thought that Koreans would be used to the harsh climate here, but instead their rooms are over-heated, and they wear coats in the hallways and shiver, complaining about the cold. I told them they could easily save a million won in the winter if they would just put on a sweater and turn down the heat.
- Stop washing clothes in hot water
I hope my expanding definition of English teacher does not get me in trouble – but if there’s any way I can get this small country to be less dependent on imports – imports that fuel wars, denude forests, and pollute the water and food sources, then I will gladly plead guilty.
ADDED: The co-teacher is scarey. I also don’t know who he is – they say he is an English teacher, but he looks the same to me as the math teacher who was introduced to me before school as my co-teacher. To be fair to me, I’ve only spoken with this guy once – when the Freshman were assembled the first day of school.