Thursday, April 12, 2012

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Do Your Share...

The kids are sweeping around my desk as I sit here trying to learn how to draw a soccer ball. They're sweeping so diligently that a ginormous dust bunny has been given life. Dust motes are swarming the air around me, and I'm afraid that I might sneeze. ...Actually, I'm wondering why I haven't sneezed yet. Probably because my nose is running.

It's an interesting note that students often help clean the school. Just like doing house chores, the school is swept, mopped, and dusted by the kids. There does seem to be a cleaning lady here (and a grounds caretaker or two), but Korean (and probably other Asian) culture asks that students do much of the tidying. Everyday before and after lunch, I see the older kids cleaning up the hallways and teacher's lounge. At random moments of the day, my mentor teacher asks her first grade students to grab their mini "hand brooms" and dust pans and go around the classroom collecting whatever trash they find.

I think this is a great idea. You should should see the state of the classroom after each day! Anyways, the classroom isn't regularly cleaned without them. Occasionally, my mentor teacher and I will grab the vacuum,  straighten desks, pick up dropped writing utensils, and huge pieces of scrap paper (left over from a class activity). Actually, I wish kids in America would have the responsibility to clean classrooms. When you realize just how much mess you make, there's a possibility that that you'll make less of it (especially as you get older).

...Somehow I immediately refute that statement...

Anyways, my point is that it's pretty helpful for everyone, if everyone is collectively helping to keep an area looking nice. It also gives kids more responsibility. Imagine American high school kids cleaning their classrooms and hallways. There could still be janitors (especially for really serious cleaning jobs, like those requiring chemicals), and I don't think the janitors would mind if students helped by tidying up.

....Actually right now the kids are singing at the tops of their lungs, so I can't focus on what I'm writing here. I hope the point has gotten across.

'Til next time,


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