Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Personal Space, Please

Sometimes I wish there was a cubicle wall. That way, the kids wouldn't bump into me on their way to the teacher's printer. That way, the students wouldn't hide behind my chair and poke me from behind. That way, the students wouldn't use my desk as their writing space, their play space. That way, I could lay my head down on my desk and rest without worrying the kids. They think I'm crying, lol.

My desk and my mentor teacher's desk are very close together. Her printer sits on a small, rolley cabinet in between the two desks. Quite often, she has the students wait in a line by the printer and pick up whatever paper comes out of it. Worksheets, definitely. Yesterday as they waited in line, the kids began fiddling with the things on my desk, rifling through papers and picking stuff up. They like to ask me questions, ask for my attention, ask me to play with them while they wait in line. Then, when the line ceases to become a line, and instead becomes a cluttered mass of first graders, they get pushy. The people in the front of the line push their way through the mass of people to get back to their seats. There is little sense of personal space. Actually, this is true for Koreans in general, not just my younger students. If you need to get somewhere, you push your way through. If it's a serious enough accident that you bumped into someone, only THEN do you apologize.

Well, I like the interaction. I enjoy talking to them, and having them try to explain things to me using mumbles and guestures (and finally, Korean, when they get impatient). However, sometimes, I just want to work in peace, to hide away for a little while. I never thought a cubicle wall would sound so appealing.

'Til next time,

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