We had a lesson on different countries, their flags and something each is famous for.
Noticeably missing was any mention of KOREA!
So, we wrote it in on the world map in their text books (made in Korea by Koreans, btw).
The fun task for the lesson was to design an imaginary country's flag and write a couple notes about it. "Elliot" created his imaginary flag to show a heightened awareness of,
and appreciation for his own country.
"Harry" fell in love with the postcards of Utah mountains I passed around.
But after I reminded him that Korea is full of mountains, covered with green trees,
he designed his country's flag depicting what he loves here--green mountains and water.
"Stephanie," the sensitive dreamer, came up with this multi-colored deer chasing a star
for her imaginary country's flag.
"Stella" knocked me out! She is one heck of a pint-sized artist; her perceptive abilities left me in awe!! With no way to understand that she was looking at a holy edifice, the Salt Lake City temple, Stella latched onto this postcard I passed around. She ignored everything and everyone
and started drawing the city with amazing alacrity and accuracy.
Within minutes she'd captured many of the essential details, then
embellished with the cloud, cross, star and angels. I must emphasize I never even
attempted to share what that part of the city means to members of our faith.
She just drew what she felt and called it the country of angels and a star.
Man, I love that kid! She's such a little imp; ready to take on boys twice her size, laugh herself to death, or whine until I'm ready to slap her because she regrets a choice of flavor in a sucker.
"My most precious thing is the love my parents give me. Parents' love is the not always counted as a most precious thing; but I love my parents. Truly, the love they give me is a very, very, very precious thing. It is most precious to me."
"If I was a mother, I'd say to my children....your hands and face must always be clean, because your face is everything. If people see your face, they know everything about you." Also by this author, on what she'd say as a mother, '"I want you to succeed. If you have a dream, you can do it! You are the best. I believe in you!"' I must believe in them, because he or she is my son or daughter. I'll give love to them. "Ah," I'll say; "your existence is very important." I'll respect them. But, I can't see them grow into spoilt children, so I'll discipline them, so they won't be."
"My mom is a good cook. Her food is dainty. I'm happy everyday because I have a good mom."
Most of my students write about loving family relationships in their diaries. I see them walking arm in arm or holding hands with their moms, friends and sisters. It's beautiful.
Korea celebrates Parents' Day on May 8th, combining Mothers' and Fathers' day.
The students who're close to their families reflect the good effects of that love in their classroom behavior. They may get rowdy and silly, but never mean or hateful.
The ones who do harbor anger issues, I wonder about.
One young, usually happy boy wrote, "My dad's hobby is hitting me."
I laughed when I read what he wrote during class.
But he's written stuff like that more than once, so I wonder...
This entry from a sweet young girl's diary this week had me pondering and praying about her.
The theme of her diary entry was "What are your saddest and happiest times?" She wrote:
"My saddest time is when my father is very angry, and picks things up and throws them in the house. My mom has to pick up the pieces. My mom cries, and so do my sister and me.
Wow. When my father doesn't throw things, I'm happy."
Another girl, who speaks English well, was worried about her exams and kept saying in advance: "48 hours to live;" then, "24 hours to live..." After receiving poor exam scores, I asked what would happen, since Korean kids don't repeat grades or get moved to a lower school or level over low test scores. She was afraid to go home to her mom. "She'll beat me."
But relationships are complicated...
"My most precious thing is my family, my friends, and my puppy.
My family is kind, but [also] very scary.
But when I have a bad day, my family is sad and tears fall from their eyes.
My friends are very kind and they don't have bad thinking, so I like them.
My puppy is very cute. So I feel I'm lucky."
Middle school girl, "Lisa," drew this--Love it!
For the diary topic, "If I were Invisible," most wrote about stealing, pranks, and even vengeance, but this 6th grader schemes of doing good deeds for others: "I'd bless my family and best friends with good things...I'd help with my mom's household matters, because I did some household chores one day. It was very trying, so, I know mom's heart. I want to help in my mom's household without her knowing. I want my mom to be surprised and happy." She also wrote that she'd follow her father when he goes outside to see if he goes out to smoke.
If so, she'd find a way to break him of the habit
because she's concerned for his health.
Finally, this one made me laugh and smile inside: "If I were a mother I'd say to me children, "you must study!" because my mother says so too..."go to bed early!" "Stop playing on the computer!"...because my mother says so too. I'd say to my children, "I love you," because I'd love my children. I'd say to my children, "Joanna teacher is a very, very good teacher!"
because I love Joanna teacher!"
I love her too!
There's no real cohesion to this blog; I just love so many of these kids and wanted to quote and share some of what they created, wrote (edited for clarity) or said just this week. These expressions give me glimpses into what goes on in their lives, their minds and their hearts.
I cherish them.