So this is the first of something I'm going to start - when I used to sell educational books door to door with the Southwestern Company - each day had a special theme, and Thursdays were called Thankful Thursdays - it usually was one of my best days in Sales, because I was able to get outside of myself and the monotony of selling and rejection (I mean seriously, door to door sales post the year 2000- who does that? :) haha) and was able to really be thankful for all the little things! So here goes, while I can't promise to do it every Thursday, when I remember or something strikes me, I promise to blog about it! I've been thinking to do this for a while, but today something happened and I thought - yep, this is the perfect way to start off.
It was a usual Thursday, I had my business class at Hyundai Steel class in the morning and went to my academy around 3:00. My 5:30 free talking class roles in and they're a hardly excited 2 person class of advanced 6th graders -actually some of my favorite students. We started off with a few rounds of Crazy 8's -I can use the game to distract them and ask questions about their school day and plans for the weekend without them having their 'I don't want to learn English' guard up. That class passed really quickly.
My student, Jason, stays for the next hour also, so he always just keeps his same seat. I wished them a great weekend, and opened the door for my next class. Before I know it, 8 rambunctious 6th graders come barging in. I was in and out, grabbing some water, and dropping off the attendance books for my previous classes - and then I heard some commotion between Jason and another student in the 6th grade class, Jack. They're arguing about a chair and playing tug-o-war with their backpacks. So, I intervene, and ask Jack to please stop, and give Jason his chair back. The argument breaks up, but Jason bursts into tears, and when I say tears, I mean giant elephant tears and audible sobbing. I was surprised to see him cry, because it didn't seem like that big of a deal - BUT the next few things are the reason for this post.
He started to cry, and the 2 students sitting to his left, immediately quieted down, the girls across from him busied themselves with homework, and Jack who had caused him to cry - realized it, stopped immediately, and hugged him, while apologizing in Korean. I was amazed! I expected to have to force them to apologize to each other and shake hands, but they handled it themselves. Jack knew he'd done something wrong, and he was hugging and sincerely comforting Jason to make him feel better. NO students even thought to make fun of him for crying, he wasn't teased at all, he wiped his tears off, and we carried on about our English class. It was such a small thing, but it made me smile and feel really grateful for Jack's sincere apology, and for Jason's speedy forgiveness. Teaching is extremely rewarding, frustrating at times, but to be honest, I don't remember what I taught that hour - but I do remember what I was reminded of - apologize sincerely without hesitation, and forgive quickly.