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Bucheon Girls’ High School

June 6, 2011

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It’s been three years since I first opened the door to my classroom at Bucheon Girls’ High School. I still remember how awkward and disoriented I felt because of the strength of the language barrier, the newness of the Korean school schedule, and the difference in the school curriculum. At first, both the students and teachers were extremely shy and reserved. To be clear, they were very welcoming and polite, and they were always greeting me in the hallway and smiling excitedly, but most of the teachers were unwillingly to really open up and talk to me due to their shyness when speaking English (and probably because I was a bit intimidating as well).

In turn, I felt extremely isolated and alone at first, especially for that long hour at lunch time when I ate at a table surrounded by nothing but Korean conversation. I knew many of my co-workers and students spoke English, yes, but I didn’t know how to get them to speak English with me, and I knew that I just had to figure out a way, somehow, to make them comfortable with me.

I tried my best to open myself up to my fellow teachers and students and ask questions about Korean culture, language, and pronunciation. My mistakes in speaking Korean and eagerness to learn allowed them to feel less nervous around me about their mistakes in English. This in turn led to me telling them little details about myself and my life, to show them some pictures, and tell them some stories. Slowly, they too reciprocated in kind.

I wrote little notes about the students I talked to. “Third student from the left at the third desk: has round glasses, likes Big Bang. Spoke with me Tuesday after class, smiles a lot.” I made sure to look up all the music they suggested, even if I wasn’t into it (YET!), so that I could bring it up with them next class. My eagerness to communicate with a few students from each class trickled over to other students and classrooms. They all soon began suggesting their favourite bands, inviting me to their club activities, and openly stopping me in the hallway to chat about TVXQ and the recent American drama they watched.

Within a couple of awkward and hard-working months, I felt totally at ease with my school. As a result, in my three years at my school I attended graduations, entrance exam cheering sessions, sports days, club activities, school festivals, school plays, school trips, band performances, teacher team-building trips, and made a new best friend who I’ll be friends with forever…석복…(if you’re reading this, that’s you!) ^^ All of these memories are filled with laughter and smiles from the most excellent co-workers I’ve gotten to know, and my super-awesome-funny-clever-amazing-talented-warm-hearted students.

My lesson plans got better each year; I learned what worked and what didn’t, how to keep my students interested, and how to help motivate disinterested students. My teaching style became smoother and more confident each year, and my new students’ shyness didn’t bother me, because I knew how to eventually overcome it. The positive and negative reactions my students had to my lessons were the clearest indications as to whether I succeeded or failed, so I really have to thank the students for teaching me what a good teacher should be like. I’ve grown a lot because of them, and for that I am grateful.

During my last week of school, everything my students did made me cry like a sucky baby sissy pants…”Martina, here is some chocolate” *sob* “Martina, we wrote a song for you” *sob* “Martina, we got a cake for you” *SOOOOBBB*. I know I’m moving on to a different career path now, and that I won’t be teaching at my school anymore, but teaching is something I’m going to miss and fondly remember. Many of my students said to me during that last week, “Martina, don’t forgot us, okay?” As if I could! It is totally impossible for me to forget my experience at Bucheon Girls’ High School as they have forever changed me in the most positive way. I’ll really really miss you all.

Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives and don’t forget me! ^^

*sob*

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  1. Cute…sad…very cool memories.

    6 years ago
  2. They’re staying!!!! 

    6 years ago
  3. So what are you going to do now that you’ve given up teaching??

    6 years ago
  4. Aaahw, this is sooo touching ^^,
    just keep in touch with your student and everything wil be a-okay ^^ ;p

    and I hope you’ll enjoy what you are choosing to do afterwards
    so keep up the good work ö
    ’cause your video’s always make me smile and lol ^^) xD

    6 years ago
  5. I wish you all the best, Martina. I’m sure you have touched a lot of people’s lives in that school, and they have touched yours. Keep being the awesome people you and Simon are. I’m a fan for life!!!

    6 years ago
  6. made me tear up

    6 years ago
  7. made me tear up

    6 years ago
  8. made me tear up

    6 years ago
  9. made me tear up

    6 years ago
  10. made me tear up

    6 years ago
  11. made me tear up

    6 years ago
  12. made me tear up

    6 years ago
  13. made me tear up

    6 years ago
  14. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  15. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  16. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  17. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  18. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  19. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  20. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  21. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  22. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  23. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  24. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  25. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  26. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  27. I love your vid… is sad to end something but you have good memories ^^

    6 years ago
  28. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  29. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  30. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  31. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  32. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  33. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  34. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  35. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  36. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  37. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  38. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  39. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  40. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  41. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  42. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  43. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  44. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  45. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  46. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  47. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  48. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  49. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  50. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  51. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  52. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  53. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  54. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  55. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  56. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  57. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  58. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  59. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  60. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  61. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  62. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  63. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  64. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  65. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  66. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  67. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  68. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  69. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  70. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  71. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  72. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  73. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  74. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  75. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  76. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  77. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  78. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  79. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  80. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  81. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  82. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  83. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  84. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  85. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  86. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  87. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  88. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  89. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  90. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  91. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  92. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  93. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  94. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  95. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  96. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  97. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  98. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  99. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  100. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  101. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  102. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  103. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  104. Kind of made me teary eyes but then again I am sentimental. It makes the fact I want to go teach in Korea seem so much more worth it when I see how welcome they make people feel.

    6 years ago
  105. OMG THAT MADE ME TEARY EYED!!!  why r u leaving though?

    6 years ago
  106. OMG THAT MADE ME TEARY EYED!!!  why r u leaving though?

    6 years ago
  107. OMG THAT MADE ME TEARY EYED!!!  why r u leaving though?

    6 years ago
  108. OMG THAT MADE ME TEARY EYED!!!  why r u leaving though?

    6 years ago
  109. i would love to be in your class!

    6 years ago
  110. Also, Martina, I’ve watched and read all of Simon’s lesson plans but was wondering if you would be willing to write an example of one of your lessons, or what the curriculum you taught focused on-a big request I know, so I you can’t I understand-thanks for the awesome video :)

    6 years ago
  111. Also, Martina, I’ve watched and read all of Simon’s lesson plans but was wondering if you would be willing to write an example of one of your lessons, or what the curriculum you taught focused on-a big request I know, so I you can’t I understand-thanks for the awesome video :)

    6 years ago
  112. What are you going to do now?

    You’re video is great! I wish I had an English teacher like you in High school :3

    6 years ago
  113. What are you going to do now?

    You’re video is great! I wish I had an English teacher like you in High school :3

    6 years ago
  114. omg this video is awesome!!!
    it’s filled with good memories ♥
    it almost made me cry T______________T (of happiness xD)
    I love the video xDDDD
    hope you and your students keep in touch :3

    6 years ago
  115. omg this video is awesome!!!
    it’s filled with good memories ♥
    it almost made me cry T______________T (of happiness xD)
    I love the video xDDDD
    hope you and your students keep in touch :3

    6 years ago
  116. omg this video is awesome!!!
    it’s filled with good memories ♥
    it almost made me cry T______________T (of happiness xD)
    I love the video xDDDD
    hope you and your students keep in touch :3

    6 years ago
  117. first

    6 years ago