The End of an Era

6 years ago, my wife and I embarked on a journey from Canada to South Korea. We came to see the world, live overseas and pay off the debt of our undergraduate studies. Our plan was to come and teach for a couple of years and then move on. This plan was reworked, retooled, changed and revised over the years. Instead of staying for two, we stayed for six.

Teaching English has sustained us financially during our stay in Korea. That was until last week. After 6 years of teaching (5 years at the same school), we exited the school grounds for the last time. It was a bittersweet moment. Bitter because we both have enjoyed teaching the children. I’ll miss the classroom discussions, the hand made origami presents and seeing students progress in their studies.

The moment was also sweet too. We were leaving with our heads held high. We were confident in our decision to move on from the world of teaching English. We were and still are excited about what will happen next.

The picture above is of the rules of my classroom. These ten simple rules kept my grade two students from descending into anarchy. Well, that and a complex reward system that involved sweets, mechinal pencils for participation and yellow/red cards and a firm “talking to” for stepping out of line. I wonder if people the world over followed these simple rules (excluding rule 1), would our world be a different place? Could these basic principles keep our world from caving in on itself?

The end of our journey here is almost over after 6 years. Not 6 long years, but 6 great years. In 6 years, South Korea went from being the place I live to, well….Home.

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