Slice of Life Challenge Entry #9: A Day with 1,200 Teachers
Once a year, the international school teachers in Korea meet at a school for the KORCOS conference. It is a day of keynote speakers, job-alike sessions and workshops run by teachers. This year, there were about 1,200 international school teachers gathered at Chadwick International School in Songdo. As we walked around the beautiful campus and I ooh-ed and ahh-ed at their huge classrooms, cozy library and student work filled hallways, I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous. It is a newer school so it’s facilities are pretty amazing. There the outdoor artificial turf soccer field with a track lining the field, aquatic center and amazing auditorium that fit all of us.
However, during lunch with my fellow teachers, someone was mentioning, what does our school offer that makes the parents and families want to stay? Sure our facilities are not as nice and new, but they said it’s the relationships. It’s all about the relationships we have with the students and the families. As a small school, there is a lot of individual attention. Our class sizes are small. We know everyone on the faculty. I know a lot of the elementary school kids and even many of the middle school and high school kids. We get to interact with everyone whether we want to at times or not.
It’s easy for parents to want to go to the bigger school with nicer facilities. However, in the end, a school is not about it’s building. It’s about the teachers and students that make up the school. I know it sounds so cliche, but some of the best schools I’ve visited and worked at, didn’t have the best facilities, but had the most amazing teachers and students.
As the day came to an end and I walked through the hallways, among the crowds of teachers trying to navigate their way home I was reminded of a few things. There are so many of us. All of us, here are on a journey of our own. Leaving our homes, comforts and family for an adventure. Embracing new cultures, people, and impacting the students here in Korea.