Creating Boundaries

Korean children like children the world over are very inquisitive beings.  This natural inquisitiveness is magnified the moment a foreigner walks into the classroom.

We as westerners, enjoy privacy and are certainly not used to being bombarded with some often quite personal questions  including “Are you married?”, “How old are you?”, “Do you have any children?”, Why are you not married yet?” to illustrate a few.

If this does not bother you, then good for you, but for those of us who like their privacy, this may be a bitter pill to swallow.  The important thing to remember is this is certainly culturally accepted and you need to relax and go with the flow.

I am certainly not saying that you need to tell them your life story or anything along those lines.  As their teacher you MUST create boundaries first and foremost-just find a good balance.  Your students will soon get the message and start responding to the way you want them to respond towards you in and out of class.

Don’t forget respect towards teachers and education in general is very high and valued in Korea, so if the worst comes to the worst and a child does disrespect you, it will (should) be dealt with by the school if you decide to report it to your co-teacher.

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