Context: Hee Jeong is a 6th grade girl I’ve been teaching for one year and 49 days. She hates everything. Even EXO. 6th grade girls in Korea do not hate EXO.
August 26th, 2013: Hee Jeong and I meet in the 5th grade classroom. I say hello. No response from Hee Jeong.
August 27th, 2013 – April 2014: I say things. No response from Hee Jeong.
April 7th, 2014: Speaking tests are conducted. I discover that Hee Jeong can say words.
April 8th, 2014: Operation “Hee Jeong & Liz-Teacher BFFS4LYFE” commences.
April 2014 – June 2014: I greet Hee Jeong every time she enters my gaze. No response from Hee Jeong.
July 10th, 2014: Hee Jeong acknowledges my existence. She gives my new hairstyle a thumbs down.
July 14th, 2014: Hee Jeong says “hello” back to me.
July 14th, 2014 – September 2014: Hee Jeong responds to all of my greetings with “hello”.
September 22nd, 2014: Hee Jeong says “Hello” first.
October 14th, 2014: Hee Jeong yells my name from behind me, then runs up to me with her classmate and proceeds to ask me where I’m going before showing me the cool wrist bandage she obtained after jumping off a chair in gym class yesterday.
I would extrapolate on how initiating a positive change in one child’s attitude is an irreplaceable feeling in a sometimes very depressing profession, and how doing so adds a distinct level of certainty in one’s ability as a teacher, but I have some “best friends forever” bracelets to make.