Well… today is my last day at work.

I’ve been woefully absent on my blog, but that’s because I’ve had so much to do. And, in some ways, Korea has really become regular, daily life that doesn’t really require a ‘blog.’

These days I’ve been training in the new teacher, Lauren, who is really competent. She has more training at this than either Emily or I had, and I know she’ll do just fine. She’s taught in the States, so she’ll have a huge heads up on both of us.

Right now, I feel a lot like I felt right before I moved to college. There’s a huge, exciting adventure ahead of me, but I don’t know how it will be, and I can’t imagine it at all. I don’t know if I’ll be ready. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it, but I do know that I want to do it, so that’s all I have right now.

It’s really hard to say goodbye to my baby students. I’m the only foreign teacher they’ve known, and they are 100% mine. They were really starting to drive me crazy, but they’re mine and only mine, so it’s hard to pass them on to someone else. As my first class, the one I like to call “Squirrel Kindergarten” left yesterday, telltale tears welled up in my eyes and I looked away, shooing them out before they saw me–because then I would have been DONE.

I try not to gloat. I try not to make it clear just how hard I worked to make these children love me–to be a good teacher, to teach them and help them and do what I thought was right. I try not to tell everyone how hard I worked to keep loving them even though everything around me told me that I shouldn’t. Everything around me said: “You are temporary, you don’t matter, this is just a business.” But I tried my best to make sure that even though that attitude got into me sometimes, that it never corrupted the reason I came into my classes every day. At least my babies. At least for my babies, I felt like I could do the best job I could do.

But there is a big difference between how things were then, and how they are now. The students’ parents know me. The students know I can speak Korean, at least a little bit, and that I care about their language. The teachers and the boss trusts me, and even the desk teachers are kind to me. I used to loathe how hard it was. Now I feel proud of the fact that I made it all this way. I dealt with kids with violent learning disabilities, kids with severe ADD, and all kinds strange and wonderful other things. I had virtually no training, and absolutely no warning. I worked hard. And I pulled through, and in the end, I’d say the vast majority of these kids are better off, or at least just not thoroughly damaged. I worked really hard for something positive, and I think I got it.

That said, I am really happy to be turning to the next thing in my life. This was in many ways the hardest thing I have ever done. Luckily, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and after these last few days, I am sure that I have not been killed.

On Saturday, October 1, this blog will become Maggie Cube Goes to India! Stay tuned for the next exciting episode….

2 thoughts on “Well… today is my last day at work.”

  1. Thanks Maddie! Good luck on your second year. I'll be back in Korea for 4 days in November. I'll try giving you a call or hitting you up on facebook. (Since I won't really have a phone.)

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