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A Heartfelt Affection Between Teachers and Students

Posted May. 13, 2001 08:24,   


- Distress on Teacher’s Day

‘Gift for teachers’ is the major topic in the internet education site as Teacher’s day is nearing. A parent with the pen name ‘Agony’, who has two elementary school children, wrote on the web, ‘Although I have been sending flowers and thank-you card, I wonder whether my children would be disadvantaged due to the insufficiency of gift’.

Teachers, such as ‘Teacher Huhhuh’, respond to this in one voice by saying ‘You don’t have to give us expensive gifts’. Park Chong-Kuk in Bonglim Elementary School, Chang-won, asked not to condemn teachers as if all teachers are same.

‘Children’s writing’: ‘We all know what is going on. One friend, whose mother gave money to teacher, became ‘extremely-alienated’ from other friends. We used to be good friends…’

School is closed: 216 elementary schools out of 536 in Seoul will be closed on Teacher’s Day, May 15th. 57 elementary schools in Seoul Nambu District Office of Education have decided to close the school on Teacher’s Day in the school president’s meeting. Youngshin Elementary School (Shingil Dong, Youngdeungpo Ku) has decided to close from 14th through 16th. Yang Hee-Suk president of Youngshin said that ‘Closing school makes teachers feel rather comfortable’.

Kunja Elementary School (Jangahn Dong, Dongdaemoon Ku, Seoul) also closes school for two days. When the school asked parents earlier in the semester when would be the best time for school holiday, more than 80percent answered ‘May 14th and 15th’.

Both Middle and High school also let students return home early after a brief ceremony for ‘visiting former teacher’.

‘We spend Teacher’s Day with a sense of pride and joy’. Should Teacher’s Day be always burdensome? Not necessarily, if we look at the case of Sungshim Women’s Highschool (Yongsan Ku, Seoul). Because of school’s long tradition of ‘special event’, which students prepare for teachers, giving an individual gift is unthinkable. Last year students gave teachers a ride on carriage covered with flowers from the school gate to the office. This year student broadcast group will show a comic video after filming the class along with teachers’ old pictures. Paper roses, candles, and special performance are prepared as well. Candle implies ‘appreciation for our teachers, who fill the world with lights’. Cho Jung-Eun, student president proudly said that ‘The sentiment of faded affection between teachers and students is not present at our school’.

Chung Kyung-Joon news91@donga.com