Monday, October 8, 2012

We need some more boundaries

Kids in Korea have a LOT of freedom at school. In elementary school the day is broken up into 40 minute periods with 10 minute breaks in between each period. And those 10 minutes are a free-for-all. It's like a mini-recess with zero rules. In the beginning I tried to control the kids during this time, but none of the other teachers do so it ended up being a waste of energy. They couldn't understand why I would tell them to stop hitting each other or not to run indoors and they'd look at me like I was crazy. They fight, wrestle, climb, run, jump, scream, play hide-and-seek...literally anything is ok. I've gotten used to it, but I don't love it.

At lunch the other day my co-teacher told me that a 4th grader at another school fell out of a 4th story window recently. She said he dropped his backpack out of the window and it landed on an awning on the 2nd floor. So he jumped out to get it, and the awning broke. He was in a coma for 2 days and is awake now, but has some brain damage.

I'm all for giving kids a little freedom and not controlling their every move, but this is out of control. When students are getting severely injured you know there's a very serious problem.

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