St. Paddy’s Day is this Saturday, and I have of course been spreading the green joy throughout the school this week, reminding the older kids about the holiday and everything they’ve learned about Ireland. The new babies aren’t capable of grasping more than “You… Korea. Me… Ireland.”, but for art class today we made little bear puppets dressed in green and shamrocks, and used them to practice saying “My name is Paddy the bear!” and “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!”.
Everyone had fun, and the kids went home proudly clutching their new Irish friends.
As I was sweeping the paper cuttings off the floor and getting organised for my elementary classes, one of my Korean colleagues wandered in. “Hey, how could I insult someone in Irish?” she asked casually. I shrugged. “I don’t speak Irish.” She shook her head – “No, I just mean colloquial language. Teach me some rude slang from your country.”
That, I can do!
I wrote a few helpful words and phrases on the board, and proceeded to fall about laughing as she practiced saying “Yer a feckin’ eejit!”. The noise brought two more colleagues to see what was causing such hilarity, and before long they were all competing to see who could speak the best “Irish”.
I like to think that, in my own special way, I have brought a little piece of Irish culture to my Korean colleagues. This is what teaching is all about! ;)