HALF OF A COOKIE

An elementary student in South Korea.

It was as if Julia saw right through my superficial facade. “Teacher, can I help you?” she asked as I rushed around.

I politely declined at first, but then thought about how big of a deal it was for her to ask. So, I found something she could do to assist. 

Today my patience was tested more than it has been since arriving in Korea. It was the second to last day of English camp. I was tired. But, there are no excuses for how close I got to exploding.

It all started when I wasn't able to set up for class ahead of time. My co-teacher was late, and the room was locked. As both of us scrambled to get everything ready, we quickly realized neither of us knew how to use the oven we would need for the main activity.

When I requested pans to bake cookies, my co-teacher gave me saucepans. When I asked for her to turn on the microwave, she plugged in another oven. When I needed the butter to be soft, she melted it completely. After each instance I remained calm, but inside I was fuming. Was I going to have to do everything myself?

In the midst of all this, the kids were rowdy. Of course! This is what happens when teachers are setting up during class, as opposed to before. Obviously, it’s not the best classroom management technique. I don’t blame my students for getting out of control.

After everyone had calmed down, and cookies were in the oven, I had a moment to process. Instead of feeling frustrated, I should've realized today’s lesson was also a learning experience for my co-teacher. She hasn’t had much practice baking. She’s never used the school’s kitchen. Why did I assume or expect so much?

After the cookies were finished baking, Julia shared half of one of hers with me. That’s all it took to snap me out of my stressed, impatient kind of mood. Getting so annoyed isn't normally part of my character.

Children definitely have a way of sensing things. I think Julia could tell I needed that half of a cookie. She helped more than she'll ever know. Such moments are simply profound.

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