For those of you who had been to academies when you were in elementary, middle, or high school, what kind of memories come to your mind when you think of those days? For me, not only teachers, the atmosphere of studying, and something related to education, but the moments of eating snacks, enjoying an event, and something that is recreational also come memorably to my mind. And those recreational memories have also inspired me to work as a part-time English teacher for 3 years till now.
During those days with no Covid-19, I was inspired to let the elementary and middle school grade children to enjoy their times of childhood as well as making sure they do their own work supposed to do in academies. Once a month, after students have spent a worthy month, I tried to encourage them with some snacks like ice-cream, jellies, cookies, etc. and brought some refreshing exercise sheets so that they can quite relax for a day and not lose interests in studying English. And especially on Halloween, because of the memories I have for Halloween in English academies when I was young, I wanted these children to have a chance to celebrate and enjoy. So we had events of doing ‘Trick or Treat,’ learning about what Halloween is for traditionally, and how the event goes on in U.S.A. Eating snacks together, talking all together with no masks on, laughing, and other interactions we could have with no worries of potential infection, were a big part of fun going to academies.
However, now those fun are to be avoided. Although we, students and other teachers, crave and miss so much the friendly atmosphere we shared, can’t have that moment. Teachers have to make sure students don’t take off their masks inside the academy and when some students feel hungry and need some snacks, they need to finish it outside of the academy. We can’t share the snacks that we carry when coming to academies. This year’s Halloween made me truly sorry for students that I could not let them enjoy the time. Compared to last year when I also prepared an event for getting an extra treat and letting the student who received it share with others, this year I had to let them keep the treat to themselves and prepared the special treats only in Kakaotalk gift certificates, for example, chocolates, jellies, etc. Despite the fact we never celebrated big, I felt sorry for the children that they could only enjoy the day in the minimum state. Since there is nothing I can do to make up for this situation, all that we can do is to wait for safe days to come.
There have been many changes after the Covid-19 broke out. I, who loved going out, loved going to Ewha, loved visiting attractive cafes, loved travelling abroad, and really loved to spend leisure time with those young students in the academy, can’t do these anymore. I think it was quite a challenge in trying to adjust to the new way of life. For the changes that would have affected young students as well, I really hope that they have found their own ways to enjoy the most they can during these times, so that when they look back on their childhood they will be able to have a remembrance of events they really enjoyed in the past days as I do now when I look back on my childhood. But most of all, I hope this world can be someday cleared out of the virus and bring back our former pleasures.