Kindergarten Goodbye

Last weekend, my students graduated kindergarten–a two-hour ceremony that featured caps and gowns, song and dance acts, and a re-imagined version of The Blind Men and the Elephant, for which I constructed a miniature elephant from cardboard, felt, and packing tape–the same tape I used to seal up the three boxes I shipped home to Canada.

This week, while I begin my travels through India, my students will begin Grade 1 and the start of a long road through Korea’s education system: days in public school, afternoons in hagwons, and evenings spent studying, often until they sleep.

I want to give them backyards to run around in and afternoons off and free time with their friends.  I want to give them a school life that inspires them to form their own ideas about themselves and the world.  I want their little spirits to to thrive and grow and create.  Have fun, I told them, kneeling down to hug each one in our last moment together.  I will miss you.

They have graduated kindergarten, but in my mind they’ll be six years old forever, lined up in coats and boots, handing me colour-paper cards that say Goodbye Courtney Teacher.  I love you.  Please don’t forget me.

I won’t forget you.



ps–I am writing this from Delhi.

Up next: Post #100 on Coco Busan (last one!) with the link to my new blog…


4 thoughts on “Kindergarten Goodbye

  1. Epic
    Wonderful to have been able to follow 2 years of writing genius.
    Looking so forward to the India Diaries.
    Beso grande

  2. Awwww they are so adorable…i miss my kindergarden students from Rome now… Have a great time in India…..amazing!!!!!!!

  3. Congrats on finishing this chapter of your life…it’s truly your graduation from Korea too! I love you dreams and aspirations for your students, it sure makes me feel grateful for the upbringing our children have here in Canada. Your students are adorable and I’m sure will leave a lasting impression…I still think of little Benson and George that I taught in Taiwan more than ten years ago!

    Happy travels dear friend! Soak it all up so when we see you this summer you can share all your wonderful travel stories…so excited for an in person Coco visit. Be safe and have SO MUCH FUN!!! Looking forward to your new blog, I have loved your writing, photos and insights. Sending BIG LOVE from Spring Lake. XOXO

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