How big of an affair can a preschool graduation really be? Oh, boy. Let me try to shed some light…
The school year at Sungbuk SLP culminates in each class performing a graduation play. Each of the 14 preschool classes are challenged to memorize lines, songs and accompanying motions and dances for a 30 minute performance. What an undertaking for such small children! For months, we have been working day in and day out on our plays. I am certain that I could not have done even close to the fantastic job that each and every one of these kids did. Words cannot express how proud I was to see them onstage performing a perfectly executed rendition of Hairspray in front of all of their families! An impressive feat, to say the least.
The kids staggered in and were shuffled into a changing room where we stripped off their clothes and helped them to put on elaborate costumes while they waited for their turn to take the stage. They performed, countless pictures were taken, tears were shed and they were re-shuffled into the changing room where we, once again, de-robed the babes and changed them into graduation gowns and caps. Yes, that’s right! Gowns and caps! Once again, we took the stage and each child was presented with a diploma. Many, many more pictures were taken, boquets of lollipos, marshmallows and flowers were given and gratitude and congradulations were showered. We were true celebrities.
As the end of the extravaganza approached, I was overwhelmed with emotion. In front of all of my coworkers, bosses, students and families, I cried like a baby. The bond formed with these kids seeing them day in and day out, for me, is indescribable. Perhaps it’s because as foreign teachers, we are alone in a country, without family, and in desperate search of forming real emotional ties.Or maybe, they just really are that awesome. Either way, I will never, ever forget these kiddos or magic that they sprinkled into my life.