Translated by SeungYoun Woo
If the Baker school does not pay for trip, then the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) does. Korean parents are now making a new attempt to send teachers to South Korea at a public school in the U.S.
On May 25th, Korean PTO president Seo-Hee Choi of Baker School in Chestnut Hill, Brookline, held a charity bazaar by selling Korean food, such as Kim-bap, Jap-chae, and some stationery and accessories. The charity bazaar was to raise funds for American teachers to buy flight tickets to visit Korea.
Total funds that were raised last year and this year will be used to send 2 teachers to Korea on April 2012. The teachers will be staying for a week with the help of Eun-Ja Chang, the first president and founder of the Baker School Korean PTO and will be experiencing Korean culture and education through visiting public and private schools in Korea.
Seo-Hee Choi says, “Teachers in the U.S. are still confusing South Korea with North Korea. It will be helpful and better for them to know Korean culture so they can better teach Korean students.”
“Seeing is believing. It is much more effective to teach Korean students when teachers personally experience and deliver what they learn to their colleagues. If they begin to be aware of the real Korea, then they will teach Korean students better.” says Eun-Ja Chang.
She also added, “There are many Korean students in Baker School but the reality is that teachers in this school lack awareness of Korea. I wish not only my children but also all Korean children who enter Baker School, to get a better education.”
The Baker School Korean PTO, connected with both Boston and Korea, has been working diligently since 2009 with the leadership of former president, Eun-Ja Chang. The Korean PTO hosted fund-raising bazaars, a Korean food event for teachers, Korean-English book fairs, Korean food cooking classes for teachers and non-Korean parents, and many other activities.
According to Chang, when she held the first bazaar in 2009, after founding the Korean PTO, Korean parents did not expect much; nevertheless, the event received a positive reception, contrary to the parents’ expectations. Starting with this, the organization became very active.
“ We came up with many ideas for school events by meeting and holding discussions frequently throughout the year. While the organization grew active, the school showed interest and a favorable attitude.” says the former president. However, when the school tried to combine the Korean PTO with the original school PTO, Chang put in a great deal of effort to convince the school to let the Korean PTO remain as it was.
Former president Chang once worried about the organization’s continuity because many members did not stay long enough to act together. Now Chang is glad since “Most of the members of the Korean PTO are currently staying in the U.S. for a long time and we can work together actively.”
There are over 100 Korean students in Baker School, and the members of the Korean PTO number around 40-50. Baker School is located right next to Hancock Village and it is well known for having many Korean students. Also, many Koreans live in Hancock Village, and then leave through many different types of 1-2 year exchange programs. Thus , many Korean students in Baker School come and go frequently within a short period.
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지