There are college students working hard in the scorching weather for middle school students with financial difficulties. We at CWNU also have students like them. Here’s an interview with instructor Joon Ho Kwon, a member of the Samsung Dream class.
Q : Nice to meet you Mr. Kwon. Please introduce yourself to the readers.
Kwon: Hello, my name is Joon Ho Kwon. I am a senior in CWNU majoring in special education.
Q : Could you explain Samsung Dream class?
KWON: Samsung Dream class is Samsung’s social contribution project. It provides extra academic education opportunities to middle school students with financial difficulties during after-school hours. The project assigns volunteer college students to the classes.
Q : I have heard that you had many problems as you started to participate in Samsung Dream class. What kind of problems did you have?
Kwon: The very first school I was assigned to was a middle school in Naeseo-eup, Masan. The students were quite unwilling to participate in the class so, motivating the students to participate was the biggest problem I had to deal with. Also, the class had a very strict schedule, so sometimes I had to skip my class for the Dream class. Because I couldn’t attend two of them, I used to supplement unfinished studies during the summer/winter vacation.
Q : What kept you participating in major classes for two years?
Kwon: For two years, I was assigned to three different classes. In the first class, the students made things very difficult so I considered quitting it, but in the second class, students showed a better attitude so I was able to keep teaching with hope. While teaching them, I realized that every student needs attention regardless of their personality. Since that experience, I always try to pay attention to each individual student.
Q : Do you have any advice to those who are planning to participate in the dream class?
Kwon: First, getting close to the students is the most important thing. Also, use a reward system. In my case, I used compliment stickers to maintain a learning atmosphere. It is a classic method but still very effective, even to middle school 3rd graders. It is classic but the best.
Q : As a student in the special education department, what’s your future plan?
Kwon : Since it is my last semester in Changwon University before graduation, I am going to be spending most of my time studying for the teacher certification examination. After that, I hope to continuously participate in the Dream class. I have spent half of my time in college involved with it, so I am sure that I can manage the Dream class well with strong enthusiasm and deal with the complaints from the instructors.
Q : How would you like to be seen as a teacher?
Kwon : I want to be an ‘approachable’ teacher. First, teachers can only exist when there are students who are willing to listen to the lectures, so I want to be a teacher who can communicate with the students well. Also, as I was teaching students I realized that they don’t really have any negative feelings or dislikes to students with disabilities but they also do not step forward to such students, so I believe it is my duty to connect them as one.
Q : Lastly, do you have anything to say to the students of Changwon University?
Kwon: It would be a nice opportunity for those who are interested in teaching young students. You will learn that it is actually quite difficult to stand in front of the kids and teach them. As I have come to know a teacher's difficulty that I didn’t comprehend before, I learned the necessity of focusing on lessons. Furthermore, the advantage of solving questions is to have an examiner's viewpoint. As you meet various people in the program, you will be able to learn many things from their strengths, philosophies, thoughts, and differences. Also, you can receive useful information so I strongly encourage you to apply for the program to seize such opportunities.
Hun Lee, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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