Yes, Skin Color Counts

For some reason Korean television stations feel that children learning English is prime time worthy news, so they seem to always send camera crews to film this major milestone in a child’s life. It always makes me laugh when television crews come into whichever school I’m teaching at in Korea and routinely bypass me and my classroom. I see them posed outside the classroom, maybe in part because the kids are either really loud and excited or diligently writing and creating, then when they walk inside and see me, they quickly turn around and leave.

Sometimes I’ll hear someone in the crew talk about they don’t want to film a Korean teaching English, they want to film an American, kyopos don’t count as American when it comes to filming.

The only time that being kyopo was an “advantage” for the television crews was when I taught at SEV and a bunch of Russian kids were studying there for two weeks. Since I was one of the few teachers there that the kids would behave for (probably because I didn’t talk to them like they were kindergartners, but rather as teenagers) and they were vocal in preferring me to some of the other teachers that they had the previous week, they decided that it would be in their best interests to have me teach them in front of the TV cameras. In addition since I’m Korean-looking, it points out the coo that Russian parents sent their kids to Korea to learn English, not England, Ireland, etc., but Korea.

Politics, crazy, huh?

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