Happy Teacher's Day (스승의날)

My son's teacher from the multicultural center.
My son’s teacher from the multicultural center.

Every year, we celebrate 스승의날 (Seu-seung-ui nal) or Teacher’s Day in Korea. The first Teacher’s Day in the country was celebrated on May 26, 1963. The date was changed to May 15th in 1965 and has continued until now.
Teachers in South Korea are highly respected, especially public school teachers since they need to pass several grueling exams before they could get a license to teach. My husband’s eldest brother and his wife are both licensed school teachers, but they retired from their profession early after getting married. My 큰형님 or eldest sister-in-law has been my mentor for almost a decade of living here in Korea. She has taught me so many things from the duties of a daughter-in-law to Korean language and history and of course, Korean cooking! She is a wonderful cook who has fed our family of 15 for years with her delicious all Korean dinner!
On Teacher’s Day, I’m thankful for my son’s multicultural teacher who has been helping us since the fall of 2012. She has made adapting to Korean school easier for me and my son. I am so grateful that she was assigned to us. She visits our house twice a week and sits with my son for almost two hours. And she will be helping us until the middle of fall. Last Christmas, I gave her a tote that I ordered from the Coach Factory online store.
What would you get for your teacher? Here are some suggestions…
1 – Carnation and a letter. A simple “Thank you” letter and a small bouquet of carnation is culturally appropriate to give to Korean teachers. Remember that we also give carnation to our parents on Parents’ Day and this symbolizes love and respect.
2 – Cosmetics. If you want to give cosmetics to your Korean teacher, hand cream or body lotion is the best. They are not expensive and you can be certain that your teacher will use them.
3 – Health Food. A box of ginseng tea, organic juices, vitamins or even a basket of fruits will tell your teacher that you care about her health.
What shall I get for my son’s teacher? I need to think long and hard since I really want to get something special for her.
To all the teachers out there, Happy TEACHER’S Day!

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