April Fools in Korea

(written on April 1st, I don’t feel like changing the tenses) Yes, April Fool’s is celebrated here. It’s more of a day of “lies” than tricks or pranks. At least, that’s what they tell me – today, on the day of lies. So who knows?

But are they playing pranks on us? Yes. Yes they are. Harmless pranks, but they can make my situation a little harder.

As I write this there is a concerning tapping on our wall and an old-styled alarm clock is ringing … somewhere? I’d be lying if used any word calmer than “chaos” to describe middle school students who have 10 minutes of aimless time between classes. They can do anything they want and don’t even have to do it quickly. 10 minutes is long enough to execute almost any scheming plot.

A kid stuck his head in the staff room and acted like something was a really big deal. One teacher went out to see and came back feeling pretty shamed. We know it’s April Fools Day and yet we still all fall for it.

Some students wearing their entire uniforms backwards. Even the pants. One class turned everything upside down – their sign, the clock, etc.

During break, 3-1 stole all the classroom signs. This is great until you’re me and you still aren’t sure where you are going every day. I had to count classrooms and remember the very tricky placement of a random 2nd grade classroom on the 3rd grade floor. Even when I walked in I had to double check with them that I was in the right spot.

This same class all had very concerning grins which made me check everything for anything. Two girls were definitely plotting something during Boggle (we play boggle at the beginning of every class) but when they caught me looking at them it fell apart. I’m actually a little relieved.

The second grade, bless them, thought it would be funny to line up along the hallway. They  bowed and yelled “goodbye!” to us when my co-teacher and I left the classroom. Not sure how this is a prank, a very polite prank, but they were pretty tickled with themselves.

During one break, two classes switched places with each other to prank other teachers. Honestly, if they had done that to me I wouldn’t have noticed. Since I learned of this common prank I’ve been double triple checking that the students look familiar or not too familiar. Anything.

My boys class all changed seats – one student explained they do this every month. I can’t tell if this is true or not, I suppose I’ll find out next week.

Coincidentally the chapter I’m supposed to be teaching in 3rd grade is about April Fools so I’ve been just showing videos of pranks and talking about tricks. I show them a picture of probably the most common prank in America – the toothpaste oreo – then I actually offer them Oreos. The boys are all for it and eat them. I had to send one boy to the bathroom because he decided to eat it even after he knew it was full of toothpaste and then *surprise* didn’t want to swallow it. The other boy ate it with a stout-hearted grin and complimented its minty flavor. Ugh… boys. The girls would check it for toothpaste first, and then not eat it. Clever. So I just gave it to them – free toothpaste oreo, do with it what you will. I’m sure there are at least 2 parents/siblings/teachers who are unhappy with me for that.




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