A Lone Child

A lone five year old in the
Korean English Kindergarten
slips away from noisy boys
rough housing, only goes to the
boys’ toilet when it is vacant.
He shrinks back from his
classmates’ loud voices,
covers his eyes when lights
switch on, on a dark day.

The creatures in the rock pools
which he visits with his father
on Saturdays fill his mind,
and the facts in the rock pool
books his father buys him.
he recalls them all for his
teacher on Monday mornings
in impressive detail.

As Mrs Jenny walked past the
family car at the traffic lights
he called out, talked to her
at length in excellent English
as his father parked the car
at the kerb while they talked.

At the library his mother met
Mrs Margaret borrowing English
books for the kindergarten.
“Something is wrong with him ?”
she asked. They both cried.
Mrs Margaret told her the
word that is not mentioned,
that parental love and
Saturdays at rock pools
will buoy this child
in their own world.

They both fear for him
at the big state school
next year.

Previously posted November 2016

A Lone Child

5 thoughts on “A Lone Child

    1. I taught English for a time at a private “English” school in South Korea. We taught three to five year olds from 10 am to 2pm daily, then taught English in cram school classes to primary school children after school. The teacher who had taught the child the previous year was very concerned about him and talked to the other teacher who was teaching him in the school year just starting. he fully agreed with her views about the child, but insisted that there was no help available for him in the school system. There is a huge stigma against any type of mental ill health there. In the end he convinced her that the boy was best left at our school where there were sympathetic “foreign” teachers. It was a big relief to us as the term went on to discover his parents were so supportive of him. I hope they can help him through the very formal school system there.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. So do we. The school system in South Korea is very rigid, formal and conservative – and authoritarian. On the other hand both his parents had accepted that he had very real issues, obviously loved him dearly, and were very supportive of him. His mother certainly faced up to what his issues were. We hope they can help him through his school years.

      Liked by 2 people

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