Saturday, February 19, 2011

Homelessness In Korea

I had to create my own essay topic.  I’m not a fan of that.  It was for my 9th graders, my two oldest and smartest classes, so I decided to see just what they are capable of.  The accompanying essay in the book was housing related so I chose to continue with that theme but make it a little more thought provoking.

Should we help people who don’t have homes? Why or why not? And if yes, provide examples of how we can help.

I have heard mixed reviews about the type of governmental/societal support that the homeless get in Korea so truthfully this topic was driven largely out of personal curiosity.  Normally after introducing the question we would take about 10 minutes to brainstorm different ideas, both for and against, and I would help them pull together the correct verbiage before they started writing.   And, normally, while they are writing their rough drafts they are constantly using their mobile dictionaries to find the right words. Not this essay. After the question was asked, no one hesitated.  They knew their responses immediately.  Interesting, I thought.

Then I had to proof the rough drafts.  With tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, I immediately regretted assigning this topic.  Essay after essay discussed how we should not help the homeless because their economic situation is their fault and that everyone starts out with the same opportunities in life.  If these individuals chose to not study when they were younger and didn’t feel it was necessary to work to make a living now then giving them handouts would only encourage their lack of responsibility.  (Some of that is quoted directly from different essays.)  I fear that this is potentially a very accurate portrayal of Korea’s view towards homelessness as a whole.  And while I don’t condemn Korea for it’s views, I find this absolutely heartbreaking.

Then I read this one.

There are many people who don’t have homes in the world. They are always concerned about their future and whether they’ll be able to survive.  I think we should help people who don’t have homes.  I’ll tell you why we should help people and how to help.

There are three main reasons why we should help homeless people.  First, they are very poor.  Most of them don’t have enough money to keep their living.  Therefore, they should be helped by richer people.  Second, a large number of them don’t have their family.  They usually feel themselves that they don’t have any ability to take care of their family.  Therefore, they leave their family or are deserted by their family.  Because of these reasons, they don’t have their family who can cheer them up and help them.  Therefore, we should become people like their family.  Third, their heart is closed from other people and they are blamed by many people.   Therefore, they have much hurt in their heart.  If we treat them, we can give them hope so they can be more happy.

Well, how can we help these people? There are two easy ways to help them.  First we can donate to them.  Although you give little money, they can have hopes again. Second, we shouldn’t give them a bad view of society.  If we give them a bad view, they’ll lose their confidence.  These are two ways to help them.

In conclusion, I believe we should help people who don’t have homes because they are poor, don’t have a family, and they have hurt in their heart.  In addition, we should help them by donating and giving a good view of society.  If we try these things, it will make our world good.

I love teaching.


  1. I am going to show this to my 4th graders.
    PS, I love teaching too!