Ahn yeong, y’all! I finally have a free, relatively non-exhausted moment to tell you a little bit about my first day teaching.
To say I was nervous and overwhelmed yesterday morning is an extraordinary understatement. If you know me, you know that I have a tendency to be a nervous Nellie but I think I had reason to be yesterday. Our orientation on Sunday consisted of making the schedules for a few classes for the next three or six months (depending on the class) and going on a tour of the school. No lesson planning, no prep time for Monday.
My first three classes on Monday were all Arts & Crafts, at different levels. Yesterday’s activity was Dot Composition, which is about as exciting as it sounds. I “taught” them how to create pictures by drawing lines between dots on a grid. I had them name what they were drawing and the colors they were using, depending on the level. With these same classes, I am also directing three different plays. This is especially interesting because the first class speaks almost no English, and the third class has only two kids. For an eleven part play.
In the afternoon/evening, I taught three phonetics classes, one reading class and one speaking class. One of my phonetics classes were brand new kids (unbeknownst to me) and I had to give them all English names. As a tribute to my family and friends back home, I named them Mary, Jake, Jay, Dan, Rachel, Lisa, Kristin and Justin. I tried naming two different girls Hannah but the Korean teachers rejected it as too confusing. I was also told Casey wasn’t a name (maybe KC would have worked).
I didn’t have much prepared in the way of a lesson plan for either yesterday’s or today’s classes so I was mostly playing games to get to know the kids, and working out of the book. The difficult part is that I teach 7-8 different classes, and not even the same ones every day. By the end of today, I had gotten myself a bit more organized but it’s going to take some time before I feel completely comfortable.
As a side note, our director still has not fixed my heat/hot water/Internet, but he was kind enough to bring us all kimbap at the end of the day today. Kimbap is basically Korean sushi, and I’m pretty sure they put kimchi in it. Anyway, all of the Korean teachers eagerly dug into their rolls, so I figured I’d give it a shot. As soon as I put it in my mouth, my gag reflex was triggered. I forced myself to chew and swallow, for fear of offending my Korean colleagues by upchucking in the staff room. Suffice to say I won’t be sampling any more of Mr. Jang’s kimbap offerings. But I would say yes to some heat and an Internet connection.
PS- I apologize for the lack of pictures. I promise to get some proof of actually living in Korea up over the weekend!