Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Training is for Rookies

Yesterday was my first day.  Around 12:30, Patricia, the girl that I am replacing came over to bring me some texts books that I could look through. She helped me with a few questions I had about my apartment and then told me she was leaving in about 12 hours.  I’m sorry, what?

Yep, first night and I was the teacher.  Awesome.

I went in today at 3 today, instead of 4, to get acquainted with the school.  I met Mrs Yu who is the director/head chief/something of the school.  She spoke very little English but was absolutely lovely.  One of the first things she said to me was ‘You were the one who worked at Disney World, yes?”  Disney.  It gets you the job every time.  She hugged me at least 4 times and told people, in Korean of course, that I seemed very nice and she was pleased.  Yay! There was also a staff meeting for all the Korean teachers so they wanted to introduce me to everyone.  I have no idea what was said but everyone was smiling and nodding so I think it was good.

Then I was shown my classroom and had about 30 minutes to prepare for my classes.  All of the classrooms on my floor are named after famous authors, mine is room 503-William Wordsworth. On Monday nights I have 3 classes, one is 4th grade and two are 6th grade but at very different academic levels. Each class lasts 80 minutes and literally one right after the other.  One class files out while the next comes in. Daniel, the head of my floor, helped figure out where the last teacher left off in the text and then introduced me to each class.  He was really helpful. 

In each class they had already completed the text book that isn’t supposed to be finished for another 3 weeks so I get to do a lot of review.  That’s just fine with me.  I have to get creative so they kids don’t get bored but that’s what I’m good at.  It is obvious which are the good students and which aren’t.  In my last class there was a 13 yr old girl that looked like she could have been the Korean sister to one of my favorite little girls in the world.  That made me very happy, and sad, all at the same time.

The hardest class was the middle one. Six 13 yr old boys. A thirteen year old boy is the worst kind in any culture and to have six of them encouraging each other is awful.  They just sat there, heads down, eyes looking away, and an occasional giggle to each other. By the end of the class though I had totally broken them down and they might be one of my favorites.

Tonight I have 4 classes- 5th, two 7th, and an 8th grade.  Yay middle school!  It definitely requires a lot of work in the beginning but it is the most fun for me by far! I am also going in early each day this week to meet with Daniel that will be good. He seems genuinely concerned in helping me find my way.

I was supposed to go out last night after work for the goodbye party for Patricia but they weren’t going out until 1am.  I was sound asleep by midnight. I feel myself getting sick and I just couldn’t make it any longer.


  1. Baptism by fire. It sounds like you landed on your feet. I think this is going to be fun for you.

  2. The kids are all usually very shy at first! The class with the 13 year old boys..man, I really feel for you..that's going to be a doozy! Haha!
    You're learning very early that Koreans party like college kids, they start late and stay out all night long...you actually get used to it, hehehe...
    Let me know if you need anything else!!! Glad you're having fun!

  3. I don't think I could handle the middle schoolers! Good luck!