“Good morning everyone, today’s the day. The sun is shining, the tank is clean and we are getting out of — The tank is clean. THE TANK IS CLEAN!”
I hope you enjoyed that Finding Nemo quote (how could you not? It’s Pixar!) This was my reaction many times the past month, except “the tank is clean” was “the room’s not ready”. Everyday I would wake up thinking my apartment would be ready, and it wasn’t. I persevered though and now I can proudly report that I have my very own place!!! I also have recieved my TESOL certification, and have started teaching. Everything has finally come together and I couldn’t be happier.
Okay, let’s dive right in… I LOVE MY SCHOOLS!!! I am teaching at two, all girls, middle schools. I absoultely love my students. I have about 600 girls that I teach, so it is a lot to keep track of (espeically with all of their names being so difficult to pronounce and remember). Most of my students are very high level. There is about one student in each class that is nearly fluent in English. They amaze me, because it is very hard to find fluent English speakers in Korea.
Everyone wants to talk to me and get to know me. I feel like a celebrity because the students always say hi to me in the hallway, giggle when I wave to them, come into my classroom during free periods to hang out, want to take selfies with me, and tell me how pretty I am all the time. I’ve always wanted to be famous, so if my film industry fame doesn’t pan out, I can just move back to Korea. 😉
The Korean teachers at my school are so nice. It’s been great getting to know them and being included. The English teachers are very good at English which is a huge blessing. Some of the other people in my program say that the English teachers at their school can barely communicate with them (I know, it’s crazy since they teach English). I feel very fortunate to have such great co-teachers.
At both of my schools I have my very own English classroom, and it is the biggest and nicest classroom in the school. I feel very blessed by this. I also have my own desk in the teachers offices.
I teach 4-5 classes a day for 7th. 8th, and 9th graders. In Korea they are considered 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade, middle schoolers. There are 7 periods, so I have many times a day that I can lesson plan or “desk warm”, which means sit at my desk and be bored (or for me – write screenplays, watch netflix, and talk with other teachers).
I eat lunch in the cafeteria, and I am so glad I do. It gives me a chance to try all sorts of different Korean food. It is very tasty, as well as healthy. School cafeteria food in the USA is unhealthy and subpar compared to here. I love it!
Both of my schools give me the freedom and ability to teach the content I feel is best, as long as it ties in to the weekly chapter somehow. As I teach the students English, they want me to teach them about American culture too; things such as: school life, types of jobs, hobbies, entertainment, sports, and family life.
My goal is to really make a dent in their English learning. The English book isn’t realistic, so I want to teach them how we really have conversations in English. I also want to empower my students to know they are strong women, who are capable of great things. I feel so blessed with the schools I got placed in, and I am very, very fortunate in every aspect. I look forward to this year with my co-workers and students.