Okay–first I’d just like to ask for a bit of patience from everyone. I know you have a lot of questions, but guess who also has a lot questions?
I’m doing approximately 1232346456 new things a day and it’s literally a new obstacle every hour and I wish I could tell you everything but, especially without internet in my apartment, I really don’t have time. I have to choose between sleep and writing these in a coffee shop and luckily I really enjoy writing or else I wouldn’t do it at all. So–just bare with me okay? In a couple more weeks when everything normalizes I’ll write entire posts on trash, crossing the street, using elevators, ordering food, subways, buses, getting paid, and my motel. But right now I’ve got to stick to the big things because if I don’t I’ll regret it later and be like, ‘why the heck did I talk about trash when I had my first mock teaching that day?’
So, yesterday Director Jane pulled me into her office to give me my schedule for next term, which starts on Monday. She gave me four levels, and instead of sharing the ridiculous names that still confuse me, just think of it in terms of levels 3, 4, 5, and 8 (out of 8). They’re all between 6 and 10 years old (or somewhere around there) and the levels are based off their English level not necessarily their age. Director Jane said, “I am going to give you a Navigation class (level 8) because I like your energy and think you will be good.” This is funny because I had about as much energy as a sloth on a sunday morning.
When Head Teacher was showing me my schedule she was like, “woah, she has you teaching a navi?” I was like…yeah…
It’s most likely because I sub-conciously give Director Jane a head nod when I see her in the morning. Or because I call her Director Jane instead of just Jane. Or because I gave her syrup on my first day. Regardless, she thinks I am capable which is both good and bad. It’s always nice to be flattered, except for when that flattery is misplaced. This isn’t me digging for compliments or anything–I’m serious when I say I literally have no idea what I’m doing.
So at the end of the day, I finally pretended to teach in front of Director Jane and the new Korean teacher Sohee. Sohee is freaking adorable and I could go on for another three paragraphs about why just know that she is very fashionable and sweet. I printed out flashcards like we’re supposed to and I explained the game Stand Up & Shout and worked through the exercises in the book. Director Jane and Sohee were, thankfully, a very well behaved class. Afterwards Director Jane just had a few recommendations for me–like using magic finger to read words and making the kids move more and using different color markers. All things I can easily integrate. What will be hard will be dealing with an actual classroom of 12 ten year olds, trying to keep their attention without becoming homicidal.
But–that’s next week.
Director Jane watched Sohee next and Sohee has never taught anything before and you could kind of tell. Director Jane had a lot of things to say and she said most of it in English but she’d also switch to Korean. I think the Korean teachers have/will have it harder than foreign teachers because the job market is so saturated. The job is very competitive, so more is expected. Whereas us it’s like, “thanks for coming!” Or at least that’s the way it is in my campus. In fact, everything at my campus is amazing.
I believe in karma, and I think I’ve finally got the good kind. After my experience in China, I came in to Korea with zero expectations, only for them to be blown out of the peninsula (in a good way). I’ve talked to some other teachers and their experience hasn’t been quite the same. For instance, Starcraft was handed a textbook on his second day (first full day) and told to teach an actual class and be observed by the Director. Another girl was telling me today that she mock taught the second day and then the Director said, “good job! Okay the class next door is waiting for you they’ll be ready in five minutes.”
This makes me think that no–I’m not just looking at this situation through rose-glasses or simply comparing everything to China, but in fact, I got really lucky.
I know reading about someone’s great life is not nearly as entertaining as reading about someone’s sucky life. I’m a little bit sorry about that…but not really.