So I walk into this school this morning grateful that it’s Tuesday, meaning I have two half hour breaks.
When Head Teacher begrudgingly informs me that one of those breaks has been filled with a class. And not just any class–the youngest level. Key.
Me: Okay. I’ve never taught Key. When is it?
HT: First Period…is that okay?
HT: Oh, and they want you to mock teach it in half an hour…sorry…
Is that okay?
So I frantically printed out the teacher’s guide and no one seemed to have any flashcards so I had to print some out and velcro them and HT showed me some of activities and then…it was time!
Luckily, Director was at headquarters, so it was just me and my co-teacher who’s a mom, we’ll just call her Eunhwa omma, Jessica (a Korean teacher who lived in Australia for a while), and HT. They shared some of their tips and tricks to keeping five year olds entertained with the letter “A”.
The dreaded Langcon English song played and I went in to teach my first Key class.
Her name is Eileen.
Yes–her name. There is one student.
This is some information for anyone who wants to work in a hagwon in Korea. Remember–that these are businesses. If there is even one parent willing to pay, that parent will be accommodated. And you will comply.
Don’t get me wrong–I do actually enjoy my job.
When I’m actually standing up there teaching, I laugh a lot because my students do funny things, and I connect with my no-so-secret inner child by dancing around, and the time zips by. It’s only when I’m putting my markers and buuing hammer and Big Bang stickers away in my basket and running to the next class that I feel the drain.
There’s this amazing cartoon that explains introversion in a way I could never put it. Oh I found it!
No–teaching children is more like teaching a pack of vampires that feed on energy instead of blood. And at the end of the day, I’m pale and sickly and tossed in a gutter, my carcass to be picked up by the trash collecting ahjummas on bicycles and thrown in the incinerator down the street.
BUT. Then I get to come home and stare at a wall and stuff my face with simple carbs until my energy bar gets back up. I open my laptop and word vomit all over this blog and sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t think about it or plan it. Most of the time I don’t know where I’m going or where it’s going to end but when it’s time to end, I know, because I feel completely recharged and ready for tomorrow.