I have been officially teaching for two days. I would have written earlier, but then there would have been one or two posts about me frantically freaking out nonsensical. So here I am, calm as a cucumber.
Yesterday I taught my first class, which is called Listening and Speaking. It’s what is called the “Par” level, which is the second to lowest level. The first three hours – 4:00 until 7:00 – I teach writing, reading, and listening through audio CDs. My first class is elementary students; they are the cutest. I have to say, most of my anxiety melted away when they walked into the classroom. I went through the icebreakers, attendance, and I was ready to go. By the time 7:00 rolled around, I felt like a pro and was ready for the middle-school students.
So I guess when I say that I’ve been in the gravel pit, I should emphasize that middle-school kids are much like boulders – hard to move and very stone-faced. As my first class skipped out of the room, saying their “Goodbye, Teacher!”s, the next class slouched their way to their desks, most choosing to sit in the very back. Aside from a few sympathetic young girls in the front row, not many of them volunteered to answer questions or jump up to act out dialogue for an acting activity.
I am nevertheless optimistic.
Today went about the same way. Once again, it was a brand new class with brand new students, but I will see these students again on Thursday. The class is called Memory English and it involves a lot of guided reading through short novels and learning how to memorize words and phrases to improve fluency. Elementary students from 3-7, and middle school from 7-10. Same set-up really, only my middle school kids today were really rough. Boys talking when I was talking, even after I went through my very few rules:
No Korean. We write, speak, and read English.
No food or cell phones.
Respect others around you by raising your hand to speak; let others speak.
- Homework must be completed.
Guess which ones were followed? Number 4, only because there hasn’t been any homework… yet.
I guess I should provide a little background:
I got my class schedule in my e-mail early last week. A day later, I received a revision, changing my days and one class.
While I was startled by the change, I was still happy about the days that I had off: Wednesday, Friday, and
Saturday (whoo hoo, long weekends and vacations!)
So I dealt with it, spent the week prepping for my classes and grappling with my confidence issues
and then Sunday night, the night before the first day of classes.
I wake to read my e-mail, drink some tea, and I find that my CDI inbox has quite a few
e-mails, one with a subject “Fall schedule revision.”
I open it and realize that my life is in shambles, instantly. One of the classes that I had prepped
for was dropped and actually (actually!) replaced with the class, THE class, that was dropped
off of my very first schedule in the first revision.
I dealt with it, but only after sending a subtle e-mail to Faculty Resources.
So, long story short, I am happy with my schedule.
I was also able to hunt for apartments last Saturday and I ended up finding one in a great location. The unfortunate aspect of living in Seoul is that the cost of rent is pretty up there; I will be paying much more than I did in Oxford, OH, but I really like the set-up, it’s close to my school, and close to friends. I am able to move in tomorrow, but alas, I am only moving in clothes and such. So, since it is my day off, I will probably be making calls and checking out beds and futons, at least. (The place is great, but not great enough that I should be happy sleeping on the floor).
Well, that’s me.
I will hopefully find a routine when I can update frequently.