Published: May 18th 2012May 18th 2012
So far this spring, I’ve been enjoying my classes pretty well. I started teaching a class on Thursdays for beginners were we watch cartoons (mostly classic stories, Rapunzel, the Frog Prince, etc.) and then learn some of the vocabulary and do some activities. That’s been a lot of fun since I like teaching the beginning learners a lot but my one regular class of beginning learners is a bit of a handful. This class has some of my favorite students from last year in it, as well as some other good kids from our beginner classes. Next month I’ll be picking up a third grade class that went through one year of our kindergarten program. I taught one of the students for several months last year and I absolutely love him. And I think it’s a pretty good class, so even though I have to stay later on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m excited about it. I’m also teaching a textbook that I really enjoy teaching to my fourth-graders. I taught it to my third-graders last year as well, and it’s just a really interesting, interactive book. There are so many side projects you can do that reinforce the lessons.
This month I’m preparing for an open class (when their parents can come observe class) with my fourth graders. The stakes are pretty high because they’re basically our most advanced class and the moms can be pretty picky. They’re presenting on healthy living: which aspects they follow and which they don’t, what they will do in the future, etc. But they need to add a lot of personal details and stories and then remember them all, but NOT memorize it. So we’ll see how that goes. They’ve enjoyed putting together the posters, but the presentations could be stressful. I get nervous because a large part of the open class is to show parents how their students interact with the teacher, but they often get nervous with their mothers watching, which basically leaves me talking to a room full of silent people. Fun.
We had our second field trip of the school year, to a place called the Bear Farm. Misnomer, if you ask me. More like “Park, with a couple of bears”. But Bear Farm has more of a ring to it, I guess. We only spent MAYBE two minutes feeding hardtack to the bears. The
rest of the time was spent eating (snack and lunch), visiting the marine museum (obviously…), riding the “Tarzan Swing”, and riding sleds down their slide. It was a fun trip, mostly because they didn’t have to stand in line and behave all that much while we were on the slide/playing in the sand, but all of the teachers were absolutely exhausted when we got back.
One of my favorite kindergarteners is leaving on Monday to move to another city. He’ll be going to an SLP there. If anyone was going to move and be completely fine, it’s him. But he’s so funny and generally good-natured that I’m pretty sad to lose him. We’re supposed to get a new girl in our class, but we’ll see how that goes. The last girl they tried to add got fed up with the boys and left. And I can’t blame her. They’re pretty violent and poorly behaved as a general rule.
A good example of this is Science Day. We had a special event for Children’s Day (May 5th
) where we brought in a bunch of science experiments and for some (very special, I’m sure) reason I
had to lead/teach my class by myself all day. We broke two of the experiments, so that the man in charge had to come and fix it. Whoops. The best experiment was when we got to go up to the roof and play with bubbles. A little running around goes a long way with them.
Yesterday I got to do “Cooking Class” with them, which happens once a month, but never landed in my time. I wasn’t supposed to do it this month either, but our director accidentally prepared everything a day early, so I ended up teaching it with help from my Korean co-teacher, because we had to make our own kimbap (Korean sushi, basically). What a mess. Carrots and cucumbers everywhere.
The weather has been so amazing recently. We went to a cherry blossom festival on Yeouido, an island in the middle of the Han River. Unfortunately, this particular park’s trees were not in bloom yet, but we got to see plenty of blooming trees on our way in and out of the city. We were just happy to be outdoors in the beautiful weather. It was the first day you could
be outside without a jacket.
We went back to the same park this past weekend to go bike riding. You can rent a bike in the park (less than $5 for 2 hours) and ride it along the bike paths that go all the way down the river. It’s a really pretty park and path, though it was a bit nervewracking sharing the path with so many people. I’d do it again though.
Next weekend we’re going down to the south of Korea to see an international marine life expo. I’m pretty excited about it. The different pavilions look really cool on the website and I can’t wait to see the aquarium.
There are more photos below