Work Week # 1

Published: August 17th 2010
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Schedule Week OneSchedule Week OneSchedule Week One

Monday to Thursday 1pm to 9pm Friday 9am to 6pm
Before twelve-fifty in the afternoon, Shauna and I walk into the main doors of the City Hall building, keeping to the right we go around the first wall and over to the finger identification system mounted on the wall. Here we place one of our fingers into the identification system to "clock-in" for our shift. The shift assigned to us for August is 1pm to 9pm Monday to Thursday, Friday 9am to 6pm with weekends off. From this moment onwards you are rady to face the kids, other teachers and people who are inside the village that day!

From here, you turn around walk back out the front doors across the pathway past the largest fountain on campus, around the Fiji building to the Surfing Safari building to meet up with the other teachers, grabbing clipboards, grabbing your co-teacher (if necessary) receiving any directions or instructions from the head teacher and then you are off to get the students at their "hotels."

expectations zero
Why... because we are being shoved into the raging fire reffered to as "One Week Special Programs." From what little we have been told it's like a cross between summer school and an English language school but with More FUN activities and classes!!! Overall our assignment for each class has been dictated to us as " keep the kids entertained, and enjoy your day!" 😊

The photograph shows the multi-tiered schedule which is our regular scheduling process. I think they get together and toss our names into a hat drawing out names as they go and placing us randomly by chance into each open classroom. Then double us up through the same methodology? But however they have chosen us to be placed into each classroom, on the schedule my classes are highlighted in Yellow and Shauna's are circled in Orange.

Work Day # 1...

Survival English with Gretchen & Evelyn
Star Signs with Sin
Pass the Bomb with Hyeyoon or Adam
Off Hour 5-5:50 and dinner 6-6:50
Dance Party with Evelyn

Basically, I stood around a lot during my shift wondering "what have I got myself into?" or "this has nothing to do with English teaching!" In the very least, I was able to discipline a few bad children by whipping and beating them into submission with their own notebooks and no one really cared what actions or methods I came up with! Ironically, this was the "fun we were all having" with these Korean students...

Work Day # 2

Children From Around The World with Alex & Tanner
Magic Potion with Sarah
Off Hour 4-4:50
Dodgeball with Evelyn
Dinner 6-6:50
Go Go 2 with Sin & Tanner

After yesterday's introduction to how things are run around here, I am slightly scared and partially scarred from the wickedness happening in the classrooms! This afternoon, I pretty much stood around watching Alex & Tanner struggle with which flags they didn't know (not that I knew them either) but when you are teaching and don't know the material? WOW!!! This is great teaching. At least we are "having fun!" Magic Potion... was well, a little wild until I caught onto the gist of the class. Give them beakers with Club Soda and let them add severe quantities of sugar induced products to make their little brains explode! Dodgeball... are you serious? This is a class? Dodgeball... oh my gawd! Where is the "English learning" in playing dodgeball? This has got to be the strangest class here... Sometime after dinner, I ate my early thoughts that dodgeball was weird... We played games that made little sense and were suppose to entertain 45-students! It was like people were drinking Soju (rice wine) coming up with ideas on how to entertain kids!

Bob: I've got this idea! We get nine plastic cups and a ping-pong ball. We separate the cups and then tell the kid to toss the ball into the cup. If he makes it in the first its worth 10 points, the second 20 points, the third 40 points, the fourth 50 points and the last cup well heck let's make it 100 points!

Sally: That sounds great Bob! The kids will love it... Cheers! (gulp gulp gulp of the Soju)

Sally: Ooooh Bob! I just thought of a great one! Let's get six empty to-go cups from Tom n Toms Coffee Shop. And then we will set them on the edge of the table. The object is to flip the cup from small side down to large side down! Ha Ha Ha! This will be hysterical. Then you could have teams race each other in some uncordinated forms to get points for their teams! LOL! This is sooooo fun coming up with games for our really smart teachers!

Bob: Bob: Sally, we should have another bottle of Soju to come up with our next brilliant game?

Sally: Sally: Let's do it! Let's come up with something no one would ever think of Bob! This will be fantastic! Ha ha ha ha!

Work Day # 3

Off Hour 1-2:20
German Music with Moira
Pass the Bomb with Keisha
Off Hour 5-5:50
Dinner 6-6:50
Dance Party with Evelyn & Sin

I think I am getting a hang of this scheduling idea. You get to hang out during your "off hour" to prepare yourself for the class you will be teaching unless you already understand and know the material. Then your "off hour" is for you to do whatever you feel like! If you feel like going to Tom n Toms for a Latte, or kicking it in the teachers lounge and reading a book or searching You Tube or writing your blog or learning the korean languge... your "off hour" is really just for you to do whatever you would like! Gotta love this!

Today, I clocked in, went to the teacher prep room, looked up German Music class, went through the power point twice and then played texas hold'em for 45 minutes online! I sure am prepared for my class. Went to class, watched Moira, talk about German culture; bratwurst, beer and traditional clothes. We showed them a couple of videos, and then taught them how to perform the traditional dance of Oktoberfest called The Blacksmith. We then showed them another video, twice! So, they could visualize 'how-to' perform these essential dance steps. Turned on the lights, separating them into groups of four and let them loose to learn how to dance The Blacksmith. Towards the end of class, we forced each group in front of their peers to perform The Blacksmith, dance. Laughing, crying and teasing commenced after each-group performed! Then we picked the "best team" giving them 10-stickers!

Pass the bomb, is mainly a vocabulary building game unless the kids speak really fast and then it's anyone's guess at what word they actually said, because no one wants the bomb to blow up when they are holding it! It's pure insanity at its best level. Another hour alone prior to dinner time. I checked in on Facebook, read my email account, responded to a few, sent out a couple emails, and played Spider Solitare until dinner time.

Dance Party... it's pretty self-explanatory. Teachers teach kids, the dance routines to several silly dances that no one actually ever performs except maybe bits and pieces of "Y M C A." Basically, I think we are trying to wear the kids out before returning them to their residence (referred to as hotels which are dormitories) on the south end of campus.

Work Day # 4

Off Hour 1-2:20
Music: Waltz with Moira
Popular Trivia with Keisha
Off Hour 5-5:50pm
Dinner 6-6:50
Movie Night with Sin & Abby

Hopefully, by now you are understanding what we do during the day! We work about six hours a day with an hour off for dinner and an hour off for resting your brains... unless you are one of the fortunate teachers on that day who receive two hours off plus dinner! This is my new job! This is insane! I am getting paid to act like a clown in front of kids, teaching them basic conversational English without any structure as long as you play the game or activity for the portion of your day you are with them. Plus you can reward them with stickers and the kid in each class with the most stickers collected at the end of the week, receives a BIG PRIZE for best participation during the week! This is seriously, the best job ever and one of the easiest I have ever had in my entire life!

Work Day # 5

Closing Ceremonies 9-10:20
Out Processing 10:30-11:50
Lunch Noon-12:50
Teacher Meeting 3:30pm
Teacher Prep 4:00

Friday morning arrives without beautiful sunshine, birds chirpping in the trees and Shauna sitting on the couch working with her angel cards... instead the alarm clock buzzes in one ear and shoots through my cranium exploding the morning silence! Friday, is our early morning and we need to be clocked in and ready to go by 8:50am. I know, I know, this doesn't sound early to you people who get up at 5am to be out the door by 5:45am. But we live in a very different world, entirely!

Friday's are also very very extremely short! Well, at least with work. We pretty much get paid for an 8 hour day, but only do maybe if we are all lucky 4 hours tops!

After clocking in, we grab a clipboard, our co-teacher and collect our students. We take them to a classroom on campus, returning their cellphones, letting them take pictures of new friends and teachers they learned from whom they liked. Then we pass out "post cards" each student is asked to write to their "favorite" teacher during the week. Next on the agenda is to show them their two-minute commerical skits written in teams of four or five studnets. They write, perform, record and edit into a finished product. Next on the list is a slideshow of the week they spent here at the village. After this the lights go on, more photographs are taken and we start calling out names giving them a certification of completion for their week at the English Village. Somedays there are prizes given to the students for participating in the English Village from the company that sponsored the kids to come here for a week during their summer vacation.

We then gather the kids, returning them to their "hotels," to pack their bags, take some more pictures and head for lunch. They eat rapidly, return to their "hotels" getting their bags and then they are walked down to the back gate where their bus meets up with them returning them to whatever part of the country they are from! Sometimes this can be sad, for both teachers and students depending on how close you became to some students!

Once your class has boarded the bus, and the bus has left, you are free until the universal meeting time of 3:30pm. For some teachers this can be three or four hours! For others it is only one or two. Either way, you are free to do what you like.

At 3:30pm we usually meet in a larger classroom. We go over any incidents that happend. We talk about supplies needed for specific classes. We discuss any technical issues with classrooms; computers, projection screens, programs etc. Then we are asked to "clean up" or do "prep work" for the upcoming week. This means literally going into a classroom, wiping down the white board, putting chairs together, straightening the room, turning off the air-conditioner, turning off the computer and turning off the lights. This takes typically fifteen to twenty minutes depending on if you are doing it by yourself or with someone else. From the moment you are finished onwards you are free, until 5:50pm when you have to clock out!

Prior to our arrival they (the friday teachers) had an unofficial pact between them all about clocking out on Friday evenings. The pact was that no one would actually use the identification system to clock out on Friday. This way there was no record of when the teachers were finished with their day and everyone could bugger off to start their weekends early!

Something happend before we arrived and this has now changed. Every teacher must clock out at City Hall after 5:50pm on Fridays. No one really knows why this change has occured but this is how it now is. We will see how long this lasts?

aagggh week one down and in the bag! Beautiful... I wonder what next week will be like?

Honestly, overall it was a good week. I learned bits and pieces about some of my co-teachers, I learned how the classes are run and I learned what to expect from the students, other teachers and the head teachers, too.

Week Two - Five Improvement Goals
1) Work on being more involved in the curriculum being taught in each class
2) Know how to use each computer system in each classroom to find files, folders and online materials
3) Be able to calm students down and listen when teacher (someone else or me) is speaking
4) Ability to be loud but not commanding with students meaning getting through to more students instead of yelling at them
5) Using audio equipment and projection screens effectively in each classroom

Until next week...
enjoy your weekend, I know I will... 😱


17th August 2010

great weekend
Hi you two-good to hear about your work week. Have a great weekend. That sure was a nice looking chocolate dessert you had the other day-going to have another one this weekend? Auntie Edna

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