Work Week # 2


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Published: October 9th 2010
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Week # 2
August 9th to 13th

I decided this week, I would try to do as little yelling as possible at the students here during the classes that I was teaching or co-teaching. I can say my success rate was about 75%. Not bad for the second week of teaching. This week, I taught kinds from Teun Teun Elementary school, Bucheon Bumyung High School, Baekyung Middle School and Kobe Japanese Elementary students.

Of the four groups, I interfaced (taught) with the Baekyung Middle School students the most with nine classes of sixteen total. The Japanese kids, I saw in four classes, High School students twice and Teun Teun students once.

During the week, you become friends or more likely mentors or "favorite" teacher to some of the kids. These are the kids who understand what you are trying to teach them or you reach out to them in some way that they respond to the best.

Last week, I obviously didn't have a very strong impact because I didn't receive any "post cards" from any of the students. Mainly I chalk this up to being a quiet observer in the corner of the classroom trying to figure out "what the heck" the teaching methods were around the English Village.

As of this week, there isn't really any improvement on how people are teaching but at least I had some pretty successful classes! Or at least I believe they were successful and am giving myself a C+ for the week. Mainly because I ended up receiving some "post cards" which shows signs of improvement for me all the way around!

Every Thursday night or Friday morning the teachers hand over to the students piece of paper for the kids to write "post cards" to, their favorite teacher. Last week, I received a whopping zero "post cards" and I chalk this up to my quiet teaching methods and observer like attitude towards the first teaching week. However, this week, I was a rock-star! Okay more like I was once again "Kani-San" also known as Crab-Teacher... thanks mainly to my tattoo on the outside of my right-calf.

The Japanese students love me! Mainly because I am an oversized bald-white man with a great sense of humor and Japanese Kanji, tattooed on me. They all seem to get a kick out of trying to decipher what the Kanji on my calf means? Usually it takes a couple of days before they catch on to me having a tattoo on my leg, but this week, I flashed it early. And explained to them that "Kani" is my last name; That I am Crab. Obviously I didn't correct them on the spelling of my name.

Today, after lunch we had to pick up the kids from their hotels taking them to their closing ceremony. Once I reached their hotel, I once again became the rock-star known as "Kani-San" and every kid had their camera out taking my photograph or wanting to have their photograph taken of me! At one point this kid, who I messed with during the first class together named Rinku, handed me an English Village Visor, telling me it was a gift. He then turned around and grabbed something else, this time he handed me an English Village backpack still in its plastic wrapper. Telling me once again it was a gift from him to me! I laughed and accepted the backpack.

During the next hour at the closing ceremonies, we handed out awards, showed them their advertisement videos they made and a slide show. Then presented them with a Certificate of Completion for the English Village week, they spent here in Gyeonggi-do (province) learning about English from the various activities and programs.

Once the awards were over with and all teachers received their "post cards" more photographs were taken then we walked them to the main gate for bus pick up. It's partially enjoyable to see them leaving to travel back home and sometimes even sad, if you have made a connection with a couple of the kids.

The following are the "post cards" I received this week from the Kobe students in Class 1 and Class 2.

To Crab Teacher
Dear Crab,
Thank you for teaching me. iou (you) are very kmd (kind), fun and fenquu! (funky/funny)
From A Marika Class 1

To Cred Teacher
Dear Cred,
Thank you for teaching me you are very kind
From Nezu Keigo Class 2

To Clah Teacher
Dear Crab,
Thank you for teaching me you are very kind fwn (fun?) thank you!!
From Japan, Kusuke Idenu Class 1

To Crab Teacher
Dear Crab,
Thank you for teaching. You are very kind and you give us lots of fun. I want to have your class more.
From Ryota Kobayaoshi Class 2

To Crab Teacher
Dear Crab,
Thank you for teaching me. You are very kind and very fun teacher.
From Rinku Kobayashi Class 2

Rinku's card, is the one with all the drawings and kanji (Japanese writing) on the card.
please refer to the photographs of the postcards

Friday's typically turn out to be fairly easy going because there is one class in the morning, a closing ceremony, lunch and then the kids all leave campus. After the kids are gone we have a few meetings to summarize the week, go over any problem areas and talk about what is happening the following week.

This week turned out to be vaguely different because we were asked on Thursday to vote on all the new teachers about who was the Best Overall Teacher, Most Energetic, Best New Teacher and Most Professional. There were nine new teachers to choose from; Sin, Moira, Gretchen, Alex, Keisha, Shauna, Abby, Evelyn and myself. As always with an election you should vote for yourself, so my votes were;
Overall; Keisha Best; Shauna Energetic; Myself Professional; Moira

On Friday after our brief meeting was over with Adam and Hyeyoon pulled out the award cards and prizes. They spoke briefly about each teacher and if the votes were close or not. "For - Best New Teacher - we always make two awards because we hope there is a best male and best female but this time around we had a tie between two female teachers. So, one award has a prince and one has a princess. We don't mean anything by this but now you know why they were made like that. Best Overall Teacher is someone who brings out new ideas, is constantly working hard to help the students and other teachers. Without further ado, you voted for Keisha and Shauna!" clap-clap-clap-clap

"Our next award is for Most Professional. This is the person who is always on time, always dressed up, always presenting themselves to the students and public in the most professional manner. This one was very close between two people but the winner is Sin!" clap-clap-clap-clap

"Our next award surprisingly was the only unanimously voted person for this award. This next award is for Most Energetic and I don't think I need to state why you all voted for Aaron!" clap-clap-clap-clap (seriously, they all voted me as the most energetic! I ROCK!!!)

"Finally, Best Overall New Teacher... this person has been working hands since their arrival, teaching, helping out, doing things we never ask our newbies to do, but has been doing all of it very well. So, with your votes added in as well as Hyeyoon and my own, this award goes to Alex!" clap-clap-clap-clap

Everyone who received an award was given a personal AA-battery hand fan, a sucker and their award card except for Alex who also received an extra day-off, to be taken in the future.





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