Edit Blog Post
Published: September 1st 2006
Dolsan Bridge by Day
It lights up in pretty colors at night!
Yes, I've finished my second week at my new home on Dolsan Island (in Yeosu) and a week-and-a-half of teaching at my school (on mainland Yeosu). What can I say so far? Well, many things. My first week of teaching was fantastic. The kids are so energetic and excited, and they seemed to learn things while having fun. The teachers, too, were wonderful. They have all been so kind and open with me, inviting me to dine with them in the cafeteria (even the non-English-speaking ones), to eat ice cream, etc. They all ask me how I'm adjusting and if everything's okay at the school and if I have any problems. Everyone is so considerate, including my principal and vice principal. I'm really lucky!
So, the Korean high school classroom is a little different from the American one. Each class has about 30-40 students, and in English class, they don't usually speak, just do grammar and analysis. My school is all girls, of course, and everyone wears a uniform (which I think is common even in public schools). We don't wear shoes in school, only slippers (basically sports sandals) over our hosiery or socks.
I'm getting used to the
bowing, too. There are about 50 teachers at my school, I think, and all of them are older than me (yes, I'm quite the anomaly). So, I bow to everyone. They all bow back, of course (just like waving), but as I'm younger, I go first. Some teachers, though (and students), have taken to waving at me, which suits me fine. All the students wave. I wave back at them, but I usually do a bow-and-then-wave at the teachers.
My usual day is going to school about 7:30AM (when my host sister has to go to school), waiting about an hour, and then teaching my first class at 8:50. I usually teach three to four 50-minute classes a day, which can be exhausting by day 5-- especially since right now I'm teaching all the classes the same lesson. The same lesson 18 times... well, I'm trying to find ways to change it up some. I think starting next week or the week after I will begin teaching different things to the advanced and lower levels.
My homestay is still great. My homestay sister speaks English very well, so we are able to communicate in the family. Plus, I
Lights and Water Fun
At Odongdo Park, Yeosu
am learning more Korean. My homestay sister's English hagwon (after-school academy) teacher has befriended me and is helping me improve my Korean (as well as showing me around Yeosu, going out for shopping and coffee with me, etc.). Everyone is so generous to me. For instance, I went with my homestay family to church (I asked if I could), and though I didn't understand everything, I was still happy to go. But, my homestay family noticed I was a little lost sometimes. So, the next week, we were sitting around, and my homestay mother gave me a box. Inside was a copy of a Korean/English Bible (with both translations) and hymns with English translations in the back. It almost made me cry. It was so kind of them. And that's just part of the kindnesses I've received from them! Again, I am so lucky!
Week two was a little more difficult to kick off than week one. I was just a little more tired and I think everything from the week before caught up with me. But, due to testing, I had the day off yesterday and think I've recovered. This week, I'm teaching them how to make questions
in English. I think it's going well. We played a game in English, and I think they had fun. That's what really counts!
Well, I must get to work, but I'll try to detail more of life here later-- like the raw meat I ate (yes, I know, bad idea), the raw fish I ate, the inner workings of a Korean teachers' office, and more.
Tot: 0.191s; Tpl: 0.052s; cc: 11; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0159s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb