Teaching in Korea

First Day: July 27th, 2016

After traveling for over 24 hours, I found out that I will be teaching the next morning. Imagine my surprise and inner unwillingness to accept this news. But, I had no choice. Morning comes and I received a knock on my door from a fellow teacher letting me know when they will meet and leave. I was told that we had to be there a bit earlier than usual. Nearly dressed, and hopefully in the right attire, I said okay and finished getting ready. As usual, for myself, I got downstairs a couple minutes early. Luckily I did, because another teacher had asked me if I had pajamas.  I told her I did, but wasn’t quite sure as to why she was asking. Anyone would bring their pajamas if they are traveling. I then found out it was pajama day at the school, which meant that I had to go back up 14 stories and rummage through my unpacked clothes to find some pj’s to bring. I didn’t have a bag for them, so I carried my clothes in my hand.

There was four of us that walked together to the school: me, two girls from Canada, and another girl from Hawaii. If it wasn’t for them, I would have never found the place. SLP Changwon is a decent sized hagwon. If you are wondering what a hagwon is, well it is basically an after school program where parents pay and send their children to learn English. Kindergartners are there in the morning until the afternoon. Elementary students and older arrive when they are finished with school, which is usually around 2:30 PM.

When we arrived, I found out that it was the last day before summer vacation and that it wasn’t going to be a normal day. Which was perfectly fine for me, but also a bit weird since I would only be “teaching” for one day and then go on vacation the next. Neither scenario I was expecting or prepared for. But, I got to meet all of my students and they are absolutely adorable. They seemed to warm up to me pretty quickly and I learned majority of their names pretty fast. I have nine students in my kindergarten class and here is a picture of them when we had put cucumbers on their face for a relaxing facial:

Spa Time

One of my students was really stubborn and defiant about having the cucumbers on her face, but she held on unwillingly to the end of it. They are really a great group though. I have six girls and three boys in my class. I feel like the other teachers don’t know how to handle the boys very well, because they think they are defiant and troublemakers. I grew up around a bunch of boys and I don’t see where they are talking about. I think it might be the prejudices from the previous teacher that taught the class. The girls are really funny though. They were completely fascinated by my nails. For anyone that knows me knows that I don’t keep my nails short at all. The students were shocked that my nails were real and they couldn’t stop touching them and saying “sharp” and asking if they are real. My nails aren’t sharp at all, but I don’t think they knew how else to describe them.

After they left, I got to meet my Elementary students. I went to four different classes and I got to shadow each one to see how the classes were taught. This is my training period, so I don’t fully take over my classes until August 8th. I also got a feel on how the students were and the personalities of the teachers. Needless to say, some of them were quite interesting.

Well, this post is long enough. I will post a video soon to possibly describe my trip and my first day in more detail. Look forward to it and thanks for reading!

 

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