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Jenn’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 04 Oct 2007

Location: Mokpo, Korea (South)

MapSo here's an update on what I'm actually supposed to be doing here in Korea...teaching!!!
My schools name is Ae Hyang Elementary School. It is BRAND NEW!! It is a huge school, and we definitly don't fill even half of it. They are building apartments all around it, so we keep getting new kids all the time! We have a small staff which is nice...we all know the basic greetings in eachothers language, so everyone is really friendly!! Every morning before school...everyone goes to both the Pricipal and V.P's offices to say "good morning". It's kind of neat, that they make sure they say goodmorning to eachother before the day starts! Every monday morning we have a staff meeting, which I'm required to attend but for what reason I'm not sure. It's fully in Korean...and they have a tendancy to throw my name around during the meeting, but no one actually addresses me! Kind of awkward!!! haha..
Up until this past week, I hadn't been doing a whole lot...well nothing actually. MJ is a new teacher, and it obsessed with the textbook and not using anything but. She also likes to do everything by herself...slowly I have been working her in, so she lets me take over some of the work. I think she's finally realizing that I may know more about English then she does...hmmm?!!! ya think?!!
So I've started taking over more of the "main" teacher role. I still use the textbook (which is awesome to have on the days you aren't feeling so creative!) It is a struggle though. I teach from gr. 1-6. In the classes there is a WIDE variety of skill. There are many English tutoring centres here, so some of the kids do afterschool classes...some don't. Which makes it quite a task trying to teach the language and give everyone the attention and challenge according to their level. I have one extra class in which they've put gr. 3-6 in ONE class..i don't know what they were thinking, because some of the kids are working on single words, and the others are putting together full paragraphs...ahhh the joys of teaching!
My Vice-Principal has also decided that I am to put together the cirriculum/text book for the gr. 1-2...that's a whole lot of extra work I hadn't been counting on. But I'm kind of excited, because after I do this and after I leave Korea, the cirriculum that I made will still be used...(if it's good!!) Kinda neat eh?!!
It's also a struggle getting used to working with small children...I've made more of them than I'd like to admit cry. I'm not mean...well at least I hope I'm not, but the kids are very shy...especially with speaking English, and they seem to not like it when I stand there until they repeat the word or phrase I asked them to speak. Thus..the crying begins! But they are getting more comfortable, thanks to my persistence, the fact that I give them a lot of "high-fives" and bribery (yah so i bribe them...stickers, candy...they work wonders!! haha)
We have a lot of fun though, crying aside!!! I love the games, crafts and singing...yep, we sing a lot. I love it, i get to act silly and like a kid...they eat it up, and I never have to feel embarassed...cus they are under 12!!!
Anyways, back to lesson planning!! Until next time...
love love love
J