Tuesday, September 22, 2009

apparently i'm a teacher

I've been a teacher for a little over a week now and I got my first two kids to cry today. I'm obviously the new favorite. Little kids are tough enough when they understand you, but when they have no idea what you want them to do they a) go on doing whatever they feel like b) try to talk over you c) just stare at you d) pretend you don't exist and can't hear you. I didn't feel like being ignored so I put Jeinie, one of my Cedar kids, into time out after calling her name 20 times repeatedly with no answer. As soon as this happens the tears flow. Ahhhh I feel like such a horrible person!! So I immediately apologize and let her keep on keeping on. The other kid, Peter, who is soo cute and one of my favorites, just wouldn't write anything. I was getting frustrated and kept explaining and asked if he understood and he said he did. So I said "if you don't do your work, time out." He didn't so I put him in the hall where he immediately started crying. Again! Ahh this kid totally didn't deserve it. I'm sure he had no idea what to do or how to write and then I punish him for it! I gave him a big ( not reciprocated) hug and said sorry and went on to dictate sentences to him. Ha yeah that's helping him learn! But at least he stopped crying. I'm a terrible teacher.

Tuesday is journal day. One class is learning about time and the theme of journal was family so I asked them to write what do they do at different times of the day with their family. One of my brighter students, Steve, knew what I was talking about so started writing. I checked his work a few minutes later, "I shower with mother. I sleep with sister." This kid is going to have problems when he grows up. But I gave him a big highfive and sticker and let him get on to coloring. At least he was writing something, right?

Once a month the older kids get a phone call home where I ask them questions about what they have been learning. It's no longer than 5 minutes and it's questions straight out of the book so it shouldn't be a big deal. The problem is most kids' parents don't speak English. Of the 6 kids I called today 2 answered immediately and did great. 2 didn't answer at all. One kid's mother hung up on me and called back one of the Korean teachers 30 mins later so I got her daughter on the phone eventually. When I called Eric his mom answers and speaks no English so she puts Eric's little sister on the phone. She's decent at understanding English and can answer me. The conversation went like:

Me: Is Eric home?
Sister: No, he's at the hospital
M: Oh no, is everything ok? Is he sick?
S: No.
M: Is he hurt?
S: No
M: Well what's he doing at the hospital
S: I don't know
M: Will Eric be in school tomorrow?
S: Yes........tomorrow better. I outside. Bye.
M: Ok....bye.....

So who knows what that was about. She was really sweet though!

September 30th we're having a Harvest Festival party all day at school. Harvest fest is basically the Korean Thanksgiving and we get 3 days off school for it where I am either heading to Hong Kong or Taipei. We get to dress up in traditional gear and not teach all day! The next party if for Halloween where I get to teach a cooking class. I think I'll make something with pumpkin (we had excellent pumpkin soup for breakfast this morning at school!). Or maybe marshmellow ghosts or something...hmmmm.
Last night's birthday party in Noksapyong was great. There were a few people there I knew and many more I didn't. It's definitely nice to meet more people, especially people who have been here a little while and can show me around a bit. And the best part, aside from the wine and Coldstone icecream cake, was the apartment! A REAL apartment in Korea. With more than one room. And a large kitchen. And huge bathroom with a tub! And it was above a bar. I didn't think such things existed here.

Sidenote: Coldstone is hosting a worldwide icecream social this Thursday from 5-8pm. Free icecream!

Tonight I'm going out with my new Korean friend Andre, you remember, the one from GS 25. So this should be interesting. Hopefully I'll have some good stories from this. I can't get over how random life is over here. Anything goes and teaching is tough because it's frustrating, but I just feel like I'm a summer camp counselor or something. It's not real work. But it is....I'm shaping the future here right?


  1. Sounds like you put kids in time out a lot! haha When should I try to come visit?

  2. haha it was a new technique i was testing. it didnt work though bc they would cry and i would feel bad. so now i try to ignore them.

    come visit now! im going to taipei next weekend, want to come? honestly come whenever. ill make myself available. i know chetta and ryan are coming in the spring and want to go to thailand, so maybe you could work something out with them. hope all is well at home, miss you!!!