I have completed more than half a week of officially being an English teacher…and it’s three things….fun, repetitive, and EXHAUSTING! I honestly always underestimated what it takes to be a teacher, because after teaching 5 regular classes and 1 after school class to 1st and 2nd graders, I was as pooped as they come, and my feet were throbbing from standing in slippers all day! This whole week has been about me introducing myself (over and over again) to each class of students. I made a powerpoint with lots of pictures of me and my life back home, which the kids really seemed to love. Their favorite is this picture of me eating a fried twinkie at the rodeo in Texas, but I just tell them it’s a hot dog, it’s easier to explain haha.
I also feel like a celebrity walking the halls which has pretty much been my dream since I could talk. You know this if you know me. Attention whore. Well, South Korea is giving me the attention I desire. Little 5th grade boys yell out in class “I LOVE YOU TEACHER!” and stop in their tracks and stare at me. I showed them a picture of sista too and she’s a mini celeb as well. “Teacher’s sister Ja-kwee is BEAUTIFUL!” They don’t get how to say her name (Jacquie). They also now refer to my brother as Michael Jackson since his name is Michael 🙂
I must say these kids are damn cute, and their English names are so freakin hilarious. On Monday I had 3rd graders who were named King Kong, Vanilla, Boss, Money, Albert Einstein and a little boy named Rainbow. I also had some other kids named Good, Nice, Percy Jackson and Obama. How creative these youngins are. I often find it hard to keep a straight face when calling on some of them (you know me!) I also received my first penpal letter from my student normal-named student, Olivia. If my memory serves me, she’s in one of my 4th grade classes. Here is a letter she wrote me 🙂
As far as classes go, all of my classes are taught with one of my two co-teachers, Leni and Jin. During my normal school hour classes we do a lot of stuff out of the book and CD-ROMs that go with them. I’m assuming as I get more well-versed in teaching I’ll help get more creative with them. I also have 3 after school classes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Mondays and Tuesdays are 40 minutes each and with the baby 1st and 2nd graders who don’t speak a lick of English. I want to squeeze them and put them in my pocket. Instead of being a creep, I pat their backs and let them give me big hugs, and then I let the little girls pretend they are putting my earrings on as they press them again their cute little faces lol. I also started teaching them the ABCs. I was pretty nervous for these after school classes because they’re entirely open and up to me. I started playing them songs, did some matching games and had them create name tags with their English names which was fun. With the 3rd and 4th graders, it’s an 80 minute class once a week. I told them about my summer vacation and what I did, and then had them all write or draw me postcards of what they did. They then had to get up and tell me about their trip. I’m going to take some pictures of the really good ones tomorrow so I’ll post for you! I’ve got some budding artists on my hands! All in all, the first half of my first week has gone amazingly well which I’m so relieved about. Maybe I am a good teacher after all 🙂
Aside from the work ish, Jnettybear and Carmennnn came to visit me in Seoul this past weekend! It was AMAZING and I’m so excited that some of my friends from home got to see my new life and meet my new friends and fall in love just like I have 🙂 I love when new friends meet old friends and begin a love affair. It was also so nice having them here because it gave me an excuse (other than living here) to go out and explore my neighborhood of Danggogae (Dontgogay), which I like to refer to as North Korea since I’m so far North in Seoul. We met a precious little Korean woman who served us noodles (Jnet, picture please!) a couple doggies who we have fallen in love with, especially Mr. Kim Chi, and we dined out at a lovely establishment across from me called “Chicken The +” with Cricket Mr. Name Awesome. We also found some cute boutiques which could prove to be danger on the dance floor. As far as the nightlife goes, we ended up staying out later than I have ever stayed out in a ridiculously long time because I’m old and get tired by 2am. We partied like we were Katie’s age (aka in college again. Love you). We stayed out til 5am both Friday and Saturday night and I honestly can’t believe it. They also had to book it by 7am on Sunday morning. Apparently Jnet had a fun trip to the airport.
Sunday a group of us made like kiddies and went on a field trip to the COEX Aquarium which is south of the Han River. It took about an hour for me to get there for NorKo. It was a really nice aquarium and some of the things really made me laugh. For example, they had some sort of rodent there running in a wheel as part of an exhibit, weird, and some of the fish tanks had Korean style temples in their tanks so we knew they were Korean fish, and the foreign fish from Holland got to swim thru windmills. How thoughtful to make the fishies feel right at home. The coolest part I thought was the shark tank, obviously. There was a moving sidewalk that went alongside and under the whole shark tank. Bomb diggity. Check out some pictorals below!
Here is a photo of a cute Korean baby to meet my creep quota for the day. Enjoy!