Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New School Year

Today is the first day of the 2011-2012 school year here at Shinhueng Elementary School. Although, really we can just say the school year is 2011... as nothing actually happens from January-March.

There is much that is different this year from last year, for instance, I no longer work at two elementary schools- I will miss the small class size of Dong Myoung, the commute, however, I will not, miss. The punctuation in that last sentence was just as annoying as my commute to Dong Myoung.

Aside from only being at one school I have a brand new set of coteachers. My old Shinhueng teachers, Youngers and Amy, have decided that they no longer want to be associated with me due to my ever increasing demands and the fact that my good looks were a major distraction during planning. Not really... I don't have many demands. I miss them already! The good news is we're still friends and they are easily my favorite Koreans in THE WORLD.

My new coteachers seem alright thus far, though we haven't taught together yet so I bite my tongue. It looks as though I will be doing the majority of the planning and teaching when we work together, which is fine by me! I did come here to teach, after all. I recieved my new schedule today: #grade-#class-- 1 hour lunch in between 4 and 5.
Mon Tues Weds Thu Fri
  1. Free 5-1 6-1 5-1 6-1
  2. 3-1 5-2 6-2 5-2 6-2
  3. 3-2 5-3 6-3 5-3 6-3
  4. 3-3 5-4 6-4 5-4 6-4
  5. 3-4 5-5 Free 5-5 Free

Notice anything missing? Grade 4, perchance? I'm guessing here... but I'm fairly certain one of my coteachers, and this is a quote of the first sentence in English I ever heard her say, who said, "I don't want to be an English Teacher, but they are making me." Well, she teaches grades 3 and 5 and has 23 classes in total- the fact that I have grade 3 and double classes for 5 means that she will really only teach 9 classes solo a week. Before my old coteacher left the new one asked her if it was alright if she left during class when I am teaching- the answer was "He will probably call the MOE (office of education) on you!" I don't think she'll abandon me, but I don't expect much assistance from her. Anywho, I just like to see all the kids and I'm a little annoyed that I won't get to see grade 4... I'm contemplating an after school club just for grade 4 students. Even then I will maybe only see 10 to 15 of them.

Anyways, I'm glad to be back in school and teaching again! I do feel a little awkward in the Lady's Teacher Room without Younglan around though... but the Guy's Room is smoker-friendly and the lack of my own office really doesn't give me other places to go. That being said, I've slowly been getting closer with other teachers at my school, it's nice to walk around and get genuine smiles and greetings! Some teachers even told me to call them "hyung" or "nuna", Korean for big brother and big sister. Part of the whole Confucian hierarchy idea, but one that I find kind of endearing if you're on the 'in'.

Also, the students are in awe of my hearty sideburns.

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