Monday, March 2, 2015

The first day of the rest of my year

Hey everyone! By the time I post this, the majority of you will be waking up on the other side of the world, maybe hitting the snooze button a few times and giving yourself a pep talk to get out of bed. Sounds like my morning, actually.

Moving on...

Today was the first day back to school for the new academic year. I kind of wish that US school years ran a similar schedule, just for the fact that it can sometimes be confusing to keep track of what year you were in which grade. Plus, as an Arizonan I wouldn't mind a long winter vacation vs. summer. 

We spent the first day without classes to teach, but we kept pretty busy. First there was greeting the vice-principal, tea time, greeting the principal, finish up tea time, early lunch, talk about co-teaching plans, cleaning, meeting and the surprise arrival of some former 6th graders (in their middle school uniforms and uniform hairstyles, I might add). Busy day. I was so wiped out by the end of it all, I felt like I'd just gotten off a 12 hour flight.

I have one new co-teacher this year, and so far we're hitting it off pretty well. I'm actually feeling sad about the fact that she'll be leaving in October on maternity leave, especially since that means she's going to miss how gleefully insane I can become during that month. The co-teacher she replaced was on maternity leave up until the week of Halloween, and she missed out on my Halloween lessons too. Sigh~

Looking back a year, I can safely say I feel more comfortable and organized than I did the first time. I remember being shown to my desk, handed a pile of books and materials, and nervously blinking my way through planning sessions with my co-teachers. Orientation hardly prepares you for your first day. They might cover some lesson planning and "what to expect", but I can't help but think about the story of the blind men and the elephant when thinking back to orientation. You never got the whole picture, and in our case the blindness was induced by ambiguity.

Now, I understand how the textbooks work (for the most part, still can't read half the text since it's in Korean) and I know more of what to expect or what to ask. I was a little frazzled by the idea of working with a completely different co-teacher this year for half my classes, but we communicate like we've known each for a lot longer.

I'm also surprised to say that I'm not so easily surprised anymore. To clarify, one of my coworkers is very.... unique. I met her my first day at the school, and had no idea what to do. I kept saying yes when I meant no, feeling like I'd been caught in a compromising position when I hadn't, and just plain awkward the rest of the time.

So far, I'm just rolling with it and it's working. She might have asked me to come with her to the bathroom today and hand-fed me a piece of chocolate, among other things, but I managed to laugh it off. Which is good, because I have more important things to mull over than what unusual thing she'll do next. What important things? Tune in next time.

That's my way of saying I'm still mulling....... (Don't worry, it doesn't have anything to do with a secret boyfriend, marriage proposal or anything a wild imagination could cook up)

Thanks for reading!



  1. Hi Emily, my name is Sandra. I read your story on the fb alumni page. I live in AZ and going through the program now. I plan on going the same route you did and had some questions. Please let me know if I can get some feedback from you. Thanks.

    1. Hi Sandra! So sorry it's taken me this long to respond. How is your process going?