Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Quick Catch-Up Post

Hello, everyone!

It's been a long time. A REALLY long time, unfortunately. I seem to do this a lot. Sorry!

I've survived 5 semesters in Korea so far, and 1 day of summer English camp. Since I don't have much to prep for tomorrow, I thought I'd update my long neglected blog. A lot has happened since my last update, so I'll try to cover some highlights.

1. I went to Singapore. Most of my family and friends probably already know about that, but yeah. It was hot, humid and fun.

2. The CT I was hoping to still have, I still have. She's pretty much the only person in this school I can joke around and have conversations with, so that helped with my sanity this year.

3. Dyed my hair. I'm now Black Widow. :P

4. Had a birthday. It was grand.

5. Lost my passport. That was not grand. People, do NOT lose your passport. I had to take a day off work and go up to Seoul to get it replaced, which brings me to...

6. I stayed at a very unclean hostel near Hongdae. Don't recommend it, but I did meet this girl who was in Korea for the first time and we got chicken galbi and listened to a band in Hongdae sing "The Scientist".

I've been open to new experiences this year, more than I used to. I've never toured anywhere by myself until now, and I've found that it can be really fun. And, you have a chance to meet new people along the way. And sometimes they'll be a little crazy (in a good way), and you'll find yourself at an international festival, dancing to "Uptown Funk" while a henna tattoo dries on your hand.

I have 9 more camp days to go, and then I'm off to my own summer vacation. I'll let you know how that goes and what I did. I promise that update won't be months after. Promise!

Thanks for reading!

p.s. if you're raising your eyebrow at the whole dancing and henna tattoos thing. Yes, it really happened. No, I haven't gone off the deep end.

p.p.s. It's so muggy right now!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Welcome Back to Korea

Hello everyone!

Since my last update I’ve been to the US and back. I’m glad I got some down time, visited with friends and family, and got to eat my weight in food. But now I’m back in the cold (which isn’t all that bad at the moment, looks like winter is almost over) and back to school (temporarily).

Welcome to the one week back, we’re not going to do a lot of teaching, get ready for graduation period. All the students are back, but there aren’t supposed to be any classes until Monday next week. So, essentially we’ve been cleaning and discussing these past two days back (and eating chocolate).

I found out that we definitely won’t have a replacement for my co-teacher who’s leaving. This means a total schedule makeover for the new year. I get less time with the 3rd and 4th graders, and kindergarten is completely cut from the year (kind of sad about that one). I get one more class period with the 5th and  6th graders, which could be good or bad. I’m still deciding.

Once again, I’ll be teaching some of my classes with the homeroom teachers. The thought of this stressed me out at first, but taking a look at the suggested schedule layout and my CT’s input on the matter makes it better. Instead of dealing with 8 HR teachers, I’ll only be working with 4. Plus, they don’t touch my designated sections in the book. No touchy.

Some other good news -- There won’t be an after school class in the English room any more, which means we can liven up the place without worrying about those brats other students tearing it down. And no more incessant banging on the door by students who can't figure out that a dark, locked classroom means you should wait or go next door to politely ask someone to let you inside. 

My CT and I (whom I really hope will be my CT this last year!) talked a lot about things to change up the classroom and classes. More posters, projects, and themes! I’m pretty excited about it.

What this will mean for the English camps, I’m not sure. I just hope I’ll be the main voice in that like I have been before. That’s the highlight of my job, and I don’t want to give it up. Plus, I still need to do my Harry Potter camp. 

Thank you for reading. I'm really trying this year to keep this up to date. Especially since it will be my last year here. Keep an eye out for another update, hopefully very soon!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Desk-Warming in 2016

It seems like the only time I really update my blog is when I have some desk-warming time. So, here I am, sitting at my desk with nothing much to do. I have three more days of this.

Some news -- apparently one of my co-teachers is not staying next year and, due to some budget cuts, she’s not being replaced. It’ll just be me and one Korean English teacher. Not only that, but the ct I thought for sure would be my ct next year still doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Yaaay…..

I’ve had to deal with substitute ct’s, working with homeroom teachers and pretty much teaching on my own, so what else could they possibly throw at me? Famous last words, I know. Good thing this is my last year.

I have no idea how this is going to affect the lesson schedules next year. We’ve typically had it so each grade had one lesson with just the Korean teacher and then 1-2 with both of us. That’s ten lessons, split between 4 grade levels a week, 2 grades per ct (about 3-4 classes per grade). That gives me 7 lessons a week, counting the KG classes I teach solo once a week.

I have this dreaded feeling they’ll decide that, hey, Emily Teacher did ok teaching with the homeroom teachers. Let’s do that for an entire academic year!

Nope. Nopety nope. I hope the HR teachers object to any proposals resembling that, should they arise. Do you know how stressful and difficult it was to communicate with those teachers, to sync the lessons and then teach while most of them sat in the back and didn’t bother to talk to me until last minute?

Nope. Nope. Nope.


Well, it’s certainly been an adventure so far, hasn’t it? And I seem to have named my blog fairly well, because things do get stranger by the minute. You’d think that being here for two years would diminish the surprise, but you’d be wrong. I still roll with the punches, though. That, or go sit at my computer and browse flight options…

Other than the unknown future of English classes at this school… I’m cold. It’s dropped well below freezing point today. There are only so many layers I can fit under my coat. I’m very grateful to my ct, who left me her little electric mat to keep me warm while I’m at school. If I could carry a hot pack the size of this thing with me on my walk home, I’d be very happy.

Thanks for reading! 3ish more days of this weather.