teaching in Korea

November Field Trip: Lotte World

You might go into shock when you hear this, but I've never been to Lotte World. It's been three years here in Korea and not once did I step inside the infamous amusement park located in Jamsil. I've been past it zillions of times, and often wondered what the hype was all about. Well I got my chance this month when the kiddos were taken to the park.

However, I only ended up riding one ride and mostly just followed these youngins around.

Thanksgiving History Lesson

 


Where it's at

You might think that I am overjoyed with the news that I get to stay at the same school for another year. Definitely considering this will be the first school that accepted me for another year, in my four years living here. But the rush of life has been keeping me distracted. Report cards, test making and teaching the kids has got my mind busy.

Yet, today as I walked home and left the gates of the school I felt a small pinch of realization. I don't have to move or hunt for another job, I will be here again next year. Finally, I felt some form of relief and looked at the pale gray sky with appreciation.

What Happens When Public School isn't the Dream Job

I have been reading the blogger, "What Would Eve Do?" and noticing that she has been having a hard time at her Public School. It reminded me how when I was working at a hagwon (my first job here) I thought that Public Schools were a lot better. I quit that school after 5 months and moved to a Public School. Indeed, many improvements were felt and life was somewhat less stressful. But the fact that I was working in a Korean work environment never transformed.

Today I am addressing the allusion some people might have that Public School jobs are somewhat more magically better than hagwons. However, at PS jobs you definitely get paid on time and have solid vacation.

Maybe Next Week

Today our school held our usual monthly meeting. On the agenda "contract renewals." When I saw this I got excited and thought something along the lines of, "If you put down 'yes' as your response, then you folks got the job" was going to be announced. Instead, they just announced that people need to make up their minds by Nov. 8th and someone will be coming to you around next week to talk about the contract.

October Field Trip: Dream Forest


For the October field trip the kiddos were taken to the Dream Forest. This was a good idea as it was close to the school, but a sort of bad idea because we walked a lot.

Still Waiting

Turns out they won't talk about contract renewals till "sometime" in November. I am hoping that means next week. I had an interview at this school around the third week of November last year, so I am thinking they get things ready by the beginning of the month.

Anyways, I have a strong feeling they will let me renew but of course am still nervous.

In other news, Tom is doing well and has grown a thick winter coat for the cold days ahead. Of course, I will keep him warm inside my house.

My ex dropped off Tom's carrier basket (he borrowed it a few weeks ago) and it was a little hard to see him again. I still feel confused about what happened to us, but nowadays feel it really was for the best.

Drama Festival Wrap Up

It went well and all the kids from every group performed to their best. I didn't hear any homeroom teachers complain about it, which is great. Just one snafu, last week one of my boys got scratched by another without my notice. So mom is upset, which makes the homeroom teacher have to deal with this. That leads to said homeroom teacher coming to me and telling me that I should keep my eyes on everyone all the time. Thanks!

So it is the end of October and I believe I should be hearing about my renewal. With this latest snafu I am hoping my ,"Yes, of course I can" attitude keeps everyone happy. But rumors have it that lots of teachers are planning, for various reasons, to move on from this school. So I think they would like to try and keep as many as they can.  I haven't heard anything yet, as the drama festival is still going on for other grades.

That Time of the Year Again

As a contract teacher there comes a point where you don't know if you will be asked to stay or go for the next year. At my past two public elementary schools I was given the thumbs down on staying at their schools. So this time I really want to be asked to stay.

Their system is a bit different and seems more friendly. Since there are 22 foreign folks working here I guess they need to streamline everything. They sent out a mass-message asking us to respond to a survey by the second-to-last week of this month. I already enthusiastically filled mine out and handed it in. My answer was a definite, "YES." I want to stay at the school and even continue teaching first grade math. 

Joe Teacher

A few weeks back, Joe had an extra day off from his teaching gig at Sindo Elementary. Instead of sleeping in while I schlepped to work, mentally preparing to face the noise of my kindie kids after a luxuriously peaceful four-day weekend, he came into school with me.  I tell him stories about my students frequently, brief vignettes from my day along the lines of: “Albert told me he got three points in Taekwondo class yesterday,” or “You’ve gotta meet Charley. He clung to me all the way down the hall during bathroom break today, dragging his little feet behind me and saying, ‘teachuh, you have-uh foh legs.’”


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