Had my second day of “orientation” today. I was expecting to be able to kind of job shadow the other English teachers at my school, or have the director sit down with me and show me some sort of plan. Not at all. The “kindy” director was really nice and showed me the books and classroom I’d be using. She also gave me a tour of the school (which I’d already gotten weeks ago) and my class schedule. I will have two different kindy classes, one is called “koala” class and the other is “monkey” class. Koala class is age 6 and Monkey is age 7….remember how I LOVE kids (just kidding, I asked for this)…? I will teach them reading, speaking, phonics (I HATED phonics in elementary school!), writing, math (uh…ok I guess?!), and science (don’t worry, the youth of Korean isn’t depending on me for math and science, I will basically just hand out pre-made worksheets to them).
One nice thing that happened today was that I got to meet with two other English teachers at the school, a husband and wife who are leaving on Sunday (so I hope I get two other English teachers to help me?!). They gave some good advice such as, “Basically, if you get through the books and don’t piss off the parents, you’re golden”. Apparently, since I work at a “Hagwon” (private school), it’s important to remember that we need to keep kids enrolled and therefore make sure the kids are having a good time at school and don’t complain to their parents. So more than a “teacher” I will be a “facilitator” (maybe even more like a “babysitter who speaks English”, but I’ll wait to use that until I see what teaching is like).
I’m excited, terrified, unorganized, confused, and totally unprepared, but I’m going to have to roll with the punches on this one or since the Koreans are a fairly non violent group of people I’ll roll with the kimchi. Off to Seoul (again) for the long weekend before I become a full time babysit—teacher.