Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Caterpillar (pre-cocoon learning)

As usual, Zach has inspired me to write something on our blog. He's right, the purpose of this blog is because we forget so easily and get confused so often. We're both lucky that our lives are so full of excitement that we get one adventure confused with the next. Our current adventure in Korea consists of teaching English at a Hogwan (Korean private school) in Bundang, which is a suburb of Seoul. Zach teaches at Chungdahm (on the 3rd floor) and I teach at Chungdahm April (on the 4th floor). My classes are children from about 6 to 11. They are energetic, but not quite as energetic as I am.

Today I was teaching away, singing and giving my students acting tips when there is a knock at the door. I answer it to find my Korean teaching partner, Ray, standing there looking....


She asks if she can speak to me for a second, and I step outside. “Sara, you're supposed to...” to make a long complicated mistake short, I have been teaching the wrong thing to half of my students for the past two days.


Ray is very patient with me, she walks me through the array of Type A or Type B teaching days, Seed, Sprout, or Sapling. When to teach only speaking, or reading and speaking (but only speaking butterfly). She reminds me that I do not teach writing, but I do the homework check for writing. She also tells me all about the e-learning on the computer, the magic screen, how to grade revision tests, enter them in the computer, update the classes, and grade participation. So I have to get there early tomorrow because all of the lesson planning I did in order to get ahead was based on my own personal level of ignorance. Luckily, the Faculty manager (my boss) doesn't know the curriculum for April very well either, so when he watches me on CCTV (that's right, we have live cameras in our classrooms where our boss watches us and gives us feedback) all he sees is a vibrant, confident teacher who asks leading questions, elicits answers and helps her students.


I'm figuring it out, slowly but surely. On Thursday and Friday I have to record videos of the kids acting projects and upload them so their parents can see them. And I have been warned, when the mothers don't get to see the videos, an uproar ensues.

Be advised, the Korean mothers are watching.

Hopefully, I succeed, record the videos and upload them properly. I still need to get my Alien registration card, a phone, a gym membership and fully function internet. I am confident that I can do these things. It's fall here and the leaves are turning beautiful shades of red, yellow and gold. Now, if only I can figure out how to turn the heat on in the apartment, I'll be all set.

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