Tuesday, November 27, 2007

new home, new job

Saturday was such a long day. As my flight was delayed, I didn't arrive in Korea until 9 AM after only about 2 hours of sleep (I don't sleep well on planes). As soon as I got to my friends home a couple of hours later, I had to rush to get my stuff together, as the mover arrived at 12. The mover that my school usually uses is a 73 year old man. He was carrying 3 boxes at a time on his back. He was so tired by the time the truck was loaded (yes, I did help as much as he would let me). Then once at my new place the assistant manager of my school was there with my key and helped unload the truck. It is surprising how much stuff one can acquire over a couple of years. When it is all put away, it doesn't look like much, but when it is all in boxes and bags in the open, it looks like a ridiculous amount of stuff.
My new home is basically 2 rooms. Going in the door, you enter the front hall and kitchen area (kitchen sink and stove to the right). A sliding door is on the same wall as the entry door and goes into a little closet-ish area where the gas heater and washing machine are. Straight ahead from the entry door is another door which leads to the main room with the bed, dresser and standing clothes rack (no closet, unfortunately). The bathroom door is to the far left. It isn't the smallest home I've had here but it definitely isn't the largest. It is SO dirty! I think who ever lived there last wasn't so clean, and no one has lived there in a month or so. Dust has built up everywhere and there is sort of a layer of scum on a lot of things (especially in the kitchen). From the time I arrived at my new home, I've been scrubbing and cleaning. My hands are so sore from all of the scrubbing! I'm no where near being finished, either. :S
I haven't started unpacking anything. I don't want to put my things away in dirty drawers and cupboards!
My home is less than 10 minutes walk from my school. The area is great. Coffee shops and such EVERYWHERE!! There is a huge Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf right beside my school. Dangerous, actually! ;)
Yesterday was my first day of work, but this whole week is just observation. Not so fun. Sitting watching other people teach is not all that entertaining after the first hour or so. I'd rather just teach.
My work day is 9 to 4:30. Not bad.
The kindergarten runs 9:30 to 2:30. My kindy class is the Rose class, with around 18 students, all 5/6 years old (Korean 7 years old). So far it seems very easy. There are 2 English teachers for each class; one native speaker (foreigner) and one Korean English speaker; as well as one Korean teacher/helper. While one teaches, the other has prep time/ break time. Sweet! The entire day is set up in 30 minute blocks.
9:30 - 10: snack/play time. The Korean helper sets everything up for snack and lunch.
10 - 10:30: Circle Time, which seems to be a combination of reading and phonics (there is a book for it). (2 English teachers alternate every other day)
After that the order and content of the blocks changes around a bit. For Monday it was:
10:30 - 11: Art (Break time for me)
11 - 11:30: Phonics
11:30 - 12: Lunch time. We take the kids down to the cafeteria and each class has one long table. Korean food is served to the kids in trays. We help ourselves to what we want of the Korean food. They also have salad for the teachers (I am told that it was a huge ordeal to get this).
12 - 12:30: Theme English. To do with what ever the theme is that week/month. Could be anything from catching up with other book work or learning songs. My kids are learning the song, "All I want for Christmas". Yes, the full song, not a short children's version.
12:30 - 1: Language Practice. (Break time for me)
1 - 1:30: Math. (Break time for me)
1:30 - 2: Phonics. (Break time for me)
2 - 2:30: Reading
Then the kids get ready to go and we take them down to catch the bus.
From 3 until 4:25 I then teach their Super Elite Power Class, which is a group of 8 students, all 6/7 years old, who have been coming to this school since they were 3/4 years old. Their English is excellent. I teach them reading, writing, grammar, etc. Earlier this month they finished reading a short novel (something like Elmer and the Dragon) and wrote a 2 page book report on it. It is very organized, as the program is standardized - all of the schools have the same programs. Makes things fairly easy.

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