Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Welcome to my life

I had a demonstration class on Monday. It was not one of the Busan Board of Education open classes that all teachers are forced to endure (that's next week), but instead was organized by my school so that parents could observe a class. Luckily it was planned on the one day of the week that I teach with Jeremy, the other Canadian teacher at my school. We did some planning last week but decided not to get too worked up over it. I think the most stressful part for me was deciding what to wear. Have to impress those impossibly stylish Koreans!
About 10 mothers showed up for the class of 13 Grade 1's ... enough to ensure that the students (who are usually adorable, but wild) behaved like perfect little angels for the entire 40 minutes. I just tried to smile as much as possible, and I think it worked. Things went really well and my principal, who doesn't speak English even approached me afterwards and managed to say "You did GREAT job". What a relief!

Yesterday I was informed that the Grade 2 classroom was not available for the class I was supposed to be teaching in 5 minutes time. Our English office does not have nearly enough space for a whole class so it was decided that I'd teach outside, on the picnic tables near the animal cages. Can you tell already that it was a recipe for disaster?
The grade 2's already seem to find my class hilarious. Not sure if it's my broken Korean or terrible charades skills (there's no Korean co-teacher so I have to improvise a lot), but they seem to think I'm there for 40 minutes of comedic relief every Wednesday.
So, the outdoors class ... ughhhhh. It's hard enough to control this class inside, but the distractions of the great outdoors were just too much. They ignored my animal flashcards and insisted on pointing out the animals in the cage behind them, which they found to be hilarious. An ajumma from the village wandered up and sat 2 tables away watching me attempt to teach, and laughing at the goofy kids, further encouraging their bad behaviour. Then, each time I'd wrestled back their attention from the bunnies or the chicks and opened my mouth to speak, the rooster (yes, we have a rooster), would start to crow. This in turn prompted hysterical laughter from the kids and the ajumma. This happened about 5 times ... and was so frustrating. I can see the comedy in it now, but yesterday, outside in 27 degree heat, with a rowdy bunch of kids, and someones grandma watching and probably judging my every move - not so funny!!

We were in another area of town last night and found the following coffee shop - nice-uh!

I was supposed to be teaching right now, but I went upstairs to find an empty classroom and still have no idea where anyone is. Oh well, more time to blog. This is life in Korea.

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