Friday, April 2, 2010

Field Trip!!

Today we took our Kindergarten students on a field trip to learn about safety.

We arrived at school at 9am and waited around for all the kids to arrive. Then we herded them into the buses and headed out to the place. Im not real sure where we went, but Id love to find it again as it had a ton of cool buildings next door. Great photo opportunities!

Once we arrived at the center, we immediately took the kids into an Earthquake Simulation chamber. They loved this and were begging to practice more. We put them on the simulator sitting nicely at a table when the room began to shake. The kids had to turn the gas on the stove off, then open the closet door while others huddled under the desk. This was hilarious to watch as the kids faces were priceless!

After the Earthquake, we took the kids across the hall and put them in a wind tunnel. The kids were able to hold onto metal bars so that they didnt blow away. I wasnt so lucky... Good thing that Im a little heavier because it knocked me back a couple feet! The kids were running for their lives to get out of the wind and curl up behind my co-teacher Emily.

We then headed to fire safety. The kids got to learn how to use a fire extinguisher and practiced putting out flames on a large screen. As I was taking pictures, one kid thought itd be funny to spray me with the extinguisher... needless to say he left th day with a ton of extra homework! Not really, we dont give any homework to the Kindergarteners... My job is so easy!

We then took the kids to a movie room where they shut off the lights and they watched a 15 minute movie over something ridiculous. Barely even worth mentioning.

After the movie, we went to a smoke room where we climbed through a playground type setup and slid down a long slide. At the bottom, the room was filled with smoke and most of my kids immediately started crying and trying to run up the slide to get out. I had to convince them to fight through their fears and cover their mouth and nose, get low, and find the exit. It didnt help that I had 4 kids grabbing my legs so I couldnt walk, and 2 more holding my hands so that I couldnt feel my way out. Quite the experience and I couldnt help but chuckle...

Thats all of the field trip and it was a very easy day. I love my job as it is SO easy! No lesson planning, very little grading, and the kids are quite smart. The hours are long, but I only teach about 30 hours a week so I have a lot of time to read, go online, listen to music, nap, learn more Korean, etc. This job is pretty much babysitting compared to the past teaching jobs Ive had, and they werent too difficult either!

Anyways, sorry I havent updated the blog lately but time kind of slips away from you when youre adapting to everything being new and strange. Im loving every second of it though...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Semester begins...

So today was the first day that I had my own classes. It started off a little chaotic because our final schedules hadnt been given to us yet. I found out that Im in charge of "Lunar" class and where my homeroom would be located. I knew early on that this day was gonna be crazy...

So right before I walk into my first class, I find out Im going to be the kindergarten science teacher. I was not excited as Im pretty miserable at science, always have been and always will be! I went to the first class and introduced myself and tried out some icebreaking tools. The kids laughed all class period and really seemed to open up to me. We played a game of "Matt Teacher says", which has the same rules as Simon Says. I wanted to test their listening skills and the kids, as always, surprised me with how well behaved they were and how well they listened. Im amazed by how well they speak English and how smart they are. Lets not forget that they are also in kindergarten!!! I taught 3 classes of science (really just played games and learned their names) before lunch at noon.

After lunch, our schedules for the rest of the semester were given to us. I will be teaching reading and phonics to elementary kids for a couple class periods. Then I will teach a debate class to the Mag6 students (6th graders, who Id equate to a very high performing junior or senior in high school). These kids are very smart and speak near perfect English. They will be debating some crazy topics (Abortion vs adoption in Korea, Cancer rates, Is TV harmful or helpful, Should US troops be in Korea, etc). Im very excited about this class as you can actually have deep conversations about topics that are meaningful to them. I then finished off the day with another reading/phonics class and gave out my first homework of the year. I think that once I figure out the science, that my schedule will be one that Ill thoroughly enjoy. We have 10 minutes between classes as well, so there is a lot of downtime.

We ate at our normal lunch spot today and had Tong Soo Yuk (Spelling?) which is fried pork chunks in a sort of sweet sauce. Its delicious, filling, and only cost 3,000 Won (just under $3). For dinner, we explored our neighborhood and found a nice place that served a larger pork fritter in a garlic sauce, shrimp, hamburger patty (didnt care for it), corn, and vegetables and it only cost 5,000 Won (just under $5). This was a ton of food and cheap! Id imagine this dinner would cost around $13-15 in the States. Food is SO cheap here, its ridiculous but Im loving it and taking advantage.

Hope tomorrow goes as well as today! I have another dentist appointment after work so wish me luck!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Today was our first day of orientation... Like any other day, it started with a bang! Craig and I decided to take our boss, Nicole's advice on a shortcut to the school. Well, needless to say that we missed the turn off the shortcut, and wound up hiking a mountain. Im not kidding when I say that this was some of the steepest roads Ive ever walked on! We were so tired from hiking the steps, only to get to the very top and blocked off by a fence. We then had to turn around and walk down the hill. It was so steep that it was near impossible to walk. Your weight was almost forcing you to run! My legs are so tired now, that even standing is miserable!

We finally got to school and began the day observing the current teachers. My first class decided that I was Superman because I was so big and "strong"... little do they know! The rest of the hour, they kept asking me where my cape was, and if I used a phone booth. All you can really do is laugh and they are adorable, but at least I know what Im dressing up as for Halloween! Im amazed at how well the 6yr olds speak english. They are also far more disciplined and listen better than any American equivalents! I followed Travis around and watched him teach each class and enjoyed it. The kids seemed a little riled up because I was there, but in a good way. I do have to get used to how affectionate these kids are. I got so many hugs today, and they seemed to enjoy climbing all over me! Thats just the culture though, so I need to get used to it.

At lunchtime, we ate at a little Korean place just around the corner. I had sweet and sour pork, kimchi, and some odd soup that was delicious! This lunch was very filling and only cost $3! I love how cheap food is here. After lunch, Amanda put us through orientation and I was able to get a little more accustomed to how things are done. I really think Im gonna love teaching here! After school got out at 6pm, we all went to "On The Border" for dinner... I know, Mexican in Korea! It was good but quite expensive. It was a going away dinner for another teacher so Craig and I just tagged along. Martin seems like a great guy and has gone out of his way to help us anytime we need it.

That was my first day in a nut shell.. Tomorrow will be another long day, but Id have it no other way! I love teaching and these kids are amazing! I cant wait to have my own students and be able to work with them more! Korea is an amazing pace thus far, and I pray that Im not just in a "honeymoon" phase as I truly have loved every minute of my time here!