Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Life in Korea

Answers to questions that my friend Angie has asked, that other people might be wondering about:

Its going well, I really like it here! I am adjusting though I am still in the throes of culture shock. I love my students, I like the politeness of the culture, I love that random children walk up to me and say "hi teacher! How are you?" Even though they aren't my students or go to my institute. I love that things are open later, and the Korean babies with mohawks are adorable!!! What I don't like is the rain, being pushed/ bumped while walking (its normal), metal chopsticks, or not knowing when I am going to see Scott again.

I live in Suwon, which is a city of approximately a million people. I am living by myself, in an mix between and efficiency and studio apartment. I really like it and am hoping to get more pictures up as soon as I am able to get my camera back in working order. I haven't watched a lot of t.v. because I have to get my alien card before I can get cable, but they have channels in English with Korean subtitles. There are also channels that are in Korean without subtitles.

On occasion there are forks but most of the time there are wooden or metal chopsticks. The wooden chopsticks are more of a disposable thing where as the metal ones are “fancier” or are for barbecue type restaurants, because you cook your own meat and then eat it off of the grill.

The work hours are great I work 3:10 to approximately 9:30 contractually but usually get home around 10 p.m. They (Korean children) do associate white people with being a teacher because most commonly a foreigner is a teacher, or millitary personnel. I am not responsible for planning lessons because I teach off of a “syllabus” which is nice. I do have supplementary materials that I plan but that is more of a “on the fly” kind of thing to check for comprehension and re-explaining information.

I have one class of k1Bridge phonics for two periods... they are the youngest students and are to young for k1 (level 1) phonics, but they are ready to work with a native speaking teacher. I have four classes in which I work with K1 kids teaching phonics and reading, I have 6 classes of K2 (level 2)doing phonics, and basic reading . When you get to the grades its the curriculum that you would see at an elementary teacher. I teach six classes of Grade one Science and Social Studies and one writing class, Grade 1 Bridge phonics and writing. Two secitions of Grade 2 Writing and Grammar, Social Studies, and Science. One section of Grade 3 Writing and Grammar, Social Studies and Science along with four class periods a week with the Global leaders which is the highest level and we work on test preparation stuff for the TOEFL test. I teach 8 classes a day, and it can get very hectic... Any questions you have about Korea let me know and I will be more than willing to answer them :-) This is just the beginning.

Overall though, I am very happy with my decision!

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