Friday, December 19, 2008

Day Two: New Campus, New Teaching

It was my second day teaching and it was a totally new experience! The first thing I did was run to Home Plus (a store that is like a Walmart here) and buy slippers because all the Korean teachers teach in slippers. I bought some slippers for 5,000 won and then ran to my main campus. (SIDE NOTE: There are 1,700 GnB schools in South Korea. Each school is considered a campus. My main school is Yongsan Campus). When I got there I had 30 minutes to try and figure out what I was supposed to be teaching that day. I was told that on Fridays I would be teaching at another GnB campus. The director of the Bolli Campus, Violet, came and picked me up. She was very friendly and spoke English very well. In her opinion, she is not a good speaker or driver. (I won't say anything about her driving but in my opinion everyone in Korea drives crazy). She took me by Dunkin Donuts where she usually picks up donuts for her co-workers and we chatted for a bit.

Here's a something I learned about Korean culture from "Culture Smart! Korea" by James Hoare: Koreans will ask you many questions to try and establish common links with you. The culture is all about group identity. Therefore, I learned she liked Britney Spears and we both want to learn each others language. She was very kind and helpful. She answered one of my prayers, to find a church. She told me she would make a call and get me in touch with a church she knew about that has English service. She said she would help me in anyway she could and would like us to be best friends. (I have no problem with this).

We arrived at her campus and she introduced me to her Korean staff (Anne, Grace and ____). One of the staff has an education degree and if I need any help or have any questions, she said she would be more than happy to help. They gave me an outline of what they needed me to to do for each class and what I needed to cover. I had six back to back 25 minute classes and two 50 minute classes back to back. All my classes were mainly very young children from Kindergarten to Elementary school age kids. I had to focus on their comprehension, vocab and pronunciation. For vocabulary or memorized speech, I discovered I could play hangman. Otherwise, I mainly repeated words or phrases and then had the children repeat them back to me. In the beginning, the children didn't really respond much. I started to feel like I did my first day of teaching. When I got to my last two classes, things changed. I was mainly guiding the lesson and not reviewing. The kids were more active and seemed to really comprehend what I was saying. It was the best end to my day of teaching.

Afterwards, Violet took me out to have a real Korean meal. She notified me that next Friday I would not be teaching because it is a holiday. Instead, she wanted me to meet her family (her husband and 2yr old son) and show me around Daegu. She wants to help me get a mobile phone and cook me food. I have no problem with this and am looking forward to spending time with her family and staff.

This was exactly what I needed. I want to learn Korean language, martial arts and get involved with a church. Thanks to Violet, I have a feeling I may be able to achieve these goals. (She already helped me understand my washing machine!). I hope the other new school that I will be teaching at is as welcoming as Violet has been. We will see what happens this coming week but for now I am going out looking for more foreigners to meet in Daegu and try out a church. I will let you know how my weekend adventures come along.

Adventures soon to come and hopefully a link to all my pictures....

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