Thursday, December 18, 2008

My first day of teaching

My first day of teaching I taught two classes. I don't think I did a very good job. I try to plan things out but I soon discovered my first class was very bright. They seemed to really understand the material.

For my second class, I was told they had not received their new books so I had review the whole book. The second class was a class of teenagers. They said they were all 13 years old but that's in Korean years. (For example, by this coming year, I will be 24 in Korean years. In American years, I am still 22.) Meaning that the kids should be around 11 or 12. They seemed very disinterested and I had no idea what to really do. I tried my best but it seemed like my beginning as an English instructor was due to failure.

I believe the problem is that I don't know Korean. Even though I'm not supposed to speak Korean, I think it would help. If they don't understand me then I don't know what I am to do. I am teaching the class by myself. When the children don't understand, they just give me a blank stare.

I put up a status on my facebook about my first day failure (i.e. feeling down because her first day of teaching didn't go as planned) and received a lot of great feedback from people I did not expect to hear from. I was told:

  • "If everything went as planned life would be simple. Don't let it get you down, but don't take it for granted."
  • "In teaching you will have your good days and your bad days. Learn from the bad days and you will have more and more good days. Its all a learning experience. It will get better. Just don't give up."
  • "Plans are only guidelines. Remember you're dealing with a bunch of (if as of yet greatly undeveloped) minds and personalities that will change the best of plans. You have the ability to roll with it and adapt to suit."
It was great advice and really made me feel a lot better. I am hoping that my next day at my main campus will go more smoothy. I believe the problem may be in the communication between my main campus director and I. She tells me what to teach and it's not always the correct books or materials. This can cause a problem. I hope that somehow I will find a way to resolve this issue.

I will write more soon...

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