Saturday, March 22, 2008

In the Afternoon

My afternoon class is quite fun. They're very creative and energetic. The other day I walked M. to her math hogwan after class. I think she needs an older brother. She loves to wrestle and play. Here is an essay she wrote.

Two boy was eating fruits and whatching TV. The screen went silly and it made sound like buzz. They were surprirsed that the plug was melting and screen was black. Soon the fire was on the ground. So they call the fire engine. They got to hospital. They stayed for one year. it cost 1000, 000, 000, 000, 000 $. They used the card.
- M.

Here are 4 out of my 8 students in the afternoon class.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I had no idea 7 year olds were so twitterpated! Mostly the girls... they are always chasing the boys around. C. would chase J. around and around and when she would catch him she'd hug him and not let go. He didn't seem to mind too much.

I fell for the oldest trick in the book.
"Teacher, I have a secret." - S.
"Yes," I said as I bent down.
"Psst".... (smooch)
"Ahhh... you kissed me!" - me
(suddenly all the girls shrieked with laughter and went running... it must have been some sort of dare)

(A conversation overheard...)
"What's number 1?" - E.
"Pee." - Ch.
"What's number 2?" - E.
"Poop." - Ch.
"What's number 3?" - E.
"Wash your hands." - Ch.
"What's number 4?" - E.
"Ummm... It's a secret." - Ch.

Today, during "free reading time", Ja. jumped into my lap and showed me a book called "The Snowball". He has flipped through this same book every reading time and he laughs every time. It's about a snowball that starts small and eventually picks up all these people and then crashes at the end. He giggled and pointed as I helped him read. It was fun.

That's something I've been missing... fun. I've been struggling to manage these kids. The previous teacher apparently let them run wild... I am slowly undoing their past training. I sometimes feel I am simply disciplining them all day. However, there is hope... each day seems to be a little better.

"Never give up, never surrender!" - Galaxy Quest.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Adventure Begins

Here are some quick pics of the classroom. My classroom is of a decent size. One wall is completely glass (or bullet proof plastic, I'm not sure which). I also get to serve the kids lunch three times a week.

I had forgotten lunch with small kids... I was too easy... "Oh, you don't want to eat that? Okay, that's fine." Then the Korean teacher would bust in and tell them to eat everything. Whoops.

The kids all have school uniforms, backpacks, lunch bags, and slippers.

Some things that have been said.

"Your hair looks like pee." - Sally

"I'm going to kiss you, James." - Erin
"I told you, I can't marry you until we're older." - James

"The children say you are the Cinderella teacher because of your hair and eyes."
- Korean Teacher

"How do you spell 'limousine'? I like limousines." - Claudia

"It's time for science." - Me
"My stomach hurts. I think I have to sit outside." - James
"It's time for art." - Me
"I feel better now." - James
"It's time for math." - Me
"My stomach hurts. I think i have to sit outside." - James

"In elementary school you can't fight." - Michelle
"I'm not going to go to elementary school." - James
"You're not going to elementary school? Then what will you do?" - Me
"I will just play all day." - James

(While I was on my break eating a chocolate cupcake.)
"What is that, Teacher?" - Jay
"It's a vitamin." - Me
"Oh." - Jay

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Today I finished day 1 with my kinder class. I need to clarify though... I teach two classes.

#1 My kinder class of nine kids. I teach them from 9:30 to 2:30. I create all the lesson plans. In fact, I need to order books as soon as possible.

#2 My elementary kids. I teach them from 2:30 to 3:55. The book is already chosen.
I've had three days with my elementary kids. I've gotten comments like. "Why are your eyes blue?" "You look like a factory man." "No, I think he looks like a robot." "You smell bad." "He smells like a man."

I had a great time today. My kinder class is full of great characters. My elementary class is pretty great too. Oh yeah, and they already busted out the camera on me. A guy from some TV station recorded my class... awkward...

After classes, I went apartment shopping. It was wild. I was told to meet a guy outside a certain coffee shop. He would be in a black car.

So I walked to the coffee shop. Suddenly, a black car with two Korean guys pulled up to the curb. The guy in the front waved me in. I hopped in the back and we were off. I felt like I was in some sort of gangster movie. Two mysterious guys in suits (who didn't speak much English), a black car, an unknown destination, a shady foreign passenger.

They took me to see several different places. One black suit would usually walk in front of me the other behind. Some places we would simply pull the door open, walk in, and look around. Other places, they'd make a phone call, we'd wait, and then someone would let us in. It was amazing. I wonder what other people thought when they saw us. The guys took me to see four places. I chose the first one, mostly because of location.

I learned both guys were very new to the realty business. I asked if they liked the job and they hesitated. Then one said, "We have much stress."

They gave me the usual questions, in this order.
-How old are you?
-Where are you from?
-Do you have a girlfriend? -Why not?
-What do you think of Korean girls?
-Do you drink?
-How long have you been in Korea?
-What is your favorite Korean food?
-What are your hobbies?

They seemed like cool guys. Friday they're going to help me move in. It will be nice to have my own place. I look forward to exploring my new neighborhood.

Once I get some breathing time, I'll take some pics of my new school, classroom, and apartment.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Sis

Here are some pictures of my sister Jenna and I.

I didn't have a chance to post them earlier.

Let the Good Times Roll

Well, I made it safely back to Korea. The flight was long but smooth. I watched 4 movies. Three of them back to back. About that time I realized I was giving myself a headache, but it was worth it to burn 6 hours of flight time. I also got a bag of peanuts at one point. I didn't think they gave peanuts anymore (you know, people with allergies on the plane and stuff)... must have been my lucky day.

This arrival to Korea was very different from the last. I confidently exited the plane, grabbed my luggage, bought a bus ticket, and was out of there.

I started off my return with a school orientation. It went well. I think I'm really going to enjoy teaching here. I have my own classroom (it's called "Green Island") and I will be teaching the same 12 students for the entire year. I'm a little nervous, because I need to eventually organize an entire year of lesson plans for 7 year olds. I really want to do a good job. I want to teach them English, math, science, art, and fun. The first week will be spent gauging their skill level.

I also want to teach them some other things that might be more difficult... self-esteem, problem-solving, creativity, respect, compassion, doing things because they are the right thing to do, and more. I've got a long, exciting road ahead of me.

In the mean time, I've already started the adventures. A friend of mine is a radio DJ. She got some free tickets to this really great performance. It had comedy, break dancing, martial arts, drumming and more. It was awesome! The use of light was spectacular!

Also, I think I had a slight crush on the drummer girl.

And at one point I got dragged up on stage and had to dance. Everything was in Korean, so I just went with the flow... pretty fun.

Here's their website:

Here are a few pics I took...