New chances, New schedules

Well, today was actually a fairly interesting day. I usually don’t have much to say during the week, but today is a bit different. As usual, I woke up and went to Culcom. Today was my first lesson with Heej, one of the managers. It turns out having the double lessons is pretty useful, since my other language partner, Ted, teaches me phrases, while Heej taught me grammar and verbs. I can now read much better and I can form simple sentences, which is exciting, since I haven’t been at this for very long.

One of the things me and Heej talked about was that the original cast of the musical Wicked are apparently in Korea at this time. She expressed frustration at being unable to get good seats. She also said she had some tickets for Lady Gaga she was interested in selling. My roommates had mentioned they were interested in going to that, so I thought I had stubbled upon a huge lucky break, giving Heej a chance to unload the tickets and my roommates a chance to see something they wanted to. Turns out it wasn’t, since the concert is during work, so my excitement about that was a bit crushed.

Anyway, Culcom was great and I ended up going to lunch with Hyeon Kyu, who was one of the guys I met in the study group last week. We ate a great meal and he talked to me about a potential writing project that he’s working on. It would give me an opportunity to do more writing and build my resume and it sounds like fun, but there is no profit in the immediate future. Either way, it is a fairly exciting prospect and I think me and him will be hanging out a lot in the future.

After lunch, I went to work and made it just on time. Head Teacher Sunny informed me that I was to switch desks with Annie and sit on the Korean teacher side so that there would be more communication between the foreign teachers and the Korean teachers. I wasn’t upset by this, but I had just finished getting my desk set up the way I wanted and now I was being moved. On the bright side, my desk was meticulously set up, so it took me about 60 seconds to move all my things to my new desk, while Annie struggled with her barely organized chaos. Even though there is an equal number of Korean and Foreign teachers, I now feel a bit isolated, since Sunny is the head teacher, placing her far about us, and Rosy’s desk is at the front of the school, sort of like a reception desk. Sunny had suggested that there would be a bit of rotation at play and the move was temporary, but I guess time will tell. It isn’t actually a big deal, so I’m not to worried.

Also on the work front, we have Friday off since we are starting a new curriculum next month and we’re ahead of schedule for this month. This means next month my classes will change and I’ll have different students and be teaching new subjects. I’ve seen the new schedule, and it is a bit bittersweet. I’m no longer teaching Science, which is my favorite subject to teach, I’m teaching more M5 classes, which are my least favorite level to teach, and in general I’m teaching more classes, meaning a higher workload. The science thing is disappointing, but there is a chance the new M5 level classes will be better with new students, so I can cross my fingers on that. As for the increased workload, it is disappointing because I have to work harder and do more, but it is also a point of pride. Since I’ve been given more classes, it means The Boss has confidence in my skill. Since arriving, I’ve reached a point where I feel competent at my job, ranging from feeling “very skilled” (M3 and T4 classes) to feeling “mediocre but acceptable” (M5). When I first arrived, I felt a lot of pressure and I feared not performing well enough, with the Head Teacher and The Boss emphasizing the importance of my job. There was a lot of constructive criticism and a lot of me trying to strike the right balance to meet my expectations, but I never transitioned to a point where high-fives were going around or anything. Eventually, the constructive criticism became minimal and I now rarely have a teacher observing my class directly, but to me, being given more classes is the first real sign that I’m viewed as a valuable asset. Maybe that’s just me. How good or bad the schedule will be is going to depend on where the students move to in the next few weeks as they change levels. I’m hoping I get to keep teaching my favorite students.

 

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~ by James on March 28, 2012.

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