Saturday, 7 March 2015

Teacher Sarah...we LOVE Cats!

So I’m a teacher now?! When did that happen and how do I, well, how do I teach? Awkward. It may seem like a strange question to ask, but genuinely on my first day it suddenly dawned upon me - what do I say? How do I start? What happens if one of my students starts to cry? What happens if I start to cry? Will I cry? Oh no, I’m going to cry and everyones going to think I’m a terrible teacher! WHAT HAVE I DONE?! That’s it, I’m leaving!! ARRGH! 

As I walked up to the gates of my school on the Monday morning (and when I say gates I mean... out of the elevator) this was exactly what was going through my mind. I felt a strange sense of bewilderment come across me. It was like I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and that i’d completely forgotten everything that I had learned on my TEFL course. Weird...but perfectly natural I think. Luckily I soon realised that as well as being a first time teacher, I am also a human being so if someone starts to cry I can probably deal with it. For the record, on my first day, someone did actually start to cry and guess what? I dealt with it! WINNER! 

Entrance to my school

I arrived at the school at about 9am. I start at 9.30am but I wanted to be prepared and get my head around this whole teaching malarkey. I stepped out of the elevator and took my shoes off ready for the day ahead. This is a traditional custom at my school and pretty much throughout Korea, and I am not complaining. Wearing slippers to work is a definite PLUS! I was greeted by Robyn, the director of the school who insisted on making me a lemon tea drink to give me energy. She has continued to do this every day since, which is just lovely. Its a delicious and incredibly healthy concoction of beautiful flavours in my mouth all at once. YUM! I also get a free lunch at my school and it is genuinely delightful. They prepare everything from fresh and I have to say that I am enjoying it immensely. The food definitely does give you a lot of energy, which I need for every single one of my classes. 

 One of the classrooms

Its funny what education does to the the brain. As I started my first lesson on my own with a bunch of 6 year olds, I was actually more prepared then I thought I would have been. Certain things had definitely stuck with me. Of course this is because regardless of what the school had told me over the weekend and beforehand, I had already prepared a few different activities in case I needed them. And let me tell you something, on my first day, I needed ALL of them.

First of all we had story time - this does what it says on the tin really. I read a story to the kids in kindergarten, and they all had a lovely time laughing, pointing at the pictures of cats and gazing in wonder at either my face or out the window. They are all so adorable, and they all seem to LOVE cats, which I think, is a winning combination. Next we had the first lesson... 3 children cried (there is only 5 in my class) 1 child walked out of the room, and another decided to speak ''Dinosaur'' the WHOLE time constantly roaring. All in all... I think it went pretty well. 

The 'Thinking Area' AKA where we send the kids if they speak ''Dinosaur'' the whole time!
I teach the kindergarten kids for around 3 hours everyday (including PE lesson - which is basically putting on the Frozen soundtrack and dancing around the room whilst doing stretches - brilliant). I then spend about another 3 hours playing with them, having lunch and assisting on various other classes such as Science and Art, which is great fun and gives me a massive variety within the school day. In the afternoon at around 2.30ish I start my elementary classes. These kids are slightly more advanced and with that, slightly more difficult. My largest class is about 8 students and my smallest is just 2. Most of the students are so good and very respectful. I haven’t taught in the UK but I have seen a hell of a lot of documentaries and in caparison, I think these kids are ANGELS.

...So this is The Drama Studio
Sorry about the light, as you can see there's a masive window at one end just ruining my photo quality.

There are a lot of breaks here too, and everyone as well as being super friendly have also been so chilled out. I haven’t really felt stressed as yet but I’m sure this will probably come. All in all my first day/week teaching was brilliant. I learnt a lot, played a lot, dealt with a lot of situations (good and bad) and remembered that even when everything is going terribly wrong, and the kids are screaming, crying and completely ignoring you - I always have....Frozen!! So thank you Disney and thank for Elsa, for getting me through my first week as an English Foreign Language Teacher.

.....‘Okaay Byyye’

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