First day of school

Ah….my first day of paid work since April 1.  I was a little nervous about it and didn’t sleep all that well Sunday night.  Micah and I had both prepared an “Intro to me” PowerPoint Presentation, so that we could let our students know a bit about us “foreigners.”  However, neither of us actually were in the classroom on our first day. 

Both of our schools start at 9am (actually, mine starts at 8:50am) and we have to be to work by 8:30am.   And it ends up being more like a 20 minute walk to our schools.  (We have the same route for most of the distance, so at least we can walk together to and from school). 

Daegu is the hottest city in Korea and the coldest city too.  And since it is summertime right now, well, a 20 minute walk sometimes feels like a workout. 

Ok…back to my first day.  I had been waiting for 15 minutes in the English classroom, and then I saw my Korean co-teacher, Seung hui (pronounced “Sing hee”).  She raced me downstairs to the “broadcast room” where I (unbeknownst to me) had to introduce myself over the school’s TV system.  I did my best, but am fairly certain most students and teachers didn’t understand anything I said except for “I am from America.” 

Afterwards, I met the school principal and vice-principal.  The principal is a woman, Ms. Kwan.  She knows very little English, so I relied on Sueng hui to help me understand what she was saying.  She seemed very nice and I think she liked me.  She gave me a big hug as I was leaving her office.

I didn’t get to observe any of the classes this day.  I think my co-teachers weren’t sure if I would be ready.  So, at least I had a computer and was finally able to check email and Facebook too :-)  Unfortunately, my school computer is nearly 10 years old.  It’s SLOOOOW and takes (I’m not kidding) 15 minutes to boot up fully in the morning.  Really, this is painful.  I’ve realized my elementary school doesn’t have a lot of money.  The computers in the actual classrooms are better, but not the ones my co-teachers and I have to use. 

The school cafeteria is under construction until October.  So that means we have to eat out or get food delivered everyday.  (I don’t feel comfortable bringing my own lunch in yet).  But my co-teachers bought me lunch.  I had bibimbab and it was delicious. 

Elementary classes are only 40 minutes long.  And all of the English classes I’ll be teaching are done by noon everyday.  School is done by 2pm, (but I have to stay until 4:30pm – no matter what).

I spent the rest of the day, struggling to use the computer….1) because it’s painfully old and slow and 2) because the operating system is all in Korean.  The computer runs MS Windows…so I can figure out how to get around for most things, but it’s not always easy. 

I showed my co-teachers (oh yeah, my other co-teacher is named Minju) my PowerPoint, and they liked it.  They told me I could start presenting it in classes the next day.  Yay!

I had a TON of questions for my co-teachers, but I have to be patient and just ask a few here and there.  While their English is both fairly good, I do have to remember to speak slowly with them and use common English words.  

At the end of the day, there was a teacher staff meeting.  So I had to introduce myself again.  (There are maybe five men total in the school…the rest are women).  Everyone was very welcoming and curious.  Once a month, I will be holding a class for teachers only – so that those who want to improve their English can do so with me. 

All in all, the day went well.  It was sort of a whirlwind, but I feel good about it and I like my co-teachers. 

Let’s see how the rest of the week goes!

Here’s a picture of one of the two English classrooms.  I’m fortunate that I have two dedicated English classrooms.  Micah, for example, has to move to a different classroom in his school for every class he teaches.



3 Responses to “First day of school”

  1. 1 Yvonne September 8, 2009 at 1:04 am

    Micah and Lisa – Your blog is great and I was very excited to read about your adventures so far. It sounds like things are going well. Except for the strange smells coming out of the vents.
    We really miss Micah at Nordies, but glad to see Micah gets to use his ppt skills. Good luck with your classes 🙂
    Yvonne B

  2. 2 katie p September 8, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Everything sounds pretty positive so far! Just remember that the first month in a new job is the hardest and then it won’t all feel so unfamiliar! You guys are going to rock it of course… Still waiting on wedding pics from LW but I’ll send you the deets soon about everything!

  1. 1 First week of school (aka "hak-yo) « Much Ado About Lisa Trackback on September 9, 2009 at 6:20 am

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