Posts Tagged Teaching

Let’s Learn English

Seeing the strange topics that Korean children learn in their English classes explains soo much.

Welcome to the English language… you will learn nothing but nonsense.

Why?

Booble? This is the most absurd story I have read thus far to my classes.  Keep in mind kids reading this range in age from 7-9 years old. What is up with this?  Why do children need to learn words like this? Booble was actually a vocabulary word they had on their tests!  And this picture… weird purple hairy monster that looks like Grimmace gone drag, only not wearing any clothing.  Heaven forbid that Bimble would get me in my sleep.

Ok, so this next fantastic lesson was for a class of 10 year olds.

Here’s a breakdown of how class went this day:

Me – Ok class, let’s talk about things that smell good and bad.  So tell me now… What is something that smells good? (silence)  Okay, what is something that smells bad?

Students – Teacher, teacher….Poo poo smells bad!

D-D-O-N-G!  D-D-O-N-G!  D-D-O-N-G! <– this is followed by loud laughter from the entire classroom and continued until class was over

Ddong is the Korean word for crap but they never say it they only spell it, which is odd.  They spent a good 20 minutes talking about poo and garbage.  No one could think of anything that smells good, except for one little girl that thought pizza smelled “so-so”.

And if you think that was bad,  you can only imagine how this next lesson went…

Yes,  this is an actual unit in a book meant for 12 year olds.  :!:

How much gas do you think the average person has a day? <– I did NOT ask my class any of these questions.  I was not about to open that can of worms.  Surprisingly, the children were much more mature than I ever expected.   Even with that said, I had them answer the questions in the book and then gave them an essay to write instead of talking.  Can you imagine how hard it was for me not to laugh the whole time?  Impossible, because I did end up laughing the entire class.

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School

Time is dwindling down on our contracts with Sisa English Academy.  I’d like to say that I’m feeling sentimental or wishing for more time, but that’s not the case.  One year  will be just the perfect amount of time here.

Some classes are still wonderful with kids smiling, speaking English, drawing cute pictures and sitting in their seats.  Other classes children throw shoes out of windows, jump on desks and scream at the top of their lungs that they “want you to die”.  Ahhh the life of a teacher.

It has been wonderful to walk to work everyday.  How awesome is it to make it to work in 5 minutes?  When I used to spend 30 minutes driving to work, this has been just the most amazing change of pace.  That is, unless it’s raining.

There is still 3 months left of teaching to endure but overall, it has been a great experience.  We had it easy at this hagwon.  There were no lesson plans to be made.  We could leave school if we didn’t have a class to teach, and up until recently we were home most of the day.  It was nice.

Since October 1st, Seth and I are the only Foreign teachers at Sisa.  So we were given all of Kevin’s classes when he left.  In reality, it’s still not that much work, but when you’re used to working 5 hour days, or less, being at school for a straight 7 1/2 hours is torture.

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Work work work

I have never shared pictures of what my place of work looks like.  Nothing special stands out.  Actually, it looks like a million other office areas in the world: fake wood, uncomfortable chairs, copy machine, too many piles of paper.  Except that my office has Korean writing on whiteboard, I can’t understand the copy machine and the computer language button needs to be pressed anytime I want to type up a worksheet.  It’s a typical chaotic work environment.  Just recently we have moved into Pre-Summer Session classes… which means new students, new books.  We were given our new schedules the day of the switch-over.  Insane. It has been a few busy, crazy days.  I believe… Chickens with their heads cut off, fits perfectly.  That’s my big blue chair in the back.

This is where the teacher area is located.

This is where the teacher area is located.

My disaster of a cubicle

My disaster of a cubicle

Cute smiley faces my mom sent me in the mail and random cards I have received.   My tiny black coffee cup holder, water Nalgene, school books, library book, suduko puzzle, cds and tapes for classes.  Students have given me stickers and Hello Kitty buttons.  I am also blessed, being beside the coffee and tea that resides in an empty cubicle next to mine.  All day long I am scooting back and forth to avoid other teachers wanting a caffeine boost.

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Funny stuff we teach kids…

For the most part, we just have to follow along with the books they give us.  But sometimes these books just make me laugh. I took two pictures of some of the exercises.  The pics are blurry… sorry about that.

LOL.... funny stuff

LOL.... funny stuff

Who shakes grapes?  Really?

Who shakes grapes? Really?

:mrgreen: These exercises are supposed to challenge the students’ dialect and make them move their tongues in ways they don’t normally move.  But I can’t in good conscience have my students say this stuff without laughing and telling them that this is not something we normally say.

Today, I got to play badminton!  Yay!  The weather is getting nicer and today is a fabulous day.  It’s soo nice that the park is just across the street from mour building.  The parks are insanely clean.  Today we even saw a woman cleaning the trash cans…. not emptying, but actually cleaning the outside of the trash can.    We’re off to school, and ready to start another week.

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School Day

The school is a quick walk down the street from our apartment.  Everyone there is soo nice and happy to have us around.  Seth has even been offered to teach another class to older students.  Another day, another Won (it’s the Korean currency).  :razz: Okay, so I laughed at that one.

Anyway… the books we teach from are filled with Disney and Pixar characters.  All day long we sing and have fun with little kids.  It’s great.  The directors feel it is best to learn english from something you find interesting… the kids enjoy cartoons, so therefore they participate in class.  It makes sense, and they really do enjoy reading the stories.

I have kids that BEG to read certain parts or characters… it’s hilarious.

July 25, 2006: Mike WazowskiLightning McQueen Cruising Type - Cars - Tomica

Monsters and Cars are used alot in my book.

We work with only one other Westerner.  He’s from Tennessee.  The guy has been here for 4 months, likes it here and says he’s had no problems with the school.  So, this is good.

I’ve been making alot of rice dishes lately.  Almost like a fried rice, but I don’t actually fry anything.  It’s good stuff… thank goodness I like rice.  :smile: Seth has discovered these noodle wraps… if we were in China they’d be called Dim Sum… but not sure what they’re called here.  He eats them everyday, almost.

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Random Observations

Hana, tul, set, net…. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th

People love to dress up their dogs here.  I’ve seen the cutest little outfits.  Everything from pink ballerina skirts to full on track suits with pants included!  Sooo funny.  :razz:

Korean tv is hilarious.  Not hilarious because I laugh at the jokes, because I have no idea what’s going on really.  But they use extreme facial expressions.  Every emotion is multiplied 10-fold on their face.  It all looks like soap operas or game shows to me…  We don’t have cable in our apartment, so I’ve only seen tv in bars or restaurants.

This is the building directly across from my school.  I have to stare at it all day… I can see it from the window of the school.  For those of you who know how much this silly number is absolutely every where I go, then you’ll laugh with me.

This # will forever follow me around.

This # will forever follow me around.

It’s Saturday today… a bit overcast, but feels good outside.  We’re going to Seoul.

The first week went by soooo fast.  If it was any indication to how things will go this year, we’re both really happy.  :razz:

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Appliances :(

I know that I’ve already said I miss my kitchen… but take a look:

A 2 burner.
A 2 burner.

The tiny black square between the knobs… that’s the broiler!  Ugh.  Thankgoodness we have a toaster oven, otherwise we’d be in trouble.  No microwave.  I hadn’t realized how attached I am to my microwave.  It’s the best invention.

Okay… now on to the laundry.
Does anyone know Korean?!
Does anyone know Korean?!

We thought we could figure it out… but either it’s broken, or we have no clue. :?: We are hoping to have someone from our school come and help us out with this.

It’s Monday morning and we’re starting our first full week of classes.  Wish us luck! This is when we’ll get a full feel of how things are going to work.  I forgot to mention that they give us free coffee and tea at work, which is really nice.

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1st Day Teaching

It was soo much fun.  It’s going to take us some time to get used to the teaching styles and names, but overall it was great.  The work is not difficult, just overwhelming at the moment.  Soon it will level out.

I still haven’t been able to get a battery charger, and my camera is dead.  :cry: Soon…. I’ll have some pics up.  This place really is interesting.

I miss my kitchen already.  It is difficult to cook when most of the packaging is in Korean, I don’t know what the instructions are, and I don’t have the proper cooking utensils.  So last night I summoned my improv cooking skills.  I found a curry packet for a sauce… got some pork in strips, weird stringy mushrooms, and bean sprouts at the store.  Sounds weird, I know.  But the end result was yummy.  It’s what I’m going to have for breakfast soon.

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Adjusting

The school seems to be on the up and up.  It’s only 1 block away from our apartment, which is great. :smile: The other teachers (the ones we met, which is only 3, so far) have been really nice and helpful.  Today we get to meet our students and actually start teaching.  I kinda like that they’re throwing us into the work.  No time to freak out and worry.

We have a park right across the street from the apartment.  Apparently badminton is taken very seriously here.  Bring on the childhood memories of playing badminton with the Adkins sisters.  I’m making Seth go play with me once it warms up.  The teachers we replaced even left us rackets and birdies.  The birdies actually have real feathers!  How weird is that?

Shuttle Launch!!

We ventured downtown last night.  It’s amazing.  Tons of people, places to eat and shop.  We found this cheap place that served Marinated Chicken Galbi… that was recommended to us.

IMG_2261 There is a stove on every table and the meal is cooked in front of us.  It was extremely spicy.  They bring out a bunch of little side dishes.  (pickles, kim chi and that yellow fruit they put in sushi alot but I don’t know what it’s called)  I loved this meal.  Basically it was a type of stir-fry.

What I really can’t wait for is adjusting to the time difference.  It’s 5am now and can’t sleep.  We woke up about 3am, which would have been 1pm back home.  Ugh.

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