Saturday, August 15, 2009

School Schedule

Hello everyone, Sorry I haven't written in a week. This weekend and last I didn't travel. I'm trying to save up money for Brett's visit. I'm so excited!

So instead of fun travel stories I decided to fulfill a request and write about my work schedule. I work Monday-Friday from 4:10 to 10:20. I teach six 50 minute classes a day with ten or five minute breaks between. The prep work is all done for me and to tell the truth the material is completely mindless. The interaction with the kids is the challenging part.

On Monday and Tuesday I teach my least favorite class, presentation. The kids memorize a five paragraph essay. Each paragraph is the same with only one or two words changing. I have to watch around 25 of these often about the same simple story. I go a little nuts. My smallest students (about age 8) have a workbook instead of presentations and are decidedly crazy.
On Wednesdays I have no Middle School students and teach eight 35 minute classes about a random topic. We play a lot of English games in these classes as the curriculum is often the same lesson as the week before but with different vocabulary. Thursdays and Fridays are similar to presentation days with the number of classes but I enjoy reading day better. The class it first tested on a story they read online the night before, then we read over three more stories. The goal is not only how to read but to understand and I work with my students on creating summaries. The stories are short never filling up one full page and the topics are mind numbing but I try to spin it to their interests and get the students to practice speaking.

Each child is at the school for around two hours, they get pick up in the Academy van and driven back home to their apartments. I have 12 set classes (Six on Monday, Thursday and Six on Tuesday, Friday) along with the random Wednesday students. Total I have over 160 students. I know all their names (some take English others keep their Korean) and I can tell them apart. I wasn't very hard at all. I was convinced it would be impossible coming over here. If the kids are bad I give them retest which means they stay at school for another 50 minutes. Sometime students stay until 1130. Retest is for bad behavior, scores and no homework. Its nice working for a school with a discipline system as the kids don't get any "real" grades for the school.

So far I enjoy the daily interactions with the kids except with my most of my middle school kids who never talk but, in their defense its 10:00 at night and they have been in schools all day. I just wish I could attempt teaching for real. I still don't know if that is the career I want in life but I want to try teaching with more freedom.


  1. Sounds fun to me and a great way to "try out" a career. Kudos to you for being able to tell them apart -that's the bonus for living there and getting used to the culture & people.

  2. Busy schedule, and sounds like a lot of work. However, the teaching also sounds pretty rewarding. It's good to begin realizing the contraints that are imposed on you. Ever profession has their contraints, and everyone complains about them. As long as you can identify what you do and don't like and then take those lessons and make your own personal preferences based on those learnings, you can be happy in life.
    When I was studying programming in college, our professor told us not to focus on the immediate task on hand, but to find all the edge cases surronding the solution. After all with software, one error dissatisfies the user.
    I'm sure there's a diamond in the rough there, but I'm having trouble teasing it out. The point I'm generally trying to make is, if you can accept the difficult parts of your profession and still enjoy it, you'll be happy in body in mind. :)

  3. Sounds like a rough schedule. :\ I miss you! <3