Elizabeth and I just finished our third full day of teaching, wow each day has been so long and at the same time has sort of flown by! We did planning last night until midnight at the school, then arrived this morning at 9am for our 10 am first classes...and again are probably going to be here until 11:30 or 12. That makes our first three days of work equaling around 35 hours. Of course that's including planning but we are PRAYING it will get easier, and we know it will. We have been asking other teachers to help us as the system isn't totally clear yet.
Here's the breakdown of classes if you were wondering how it works:
We teach four kindergarten classes starting at 10am, (though they're at different levels, so they use different books) which takes us to 12:30, then have lunch 'til 1:20, then one more kindergarten class. After that we have a half hour break until 2:30 when we start teaching the elementary school classes, which go straight until 7:10.
Today when we finished our last class, we filled in our day's program to show the director and then went to get some Korean BBQ for dinner and are now back at school about to start planning at 9:30!
The kindergarteners were extremely difficult to deal with as they have such high energy, don't understand a lot of what you say, and many of them just don't care much. I mean, it would probably be irrational/illogical/crazy of me to think that kindergarteners would be any different, but I somehow thought they would be perfectly behaved and subdued like the Korean boy I had in my group at camp this summer. Not so! Yes yes yes, it is our first few days so there is a ton to learn about them and what strategies might work. Despite numerous strategies that will be recommened to us, read about, and attempt to implement, dealing with their energy will require us to put forth great if not greater amounts of energy. In order to figure out ways to plan class lessons/activities/games in organized teacher mode for so many hours straight, Standing on our feet for that whole time is really tiring, but I'm sure we'll get used to it.
Sorry, we are not trying to complain....we absolutely know that this is just the difficulties that come with being in a new job in a new culture and system all of a sudden as a new married couple. We are really excited to be hear, but are partly dissapointed we can't have more time to explore and discover. We are definitely being stretched and are growing as we face the everyday difficulties that come with teaching at a k-5th school. For the most part there are many positive things...we have an apartment with heated floors(woohoo!), the teachers are very friendly and helpful, the food is good (save for the squid :) and we are not living in the middle of no where in a grass hut with nothing to eat. Times are good.
Just gaining perspective :)
Over and out from the teacher's room,
Nolan and Elizabeth