A thousand groans were heard at 8am this morning as all the foreign teachers in Seoul grudgingly marched to work for the first time since December. We all returned to work with little to no idea what changes lied ahead of us for the new semester. Lucky me, I was told to move to another desk (one right in front of the vice principal… bleh!) and that there was a high probability that I would start teaching this Monday. NOOOO!!
Moan. Moan. Whine. Groan.
Since you are the last to know anything, learn to expect the unexpected! However, these are the changes you can expect for the most part:
1. New co-teachers. You might lose your favorites, you might lose the ones you hate. All in all, Korean co-teachers come and go for whatever reason. Just know that you have the ability run your own class and stay confident! 🙂
2. Your class schedule will change at least three times. If not, you are obviously not getting the full Korean experience. Haha.
3. How your classes are grouped will also change. The first year I taught, all of my classes were split by English proficiency levels. Last semester, only the 7th graders were and the 8th graders (Demons) were all mixed by homerooms. This semester is the opposite.
4. New books. I am grateful that this has not happened to me thus far. Switching books on a NET at the last moment is asking him/her to seriously consider committing lesson plan suicide.
5. Changing desks several times. Remember, you are the bottom of the school totem pole. Meaning, you get what others don’t want and in my case, it’s right next to the vice principal! yayyyyyy #FML
Plus sides to coming back:
1. Gifts! Rice cakes and other handful of goodies on your desk. Any time a new teacher arrives or an old teacher leaves/retires — you get rice cakes. Sometimes you get lucky and get fruit or an umbrella! Wooooo.
2. You never teach on the first day. NEVER. If you are lucky, you don’t teach for another week and always spend the first week in your classroom teaching a little intro about yourself + rules. *Always have rules.
Changes that I’ve made:
1. I quit the school lunches for this semester. Our lunches are around 3,000 won a meal and is pretty high for most schools, but we do get a lot of food. Lately I’ve been really annoyed at the social grouping in the teachers’ lounge. They all try to avoid sitting next to me since I speak English and if they do, they just kinda act like I’m not there even if I do try to speak Korean with them. I’m also on a healthy eating kick, so I’m really excited to bring my own lunch and eat with the other non-school lunchers at my office. ㅋㅋ
I can’t think of anything else, but hopefully I covered the big ones. I remember my second semester back from vacation, I was in complete shock that the school seemed to be in chaos. My schedule changed every other day and the teachers I got used to working with had already left. Haha. You live and you learn I guess. Happy first day of the spring semester!!