Update time! I’ve been living in Korea for officially two weeks! One week of intense training and one week of actual teaching! It’s crazy to think that I am really living in Korea. Truly living my dream and taking it all in!
The first day was definitely overwhelming, but exciting too! I met all of the staff (some in which I already met the previous Friday) and had a few hours to prep. I didn’t feel too confident with the material since I did not have access to the online portion of the lessons. Luckily, I was all set up that morning and played around with the Smart TV.
Alas, my first class! Students walked in and looked at me curiously as some of these students (elementary age) have been through earlier levels of the program and knew I wasn’t here before. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous. What was their level of English? Would they understand me? What kind of individuals were these students? Stubborn? Playful? Ambitious? Too cool for school?
I did the attendance and introduced myself briefly. I also went over some general rules and then got straight into the lesson. Time is crucial for this curriculum and parents are concerned when parts of the lesson are not covered, so I was definitely time conscious. In all honesty, my students were pretty well-behaved and the time went by so quickly. I survived my first class!
My other classes were different as far as age and level, which meant different types of lessons. I felt a little more confident as I just finished a class and I would be teaching older students (more in depth lessons rather than listen and repeat). Of course, I made a lot of mistakes my first day (wrong break times, unfamiliar with parts of curriculum, management, technology, etc.), but I have to forgive myself and know that I am learning, too.
The rest of the week followed suit and was a lot smoother. I’m starting to learn my students’ names better and of course, getting to know the other teachers as well. I really like the branch I am working at and feel pretty lucky! I’m also starting to feel more comfortable with the curriculum, so I’m looking forward to the upcoming weeks. Although, I am pretty nervous about my performance review as we are recorded in our classrooms (sounds scarier than it is). Hopefully, during that meeting, there won’t be tears galore about what I’m doing wrong.
To celebrate one week of teaching ESL in South Korea, a fellow teacher and myself went out for some fancy BBQ and a movie (basically a date 😉 haha). The movie theater process was definitely complicated as we couldn’t purchase tickets at the box office (what? Why would there be a box office then..?). Luckily, we figured it out on one of the machines and watched the last Hunger Games!
Week one was definitely something to celebrate about. 🙂 What has been your first experiences with teaching ESL in South Korea? Or maybe just teaching in general! I would love to hear about it! 🙂
Until next time,