Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week Three Down

I know I should do an update to commemorate my third week in Korea, but honestly not much has changed. I still work long hours, I don't get out much. We found awesome Indian food near our apartment building and I had to turn in my lesson plans for my all day class five times before they told me they were OK. What kills me is the secrecy of this place. It's dawning on me more and more that English Hogwons are businesses more than schools, and that every decision made by upper management (AKA the Korean teachers/coordinators) is made from a business stand point rather than an educational one. What should be done in this situation is always answered with "What would make the parents happier so that they refer more students to our school?"

I think this was what was going on this week with my Kindergarten class. A parent called and said there was too much homework, so instead of OKing my HW plan like they did the week before (with three assignments per night) they revised it so that they only had to do two assignments per night. What they don't realize though is that HW affects the entire week's lesson plan, because whatever we do in class the kids copy for HW. So by chopping my HW plan to pieces, it causes me to rearrange my entire weekly lesson plan as well. Also, everything has to be done in the EXACT SAME ORDER as the day before. I thought I could get away with moving it around a little, especially after lunch, but NO. I'm growing bored of what I'm teaching and it's only the fourth week.

I'm the kind of person that needs reasons why I do things. This is the kind of place/school that doesn't like to give reasons. Just do this. OK. This will last for a while, and then they'll tell me to do this. It doesn't make a lot of sense. But I suppose then again it doesn't have to. Nothing is making a lot of sense lately. I suppose this is the culture shock talking. The Koreans want teacher's reports already, and while I've only known these students three weeks, I don't feel equipped to do reports on them without making something up out of thin air. Which I suppose all of the other teachers are doing just fine and don't have a problem with it. I just think too much and make everything more complicated. URG. Why do I have to be such a thinker? For Pete's Sake. Just do it. Don't ask questions.

I shouldn't complain though. I'm being compensated well, and I have little expenses. I can do anything for a year. The whole experience is making me realize that maybe I do want to move on and move up after this year. Maybe I do want to try my hand at teaching adults for a change. Maybe I want to go back to graduate school in a different field. I have no idea. It's intimidating when I think about it to think that I can do anything. Cost won't be a factor either.

I also need to work on taking that ONE class I need for Minnesota teaching certification. But if I'm not going to be teaching K-12, then I find it kind of pointless. But from an "I need a job" perspective when I get back to the states, it better happen. I better make it work.

I do want most of my experiences here to be not about work too. I want to find somethings to do that don't revolve around teaching children. While taking a walk around the lake this weekend was good, I need more than that. I need to go hiking in the mountains. I want to sign up for a Tae Kwon Do class and some language classes. The English teachers are talking about using their end-of-July vacation to go to Thailand, and I just might join them if my bank account gets set up in time to put my first month's salary in it.

Somethings have to change around here if I'm going to stay sane. That much I know. I'm fine. Really, I am. Just whining.
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