baptized with fire

Monday (Korea: Day 1)

After a 10 minute walk to school under the hot Korean summer sun I arrived at my new place of employment. Once through the elevator and on the 4th floor I was bombarded with introductions, bowing, hot coffee and a warm crowded office (all with a minor headache).  It wasn’t long before I was whisked off to the lobby to greet a gaggle of kindergartners with a song altogether new to me.

Minutes later I was in a classroom with my primary students for the next year: Lin- spunky with a voice like a banshee which she uses to to keep the boys in check (shes the only girl). Shinee- full of energy and a short attention span, always looking to pull a fast one on me. Also really good at getting out of the classroom fast and without permission or explanation. David- arguably the most intelligent (also the oldest?), his responses are calm and calculated. Daniel – the cousin of David. A cute little guy with glasses and a curly perm, filled with sporadic energy bursts. The fifth member of my motley crew was traveling with his family but Charlie is rather curious (later in the week he missed another day of class due to an accidental self-inflicted knife wound). He and Shinee play off one another like grease and fire.

From 10 – 3 we read, wrote, chanted and ate together. Maybe even some math or science was thrown in there (I have had 7 similar days since the first and am having trouble differentiating). Apart from unforeseen circumstance these 5 children will be the core of my upcoming year. Needless to say there will be plenty of endearing tales to come (and photos!?)

So the kindergartners leave at 3 now what? Oh, teach a group of 20 middle school girls how to dance to lollipop. Okay. A bit of a fail due to my poor coordination and their middle school dignity but I gave it my best and was sweaty to say the least. Back at my desk I took the opportunity to regroup. Little grouping was done before Teresa Teacher gave me materials for my next class. “sure ill take a look at these, when do I teach?” “oh like now….” the other teachers in the office laugh at me. Seconds later I am in front of a class of shy middle schoolers. “My name is Mark Teacher, I am from America. Do you guys have questions for me?” After minimal questions I stalled on teaching the materials by asking all the students their name and one favorite. Repeat this 3 more times and a session of teaching a mixed group of middle schoolers how to dance to “Sunny” and that brings us to 7:05 pm- the end of my working day M-W-F.

Anna Teacher and I did dinner at a nice little chicken restaurant. Afterwards she showed me the wonderfulness that is Daiso – a two story dollar tree sans the uniform $1 price. I bought much needed clothes hangers and a laundry bag. Once back at the apartment I did a bit of unpacking/organizing and was then off to bed.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Barb Baumgartner on June 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I bet you never pictured yourself teaching kindergarten!


    • No that’s the truth! To be fair I never pictured myself living in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Taiwan or even Korea for that matter!


  2. Posted by Barb Baumgartner on June 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Waiting for your next installment…


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