First day on the job

This morning my students walked into the room, saw me, screamed and did their best Brave Sir Robin impression, and bravely ran away.  Okay well maybe only 2 of them turned and ran but it was adorably cute!  They were a bit overwhelmed because the teacher I’m replacing also had a friend visiting so we had 2 new adults in the room but, before long we were both getting origami jewelry boxes, hats and pianos from the children.  Today was half running around meeting all my coworkers/touring the building and half cramming everything the amazing Megan Teacher had to tell me about the class. She is Megan Teacher, not Mrs. Megan and I’m Mike Teacher.  Its only kind of funny because they just shout “teacher”

I’ve got 10 little munchkins and they seem to mostly understand English but only talk to each other in Korean.  A couple can speak well too but we get a lot of fragmented sentences and plenty of mispronounced words.  My Korean co-teacher is great with the kids and I’m sure going to be a lifesaver.  As the day went on the little turkeys grew more accustomed to me and by the end they were fighting over who could sit next to me and in my lap in the library.

Before I knew it we were sitting down to lunch and then the Kindergarteners were on their way home.  I had a few minutes to get ready for the book club I was teaching.  This was sure to be an exciting class; I found out about an hour prior that I was teaching it and was given a few worksheets and 2 books to choose from.  Good thing this class only has 4 students and they are much older with significantly better English.  They are 2nd/3rd grade by American standards but its hard to figure out precisely since Koreans calculate age differently than we do.  The class went quite well and we sped through 3 chapters, pausing for vocab and a brief discussion every few pages.   They are genuinely excited to learn new words and by the 2nd chapter had a full page of words they didn’t know.

With my first day of teaching over the only thing left was to find dinner.  2 of my coworkers took me to an E-Mart and then helped guide me home.  On the way to the hotel we stopped and ordered some tempura.  I’m not sure if I would have even been able to order without their help, the tempura guy spoke zero English but certainly knows how to cook!  I stayed away from the fish paste and had a sweet potato, mixed veggie, shrimp, squid and mystery tempura; my dinner cost me somewhere around $2 and was delicious!

Parting ways at the bus station I had another 10 minute walk back to my hotel.  Tomorrow I check out of the hotel, head to the hospital for my medical evaluation and then get to move into my apartment!  After school we are going out for Korean BBQ and undoubtedly soju (Korean rice beer).  I passed the first test my coworkers gave me and they breathed a huge sigh of relief when I told them I wasn’t a vegan and that I drank alcohol.  I think we are all going to get along nicely and can’t wait to have an apartment and the weekend to explore my new home!

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