Archives for the month of: July, 2015

I should be asleep because I have Korean class in the morning before school, but today feels like a bit of a milestone. I had 2 class observations by the head teacher from main campus. They watched my classes then we talked at the end of the day about them.

My performance was “satisfactory” and it was highlighted that the fact that I haven’t had any experience was taken into consideration. I really think I was in the right place at the right time when it came to getting this job. Anyway, the boss at this campus had previously watched some of my classes and was disappointed. I won’t go into details – but I really think it was the curriculum/materials’ fault, not mine. Regardless, the onus was on me to improve, and I feel like I did pull it out for my two observations today.

I didn’t hear anything like “you should do this instead”. Just “the atmosphere was really nice” is the thing I remember the most. So I’m quite proud of myself for making it through observation unscathed. Even if I were to have received some pointed criticism, I wouldn’t have beat myself up. The purpose of class observations isn’t to pat teachers on the back, its to improve them, and I was more or less tossed in the deep end.

I’m feeling a little inundated with work, there’s a lot to juggle and get done before the summer vacation. But I’ve kept up well enough so far, so I’m not too stressed about it… Yet.

Also my student got 3rd place at an English speech competition. It did take a few hours of my time, and I only helped with some fine details, but still I feel quite proud. They’re really bright and passionate about what they were talking about too. It was really good to see how self motivated and dedicated she was, not to mention talented. Plus I get a small bonus so that’s just the cherry on top.

I’ve gotta book something(s) for when my friend comes to visit for vacation… I keep procrastinating. Fingers crossed not everything’s booked. Fingers and toes.

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So I’m long overdue for a new post.

I’ve been teaching for just over a month. 11 more to go. Overall I enjoy my job. I enjoy it far more than my old job at a cinema. This job is tiring, there’s a lot to do, and more pressure. But it’s also interesting, and fun. It’s not as stressful as I thought it would be. I’ve been doing a pretty good job of leaving work problems at work (not that there’s been anything major). Just having the majority of my week cut out is really full on. It’s called full time for a reason. Because of this I’ve sort of been trying to cram my weekends full of things to do, for fear of missing out I guess. I also just want to say ‘yes’ because I think it’ll help me grow. I’ve met a lot of cool people already, and I hope that before two long I can start to develop some really deep and meaningful friendships with both foreigners, Koreans, gay and straight people.

In general I really like my kids. The youngest ones tend to be the most tiring, but that’s not necessarily the case. I have 3 classes who have their own problems, kids fighting, walking around, crying, playing, being too loud and out of control while I’m trying to teach. They’re just kids so I can’t be too hard on them, but I feel especially bad for the quiet hard working students who care about improving their English. I don’t know what to do really but I’m having class observations soon so that should hopefully be more help than a hindrance.

There’s far more admin and not-teaching work than I realised. I generally work 11:30am-8:30pm but only teach 2:30pm-7:30pm. Grading, entering the grades in the system (they take tests every lesson), marking journals for the upper levels, phone testing, curriculum development (editing old PPTs and tests) for every lesson, converting and uploading a short speaking video of each student once a month to the website, helping students practice their scripts for speech contests.

Also teaching isn’t that difficult apart from the classroom management issues I’m having. I’m quite proud of myself for that and a bit relieved. From Day 1 I’ve actually been quite confident. I just took my stuff, started teaching. When I was doing my practicum for my TESOL certificate I remember being so nervous. Maybe it’s because they’re kids, or because I’m unsupervised (CCTV on the boss’ desk though). Anyway I’m proud of myself for having confidence and conviction.

I’m a bit homesick. Missing people. Being vegetarian is hard here, too. Not speaking a lot of the language I get nervous and feel a bit guilty I guess. But I feel lucky overall. My boss is kind, so are my coworkers. We don’t have a lot to talk about but we get lunch together often. My accommodation is comfortable. I shouldn’t take for granted that it’s paid for. It’s location is pretty sweet too.

Anyway. There are good things about Seoul, and there are good things about Sydney. I don’t think I’ll want to spend another year here right now though. I want this kind of job, or similar, in Sydney. I probably won’t be able to live 5 minutes walk from work, but who knows.

All things considered, I’m happy with my present, and hopeful for my future.