Saturday, July 16, 2011

First Week...

...and I think I did ok.

Better than ok, really. Teachers are generally assigned to two classes that meet together for homeroom. We see these students every morning at nine for an hour, then again at five for an hour.

This week, my homeroom included 32 thirteen to fourteen year old girls from Ho Sung middle school. I consider myself very lucky to have had them for the first week. They were very advanced as far as their English skills go and, for the most part, very well behaved. I even got to see them several times during other classes besides homeroom.

As part of introducing ourselves to our students, we let them ask questions about who we are. When speaking with girls, the most common question is if I have a girlfriend. I told them "No, I am married." They would always squeal with delight. Later on, during break times or when we were walking to their next class, they would ask me about Chelsea. When my homeroom girls found out Chelsea taught at the Village, they were excited to meet her, then sad when they didn't get to.

These girls would always yell, "Adam Teacher! Adam Teacher!" whenever they saw me. It was a good booster for my confidence. Especially during a week when I had no clue what I was doing.

The last lesson we teach in the Village, the last Homeroom, isn't really a lesson at all. It's a chance for the students to write short postcards to their favorite teachers. I figured a few of my homeroom girls would write to me, and I was excited to see what they had to say. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to be in the last homeroom with them because I had to go to the hospital for my medical exam. It's required by the Korean government, so no way around it.

After the closing ceremony, I walked the girls to their homeroom, then told them I was very sad they were leaving. I said I wanted to enjoy this last hour with them, but had to go to the hospital. I thanked them for making my first week so enjoyable. As I left the room, a chorus of goodbyes followed me. One girl jumped up and ran towards me and gave me a candy bar.

After my medical exam, I returned to the Village and went to the teachers' preparation room to wait for our afternoon meetings. I was very glad to see a stack of postcards waiting for me. The girls had written some very sweet things that made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes.

Here's the one that made me and Chelsea laugh, but also made me feel like I had done a good job:

It was a great first week.

1 comment:

refugee from reason said...

Sounds like you're doing fine, well, "better than 'fine.'" I particularly enjoyed "When speaking with girls, the most common question is if I have a girlfriend. I told them "No, I am married." They would always squeal with delight."

Thanks for keeping us updated on your adventures.