Ok, this is going to be a pretty large entry, even if I don’t say too much about each thing I want to cover, so sorry in advance!
SCHOOL - GENERAL:
My first proper day at school was the Monday after I had arrived and I went in an hour early to go through things with Jong Sool so that I knew what I was supposed to be doing. I was also presented with a completely new timetable so I was pleased that I hadn’t be able to do much advance planning!
The first 3 days of teaching I couldn’t really do much preparation because I didn’t know where the classes were up to in the books, but that didn’t really matter as I spent the time starting to get to know the kids in the classes.
The kids are always in and out of my office during the day as they come in to say hello and to try out some of their English and sometimes even to try and teach me a little Korean!
I also often come back to the office between lessons and find some food left for me - usually some bread or a cake of some sort, which is really nice!
My kindergarten class is made up of 3 students now. When I started it was just 2 boys, Andy and Peter, but recently I have gained a little girl called Sally.
I have the kindergarten class for 25 minutes every day and I love it - it’s so much fun. The kids really want to learn and because they are so young (between 4 and 6 in English years) we get to make things and cut and stick lots!
They are doing the story of Pinocchio and they love to act out the stories they have in each chapter.
Sally is the new girl in class and the very first lesson she came to, she spent half the lesson with the biggest frown on her face not saying a word, then after I finally managed to get her to say something she then burst into tears and I couldn’t get her to stop! Thankfully, she is now like a completely different person and seems to love the lessons which is a relief!
FANTASY 1 - 4:
This is one of my largest classes which means they can be quite difficult to control. I have this class 4 times a week for 25 minutes, so the lessons seem to fly by.
The kids are still really young, this class is just one level up from kindergarten, but they are all really enthusiastic about everything.
FANTASY 2 - 4:
This is my least favourite class. Mostly because of Jack who is a real pain and incredibly disruptive which drives me mad quite often. We also have a new boy in the class called John who is equally disruptive which is just adding to me not really liking this class.
The rest of the boys also act out a bit, much to the frustration of the girls who seem to take things really seriously!
Saying that on an individual level the kids are great and they all really seem to enjoy the lessons, so I guess its not all bad!
JUNIOR 1 - 1:
This is a class I thought I would struggle with as they all seemed so devastated when Jill left, but they have taken to me really quickly and this is one of my favourite classes.
This class started on the Junior level of books on the first day I taught them and its been a steep learning curve for them as the Junior books are quite different to the Fantasy level which they progressed from. But they were all so excited about starting the new book that its been a really fun class to teach so far!
JUNIOR 1 - 5:
This is a bit of an odd class, although the dynamic has changed quite a lot since I first started. At first there were only 3 boys and 1 girl, but now we have 5 boys and 2 girls which makes for a much better class.
They also seem to be working much harder now there are more of them in the class and really want to learn which has made teaching them much more enjoyable!
JUNIOR 2 - 2:
This is not really a class that I enjoy teaching. It’s a class full of mixed abilities and some seem to really want to learn and work hard, while others just want to mess around. Some days are better than others, so I never really know what to expect when I walk into the classroom!
The class seems to have worked better now that I have started on the new books, and I think maybe they were just a bit bored with the old book which they had nearly finished by the time I started.
JUNIOR 2 - 3:
I am torn with this class. The girls are great and the boys are a real pain! This means that sometimes I love this class and sometimes I hate it, it really depends on the boys behaviour, which hasn’t been too bad the last couple of lessons!
I think the main problem with the class was with concentration. When I first started I had them for 50 minutes at the start of the week and 25 minutes at the end of the week and the shorter lesson was always a much better lesson, but now I have them for two 50 minute lessons in a week which is hard work!
JUNIOR 2 - 5:
This is a class full of big personalities, but on the whole they seem to compliment each other and despite this being about my largest class I really enjoy teaching them in the main!
They can sometime be loud and hard to control, but they all seem to want to learn and as they are that bit more advanced that the other large classes things are easier as they understand things better which is good as it can get very time consuming to go through things on an individual level all the time!
WEWIZ 1 - 3:
This is a really fun class and I think one of my favourites. The kids are really bubbly and really want to learn which is a brilliant combination as I can have fun with them but they work hard and concentrate when they need to!
One of the most bubbly girls has moved to the next class up so the class has lost a little bit because of that, but even though I still look forward to teaching this class.
WEWIZ 1 - 5:
This class seems to vary from lesson to lesson. Some lessons everyone will concentrate really well and we will have a really good lesson and then other days they just don’t seem interested and it can then be really hard work.
This class used to be just 4 boys (one of which is called Robot which I found quite amusing!), but now we have 5 boys and 2 girls which has again changed the dynamic a bit and the lessons seem to work more consistently now, although it’s only been a couple of weeks so we will see!
NEW WEWIZ 2 - 1:
I can’t make my mind up about this class (I know I seem to be saying this a lot!). I now have only 3 students in the class (started with 4 and one of them was just a real brat, so I am sooooo pleased he seems to have left)! Jack and Grace are pretty quite and really want to learn, while Anna is a bit disruptive when she wants to be, although to be honest she has been much better the last couple of weeks and has done the work when she was supposed to, so hopefully things are changing.
During the summer vacation I had a couple of lessons with just Grace and Jack and they were such good lessons, so in a way it would be nice if the class ended up just being the 2 of them, but I don’t think that’s going to happen!
This is probably my favourite class because the level of English is the best of any class (except maybe Sunny - and that is what you would expect as they are the top class) and they all work really hard and want to learn, which makes them such an easy class to teach!
I only have 3 students in this class - Grace, Doris and Ryan, and a few weeks ago I got them to write a piece each about Seoul (we had just finished reading about London so I thought it would be good to get them to write about their own capital) which they seemed to really enjoy.
Jong Sool obviously liked it too, as not long after I came into school and found the 3 pieces had been re-written and then put up on the wall to show off the students abilities!
Sunny is the girl that I teach one on one 3 times a week and she is hoping to get into an International school in October so I am trying to get her up to that standard although she still has a way to go.
He English is good enough so that we can have a proper conversation and as what she really wants is just to talk, it makes for pretty fun lessons. We do use a book, which I try and use mostly to generate conversations, and I have just bought a grammar book to use from time to time to try and correct some of the grammar points she seems to struggle with most.
I also suggested to Sunny that she buys some English books to read as she loves reading and she went and bought some Roald Dahl books and also a Nancy Drew books which she really loves, which is great and hopefully will really help improve her English.
Every now and then, when the school gets a new student, I have to interview them to decide on which class to put them in.
I had to do the first one of these in my first week which was interesting as I still didn’t know the classes myself, let alone know where to put a new student!
I think my favourite interview so far was the boy that insisted he was 20 years old, even though he clearly wasn’t! The hardest one I think was 2 brothers that came in and the younger brother was far better than the older brother, so it felt a little awkward suggesting a higher class for the younger brother, but it seems to have worked out well!
Once a month (except for July where thankfully they didn’t make me do them and gave me time to get settled into things) I have to do speaking tests with all the students.
The easy part of this is writing the tests as I just have to use the books to write questions based on what we have been doing in that month.
The fun part is actually doing the tests. I get to spend 2 days in the office as the kids continuously come one by one for their test, which they all take really seriously which is sweet!
The hardest part is writing the tests up. It is really time consuming as I have to write about 100 reports up as a result. It’s only a few lines of comments for each student but it’s not easy to think what to write sometimes so it takes a while. I am hoping that this month it will not take so long having been through the process once now!