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Fall Semester Comes

As I woke up semi-late this morning (7:45 AM) I knew tomorrow was going to be a work day. Usually I am woken by Tom nudging me or climbing on top of me to get a good petting in before the day starts. On work days I can only give him that good petting for a short little time. But I am not here to complain, just saying my lovely two weeks of vacation are quickly ending.

I feel this vacation was especially good for me because I feel balanced out. The free time allowed me to understand what transpired during the last semester and what I need to focus on for the next. I feel mentally ready to take on the challenges.

Speed Ahead

My one week vacation ended this morning as Tom nudged me awake at 6:30. I know not to wake up immediately because of this, but when I did wake up I knew that three weeks of camp were ahead of me.

June Fieldtrip: Bugs and Lizards Oh My!

If you have ever wondered whether Seoul children get out there and play in the dirt or pick at bugs, well look no further. For our school took the first grade to a grand bug adventure up near Namyangju. The kids hopped off the bus all sleepy eyed and were walked into a forested area where they dropped off their bags.

Win Them With Your Smile

Open classes are over! All that stress and anticipation has left me like a deep drop in a waterfall. Anyways, I might be bad at making metaphors right now because I really can't believe the results.

I was praised by the parents and the principals. I was told they especially liked me and really liked my smile. Imagine! All I had to do was prop up a huge smile the whole time.

Actually, it is kind of a life-story of mine that I win people over with my smile but that I always forget this. During class even when awkward or bad things happened I just smiled at it and got the kids back on pace. There were a few mishaps, I finished a little early at the start and one kid cried in the afternoon.

Open Class Approaches

On Thursday I have four open classes, which means it is going on all day. The parent's will be within breathing distance from me, all the while observing and evaluating. Or maybe they will just be mesmerized by my kick-ass presentation!

Who knows?

All I know is that last week I stressed out about it and this week I am trying to hold on to some confidence. My plans use some good material and activities, but the bookwork is what I am concerned with.

Really, I just want Thursday to pass so that I can move on with my life and find out if I fit the bill or not.

May School Field Trip

For our school's May field trip the kiddos took a bus ride up to Pocheon to visit the Africa Cultural Center. Who would of guessed there was a little slice of that great continent here in Korea?

Like the previous field trip we were swept around from place to place, but this time the kids got to take part in several activities.

The first activity involved making a wooden-beaded necklace, which was pretty simple to do but also a lot of fun.

Sink or Swim?

I could let the current sweep me away or I could let the mountain defeat me and give up. Or I could strap on some flippers or put on some serious hiking gear and get to the top. This is the metaphor I am using today because it relates to the realization I came to about my job.

Stress has been building up and sleep has been deteriorating, and it is not the kind of life I want to have. Usually, what one does is blame outside factors and never really look in the mirror. This time I have decided to look at myself and see what I can do to improve my life.

You might be asking what has been so stressful? Mostly I have been worrying about what the homeroom teachers think of me and with open class coming I started to doubt myself. I also knew there were issues with our department that I wanted to fight for, but felt defeated because in Korean society the loudmouth-aggressive person is usually left behind.

Looking Up

Yesterday was Sports Day for my school, and it was my duty to keep watch of one class of children. There I was, out on the field standing behind the long line of children as they did their salute to the Korean flag. The parent's were in the bleachers looking down at their children and us. As I stood there I couldn't help but look up at the Korean flag and the big blue sky behind it, and wonder just how I got here. Thinking, how did I get to this point in my life where I was standing on Korean soil, participating in a National celebration with these people, certainly gave me a profound feeling.

April School Field Trip

Culmination of Challenges

Today I am writing this post but if things go grammatically wrong do forgive me. Work has been culminating into a pool of half good and half bad. The good half are the groups of children that function in the classrooom, and the bad half are the groups of children that are dysfunctional in the classroom. What has ended up happening is that the bad half drains the life out of me and makes me wish I wasn't a teacher.

The good half, on the other hand makes me feel warm inside when a toothless-girl smiles at me and we giggle together. This half makes me believe that I can transform the subject of "Math" and turn it into "Math English." I feel hopeful and full of life!

The Children, The Classroom

 So cute with their missing teeth...

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