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Excited to Attend Seattle University

About a year ago people would ask me if I was going to stay in Korea for the rest of my life. My typical response was something like, "Unless I can figure something out to do back home, Korea is my home for now." I really didn't think about going back home and heading to graduate school. But as we all know my mind changed and I'm heading to be a student again.

Cards of Good Luck

In addition to the video I made for my students I am planning to give each one a personalized card with a treat. In each card is a personal written note that touches on my experience with them and wishes for their future. I've also stepped it up a notch by glueing in a small picture of myself into the card. I figured a percentage will throw it out, but there might be a bunch that hold on to it.

For the girls I got them a card with a red heart and yellow frame on it. Inside it says, "I love you" around it so I figured the girls won't freak out as much, as say the boys would.

Heading Back to Being a Student

Looks like there is just about eight more weeks left till I hitch a ride back to America. I've done a lot of preparation towards moving and learning about Seattle. It seems preparing myself for Graduate school and becoming a student again has been on the back of my mind. I know that Graduate school will be a lot harder than Undergraduate school, but haven't really grasped that yet. In hindsight I don't really think there is much I can do to prepare for my upcoming school days, except buy some notebooks and pens.

Make Math a Subject in the Classroom With These Books for Sale

More cleaning out goodness going on over here. Before I started teaching math at my school two years ago I bought these books to get a sense of how to do it. They were really helpful in understanding how young learners take in Math and also helped me see ways to turn it around into English learning. Therefore they were incredibly useful books and I think would be great for your collection.

If you don't teach Math in your class then these might inspire you to do so, as they have lots of ideas. Also many games and activities are included, which you could easily put in the classroom.

Teaching 2nd Grade Math: Some materials

First Time Teacher's in Korea: Some helpful points

Last weekend I randomly met up with a newcomer to Korea. He has been here about half a year and teaching down in Jinhae, which is near Busan. During our visit he expressed to me some difficulties getting use to teaching in Korea. Certainly some of the points he made were exactly how I felt when I first started teaching, and I couldn't help but see how far I have come. Recently he posted this on his Facebook:

Seoul Cambridge Day XII

On a lovely early Fall day I headed to Sookmyung Women's University in the Yongsan area. This campus is quite lovely and set atop a hill near a park. If you ever get the time I would suggest exploring this area as there are many restaurants, cafes and dessert shops nearby.

I came for the event Seoul Cambridge Day XII, as suggested by the KOTESOL organization. This event brought together teacher's and professionals to hear lectures on Cambridge materials and teaching methods.

Seoul KOTESOL Chapter Meeting

I have decided to take teaching English a bit more seriously, and in that process realized it might be a good idea to join the KOTESOL group. About two or three years ago I attended their international conference they hold each year in the Fall. Although I showed up at the last half of it, I remember it felt great to be around folks who are interested in teaching English.

Yesterday, I attended the Seoul chapter of the group and enjoyed their monthly meeting nearby Sookmyung University. It was a hot and sultry afternoon when I arrived, and due to a busy morning had skipped lunch. But I grabbed a snack and joined folks in the cool air-conditioned room. There I was greeted by Stafford from the Chosun Bimbo, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting at other events. I also was greeted to some other nice folks who are part of the group.

On the Business of Being a Team Leader

It's been almost two months into my second year at my school, and I figured it is time to talk about being a Team Leader. This title makes me in charge of three other foreign Native English teachers in my department (2nd grade). It also means that I am in the intermediary between the English crew and the Korean homeroom teachers. When I was first given this duty I was stricken with fear that I couldn't do it, and would find myself stressed out too much. Today I am going to expose how being a Team Leader has developed for me and give insights into what's been happening so far.

Moving On Up to the 2nd Grade

It came as a complete surprise. A text from the boss on my computer, after I returned from lunch. Requesting I come and talk to him about next semester. I replied and the next thing I knew I was up in his room learning of my near future.

Turns out all of the 2nd grade teachers are moving on next year. For each grade there is a team leader and these folks, as you can imagine, manage the show. So 2nd grade's team leader would be missing. In short, he wanted me to move up to 2nd grade Math and be the team leader.

At first, I was skeptical because I liked staying in 1st with all my materials and plans for next year.  But I was curious and so learned more of his proposal. Turns out he really needs someone to fill the 2nd grade team leader position, and felt I was best because I have experience with the kids and the school. Plus it fits that I will go into 2nd Grade Math, as the book is the same company and similar material.

Ink is on the Paper

Just finished signing my new contract. There were a few changes in there, one including I have to give a deposit for my house (wasn't done last year).

As for the raise, I'll just say it wasn't what I was shooting for but it is in a good range. He thanked me for returning next year, and I sincerely said I look forward to it. Also I'll be in the same grade and subject, so I'm happy with that too.

Now to kick back I guess and relax...hey Christmas is coming.

Maybe Next Week

Today our school held our usual monthly meeting. On the agenda "contract renewals." When I saw this I got excited and thought something along the lines of, "If you put down 'yes' as your response, then you folks got the job" was going to be announced. Instead, they just announced that people need to make up their minds by Nov. 8th and someone will be coming to you around next week to talk about the contract.

Sunflower Creative Arts

This might interest folks who want to expand their ability to work with young children. My brother works for a school (back home in the USA) where they try to give the kids as many creative possibilities as they can.

He hosts a blog called, Sunflower Creative Arts, where you can see some of the things they have accomplished.

That Time of the Year Again

As a contract teacher there comes a point where you don't know if you will be asked to stay or go for the next year. At my past two public elementary schools I was given the thumbs down on staying at their schools. So this time I really want to be asked to stay.

Their system is a bit different and seems more friendly. Since there are 22 foreign folks working here I guess they need to streamline everything. They sent out a mass-message asking us to respond to a survey by the second-to-last week of this month. I already enthusiastically filled mine out and handed it in. My answer was a definite, "YES." I want to stay at the school and even continue teaching first grade math. 

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