Hello Brooke Teacher!

First week of classes… Here we go! I showed each class a PowerPoint about myself. They got a few laughs out of some of the pictures. Mission accomplished! The we would have Q&A afterwards. The two questions that I heard in every class in all grades were “How old are you?” and “Do you have a boyfriend?” (All questions usually had to be translated by one of my co-teachers.) I also got this question a couple times: “Is that your real hair color?” Apparently, I should have “yellow” hair and not brown hair.

I’ve already picked out the trouble makers in 2 of my 3 fifth grade classes. It doesn’t help that my 5th grade co-teacher is very new to teaching and doesn’t seem to have a handle on discipline. The class was complete chaos and she just kept saying what she was saying even though the whole class wasn’t listening and talking over her… This will make for  interesting/stressful Tuesday mornings.

Lunch: For my first lunch at school, I thought I’d make a nice gesture by bringing water to the table for everyone. I got a few weird looks. Eun-mi explained to everyone that in America we have drinks with our meal. I guess that’s not the norm at school. Also, they only serve hot/warm water, no cold water to drink.

The third day of school, I was introduced to “desk warming.” I only have one class on Wednesdays for 1st hour. The rest of the day was spent sitting at my desk switching from Facebook to Hotmail to Spider Solitaire to Minesweeper and back again. Wish I brought my book with me. Turns out the next day was the same exact thing because all the grades had a big test. Too bad I wasn’t informed of this, but thankfully, I did bring something to do! Desk warming makes for a perfect time to study Korean considering I have 5 or 6 women in the room who happen to know a little bit about the Korean language! 🙂

Fridays I teach 3rd graders… I am a celebrity when I walk in their classrooms! They all scream “Hello!” At the end of class they all crowded around me asking me question after question after question… All in Korean. They are the cutest little things!

One day, Karima and I went in search of the English Bookstore on the island. We were having a very hard time finding it. Then this Korean woman came up to us and started talking to us about religion. I’m not much for talking about the Bible, but I sat there and listened because she spoke ENGLISH!! And very well too! Perfect opportunity to ask for directions! Once she was done with her speech and gave us a little flier, I asked her where the bookstore was. We found it! Definitely NOT what I expected… There were two aisles of children’s materials in English and the whole rest of the store was filled  floor to ceiling with Korean books. Not sure why it’s called “English +” because there was way more “+” than there was “English.”

We climbed our first oreums (or parasite volcano)… Sarabong and Byeoldobong. It was a nice little hike, which also provided a great view of the city, ocean, and Hallasan (the volcano on the island). Tucked in between the two oreums was a beautiful little Buddhist temple.


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