Thursday, March 21, 2013

Off to a Good Start

Everyone told me that my second year of teaching would be much easier, seeing as I would now have a year of experience under my belt and hopefully know what the hell I'm doing.  Well, so far so good - but that might just be luck.  I feel like a college student again, you know the part where in the beginning of the semester you highlight your syllabus, fill your planner with important dates, show up to class, and actually do the assignments.  Honestly, it's the same for teachers...

I have all these great plans for the semester but my only fear is that the new, fresh, exciting feelings will soon wear off and lesson plans will go out the door.  I'm going to try my hardest not to let this happen but I guess only time will tell.  For now, lesson plans are in the works, prezi presentations are being created, and i'm drilling student names into my head.  That's probably my #1 goal for the semester - to remember more of my student names, but honestly it's hard. I mean, I DO have just shy of 500 to remember...
I tried the whole name tag thing last year but those were lost or destroyed within a week so I quickly threw that plan out the window. Instead I had my students make a name card (still a good time burner for that first class) including their birthday and hobbies - hoping to remember some of those details as well.  We then took a group picture which maybe I can reference every now and then for a refresher. Although that won't be too helpful for the students hiding behind each other or their cards. 

I think the best way for me to learn their names is to make a personal connection with them - admittedly it's my favorite students whose names I remember, but that's for an obvious reason, they talk to me!  Two days ago a student asked if I knew his name and I felt a bit bad when I had to admit I didn't, but I told him that if he told it to me then I would remember it to which he replied "Really??"  well two days later and I remember that was 중인 who is also surprisingly good at remembering random facts (17% of high school students smoke, and we have 720 students in our school). Okay so to be fair, I have 720 names to remember, plus the staff, uhhh wish me luck??

The boys may be a handful but I can tell 길도연 is going to be a star student. All in all not a bad way to start my Tuesdays - can't wait to get to know them better.  
My Thursdays are kind of long this year - first period, 5 total and last one ending at 5:10 BUT this class is a good ending.
 업현성, 이민형 and 손태굔 are soon to be my new favorites. Awesome kids.
I wasn't sure which were my advanced level students for grade 1 - all of the classes are pretty active, let's hope they stay that way. This one the girls especially, but I guess that makes sense as theirs 22 of them.
My first impression of the new students was this class, somewhat timid but with at least one talker, 송재영 who has already turned into my shadow. Supposed to be one of the advanced classes so they better break out of their shell soon. 
The girl on the far left, 하정 is one of the special ed. students and seems to have already taken a liking to me, will sit with me after lunch as I talk with the 3rd grade boys - grabbing on to any English she recognizes. 
Advanced level first years, the girls are dominating - both in ability and numbers.
I'm sure they'll be some of my favorites in no time. 
Apparently 동범 looks like a movie star - the girls were all also in shock that I drive a scooter because only ajumas and men do that in Korea - as my Korean friend said: "That is shocking, she is cute small girl but drives ajuma style" 
First class of the week Monday morning, again seems to be heavy on the boys but at least they've been far. 
One of my advanced level classes, a joy to teach so I might actually have a chance remembering some of their names. Front row 다정and 민진 are good friends and super cute, the girls I went to the volleyball game with 수빈, 헤린, 은헤, 재은, 정인. Oh and of course the boys - 의찬 who said he'd be my Korean teacher, 동현 a real sweat heart, and 숭휸 who can bring a smile to anyone's day. 
Ah this class has some real characters, one of my most talkative girls 성지, a new admirer 민수, previously mentioned 종인, sweat heart 태준 and a few class clowns: 승호, 지수 and 승학.
This class has some really bright girls but unfortunately many of them are too shy to speak up. My goal this year is to break down those barriers and get them talking: 슬기, 우경, 경정, 주현, 연주, 은서...화이팅!
Front and center - one of my favorites, 민한솔 always has a smile on her face, favorite color is yellow and is always eager and happy to talk to me. Next to her 민주, is also eager to follow along and talk to me. The boys are lacking in this class but they make up for it, 민기 is a talker, even if his English is limited.
I have these angels right before lunch on Friday - yeah that should be fun...many characters. 윤정 and 세나 the girls who are habitually late for class, and the boys 태준, 승의, and 석진 who are apparently smokers? At least 현준 answers all my questions and 나래 is a total sweetheart. 
If you can't tell by the picture this class promises to be a lot of fun, will never forget 태식who told me he was the "Korean Bieber" along with some of the other boys 새응, 숭준 병욱. 
I have a new fan, 석호 whom I've previously mentioned a few times, although all he seems to do in class is sleep. 성민 is also a lot of fun, otherwise lots of shy girls and quite boys.
Hard to play fair but it's going to be a competition between 2-1 and 2-8 for favorite/all-star class. A bit heavy on the boys (23 compared to 7 girls) but they're all amazingly bright. Front row 승호 might steal the show though - him or 영준 okay or maybe 승잔...ah and I can't forget 재헌.

So there you have it, my students for the next year, all 488 of them.  I can only hope that the year continues forward from where it started. I know a large part of that is up to me - I need to keep up with the lesson plans, keep things interesting and continue to interact with the students (that part's easy).  The names may be a challenge but at least i'm giving it my all.  Aside from the classroom I can't wait for sports day, our school festival and the upcoming field trip to Jeju island - i'm sure that will help me connect with some of the second graders on a whole new level.  I guess I should have one more fear for the year though: that I get too attached to some of the students because then I might find myself here for another year....okay but let's not think about that yet.


  1. Sooo, after finishing your blog, like you said, your grammar and punctuation could use some work, but nothing that requires immediate attention. I still understand what you are saying. (not saying that i'd do any better, my emails and texts are nothing to be proud of) I'm glad you are excited and ready for the new year. I hope you have even more fun than last year (if possible).

    1. If you're SUPER bored with work I can give you my password so you can go in and proofread/edit all my posts :) :)