Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stumbling Upon Good Luck

As one might be able to guess, my lack of knowledge of the Korean language has been a bit of a barrier here thus far. Well, hopefully this problem will be no more! Last night, I was lucky twice. First, when I was walking home, there were two English teachers sitting on the front steps of the apartment right cross the street from mine so I was able to meet a few more Westerners in my neighborhood. A few of their friends walked by and stopped to chat. We had just got done talking about how Koreans tend to simply ignore us Westerners rather than stare or whatever, when a friendly Korean woman stopped to chat with us as well! She asked if any of us would like to learn Korean with her, no charge, because she was hoping to make some Western friends just for the knowledge and experience of it. She seemed very nice and sincere and I am hoping to start hanging out with her soon so that I can get the learning on its way. Fantastic luck, right?

I started teaching classes on Tuesday and things have been going fairly well, with the exception of my wild and crazy first class of the day. There are 12 first graders in that class, with about 5 of them trying their hardest to be troublemakers. The ringleader is an unassuming little girl who likes to egg on the boys, and one of the boys is by far the most dominant and disruptive chatterbox in the class! They had a talking to yesterday so I am sooo sure they will be better today..... 12 kids is a fairly large group to handle but I think we will get better. Sometimes they are just too smart for their own good, which often times leads to trouble!

All of my other classes have been a great joy to teach- they are very smart and hardworking, not to mention extremely funny! I have gotten a good feel for the teaching style that works for each age group and class. We have a lot of fun during the day making learning a game and challenging each other to do well. I especially like my higher level 5th graders, as they have all lived in America at one time or another and are all super amazing kids.

Well, I wish for my good luck here will continue. Hopefully, I will be learning Korean in no time, making even more friends in my neighborhood, and learning how to become an even better teacher. After only one week here, it is just amazing to me how much I have already learned and how well I have adapted to a place that is so completely new to me, yet so comfortably familiar. While time can only tell how well I will do, I am confident that I will excel at all I do here. What a good feeling!