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21 September 2004
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Korea Life Blog - At the School

I resized and uploaded all these pics last night, which took forever due to malfunctioning software, and then I decided not to do the update, saving it for today. Now I realize that I really don't have a lot to say about these pictures as I already talked about my job a bit and there just shots of the kids. I wish I held off on taking the photos because my assistant and the woman from "the agency" who are both in the pics, stayed after the classes yesterday I left and totally redecorated the classroom. It looks really nice and I have a lot more things to do now with the kids with all the things they put up on the walls. I even got a new green board with a hundred or more velcro objects on it. Today I spent 30 minutes of each class having each kid "give me the (whatever object)," and they went ape.

I really don't like birthday parties. I guess I have to do this once a month, too. It wasn't that bad, just a little silly and basically I had to just kill time until the last 20 minutes when the party would start. This is my first class. Why is it that the little girls are always so cute and innocent and well behaved at this age in Korea. I love those two girls. Some of these boys are a real handful.

Kids blowing out candles with me standing behind them. Later I had to put on that birthday hat while "Bonnie," from the agency, took class pictures. She had her own camera and she took this photo with mine. I changed her English name to protect her secret identity.

This one is kind of funny. Julie said I should delete it, but I think it is a true representation of the nature of that wicked little boy to the front left.

This is my second class and my favorite. These kids are smart, quiet angels -- almost all of them. This is probably because the class is mostly made up of girls. I think there are about 12 girls and 4 boys. There's an extra boy in the picture because he had to leave early so came for this class instead of the third. They do that a lot and it's kind of annoying, since all of the classes use different books.

Here's Bonnie from the agency. She has to do this birthday party routine with every class at seven schools every month. The cake was pretty good for being made in Korea.

One more shot of the second class. Happy birthday September babies. You might not be able to tell from looking at this, but there is a range of ages from 9-13 years old among the kids. Unlike at most hagwons where they group all the kids together based mostly on age, here they did a level test and stuck to the results when placing them. With a few exceptions (some parents insisted their child was smarter than in reality), it has worked out well.

Here's Cathy, my assistant. She was very busy cutting and serving the cake today. Bonnie told me to relax and kept giving me pieces of cake to eat. Poor Cathy has to do all the dirty work.

I copied this idea from a hagwon I worked at. When students do something exceptional, we give them a small sticker. They would then have to go get their folder and put the stickers on a sheet on the inside cover (if they get 30 stickers, they get a prize). Bonnie had the nice idea to have the kids put the stickers on display on the wall. A very logical idea. Therefore she made Cathy make one of these sticker-boards for each class. They never ask me to do anything except teach.

This isn't a great picture, but this girl is so cute and sweet. Her English name is Sarah. A total doll and very smart. I want to kidnap her.

Bonnie asked me to take this picture, I guess for evidence that the kids ate everything.

The third class. These are the smartest kids. There are only 10 kids in this class. Once again, very good children, at least in my opinion. I thought they were great today and we had a really good class. Maybe I've become lenient after working in hagwons where half the kids are out of control, because even when the students here misbehave a little, it doesn't bother me at all. Cathy, on the other hand, a graduate student of education, gets really upset when the kids make even a little noise or a small mess. I was startled today when, after class was over, she held them for 10 minutes, scolding them in Korean, and making them do things like sit down and stand up over and over and over again. I just snuck out and went home. After all, I didn't know what she was saying. Outside, some parents who were waiting asked me where the kids were. I'll have to tell Cathy to relax a little.

Here's my extra room. The kids play in here while waiting for class to begin. I can also read stories to them or play games in here if I want.

These pictures are not in any real order, I see. This is the door to the playroom.

And finally, in dramatic conclusion, here is the amazing door to my classroom.

At the end of the day I found out I have Friday off as well as all of next week for Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving, except next Friday. Not that I'm complaining, but does it make any sense to have this Friday off and all of next week except Friday. Only in Korea.

That's it. Come back tomorrow for an update a lot of pics from around my area.


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