Tuesday, November 27, 2012

100 days in seoul & a teaching breakthrough

In Korea they like to celebrate everything it seems. Not only do they have Valentines day, but they have pepero day, and white day, as well as a celebration for the 100th day (birth, anniversary, etc). Today I am celebrating my 100th day in South Korea, and I received the best gift a teacher can get... albeit small, I am finally seeing progress in my students! My hardest grade to teach is grade six, they are about to graduate and move on to middle school so their motivation is nonexistent, and getting them to participate in class is like pulling nails. Today however, my least motivated class got really into the activity we were doing which consisted of them answering questions and taking shots at a "basket" being held by myself and the other teacher. Maybe it was the fact that they got to hit us with balls, but it doesn't matter, every single student participated and they liked it!
A second breakthrough I have seen is that two of my students ride my bus to and from school, before they used to avoid me like the plague, but now they actually approach me on the bus and we have simple conversations since their english is limited and my korean is nonexistent. One of the boys from my bus has recently started approaching me in the hallways at school and telling me what he ate for lunch, and how he is doing, today he even gave me a choco-pie!

Baby steps, but three months in I finally feel like I'm doing something worthwhile here!

First Thanksgiving in Korea went a lot better than I imagined. I kept having nightmares that I would spend it alone in my apartment missing my family, but luckily, I have met some great people here, so some girls and I got together for some fried chicken and mashed potatoes and had ourselves a pseudo thanksgiving meal. It was definitely nice and it warmed my heart. The Saturday following I went to the foreigner area of Seoul with three friends and we enjoyed a nice sit down buffet meal which consisted of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and other delicious food. Maybe the holidays away from home won't be so bad.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

i made it to month 3!

Three months in and the honeymoon is just about over. I'm still enjoying my time in Korea, but the things that were exciting and challenging at first, are more annoying now.
Now I am 1/4th of the way done with my one year contract, and I'm nowhere near sure if I want to renew or not.