My first week completely flew. Preparing lessons each day took me so long, as I wanted to make sure I didn't forget to type, print, copy or grade anything. hehe. It is a hard perspective sometimes, but I am trying to see my effectiveness as a progress, rather than current lack of perfect!
Here is a very basic idea of what a day looks like in the life of a Connexus teacher. I will fill in with more details later...but I'm afraid this post will be far too boring and straightforward as is ;)
9:30-10:30am ~ Head to the office
Not all the teachers and staff leave at same time, so transportation varies. I like walking, but it has been so hot and rainy, the 20 minute walk is just not appealing! Sometimes we ride in one of the staff vehicles, sometimes the bus. Public transportation is fairly easy and an inexpensive option.
10:30-1pm ~ Preparing for the day
This time at the office is good for planning, making copies, grading, or Skyping home (the internet is clearer there than at the apartment).
12:30 or 1pm ~ Lunch
In pairs, were are each assigned a day to make lunch for everyone at the office. We make American food or Korean - it's all good. Fridays Annie and I cook together.
2:30-3:20 ~ My 1st class
Yu-Na (9), Martin (8), Joy (11) & Judy (8)*
This class of 4 students just graduated from Phonics and is my lowest level. I have to use lots of expression and pictures. They can answer basic questions such as "How are you?" or "What is your favorite color?" but cannot answer why questions. They like to move (as do I), so I try to incorporate activities that get them on their feet.
3:30-4:20 ~ My 2nd class
YeEun (9), Lucy (8), Eileen (8) & Simba (9)
This class of 4 is 6 units ahead of the previous. They are more confident and open to trying new things in regards to English. They love telling stories, and I love listening...but sometimes have to put a time limit on it, especially for Lucy - the girl loves to talk. It's a great "problem" to have. Plus, how many people can say they teach a child named Simba?? hehe
4:30-5:20 ~ My 3rd class
Carl (10), Triston (12), Si-Yeon (11) & Min-Seo (10)
This class is in the next level. Their English - reading, writing, speaking and comprehension - is much higher than the first two. Sometimes in conversation I forget they are still only level green (the second level) and ask questions that I afterward have to rephrase because the questions are too difficult. But it is easy to realize when this happens, as all I have to do is look at the four blank stares that are before me. hehe They are sweet and very well-behaved.
5:30-6:20 ~ My 4th class
Veronica (9) & Kipper (9)
This is the highest class I teach. Beginning next month, I will need to create the Storybook curriculum** for this level (two lesson plans a week). These two are so sweet and energetic. I am often surprised at the deep thoughts they are able to express.
6:30-7:20 ~ My 5th class
Allie (11) & Sally (11)
These girls are absolute angels. We have really connected and they share a lot with me. Though they are the same level as Veronica and Kipper, they are two years older and can express themselves well. They love hearing about life in the United States and how it is different from Korea.
7:20 ~ Head home!
It is like a mad dash out the door. We are all so eager to leave and pretty hungry by this point of the evening.. Once home, we don the PJs and grab some food (we'll sometimes pick something up on the way home). Evenings are usually very relaxed - reading, watching movies on the projector, blogging, eating and just hanging out.
* Age is measured differently in Korea - I have included the Korean age of each student, but according to age in the West, they are all one or two years younger then what you see here.
**We use two curriculum: Storybook on Mondays and Thursdays, Backpack Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Fridays are activity days, which we rotate each week between classroom games, cooking, crafts and group games. It is so nice to have this time simply focused on building relationships with our students and giving them opportunities to really enjoy English.
Biggest lesson of the week:
Children are such humble learners. I want to be this way, too!
The more I am able to humble myself to learn,
the better teacher I will become.
Up for the challenge.