3.03.2011

My day....

Here is a narrative of a day in the life of a kindergarten teacher zoo keeper... Now, kindergarten alone presents a huge amount of difficult situations, now add to that a Western teacher who has no earthly clue what she is doing and no one has bothered telling her what to do. Ok so you have a little background...

1. Arrive at school early (so I thought)- 9:45 am because my schedule said 9:50 and I wanted to make sure I was on time for the first day of kindergarten

2. As I walk up the stairs Im greeted by all the students sitting nicely drinking their "morning milk" and all the other teachers there!? Remember what I said about communication? So, on my new schedule (the one I didn't have until 9:50) it clearly said right on the top... "9:30 milk time"... wish I would have known about that. Oh well. No biggie

3. I am handed a stack of books and a schedule and shown to my first classroom... the Ocean class. This class is made up of five 7 year olds that have already been through the first year of the program so they are probably the most advanced of the kids. I have no clue what book Im using, what pages, nothing... literally I am completely in the dark. (for all of you that know me well, you can probably guess how I am feeling about now). I made it through that class and asked a lot of questions from the head lady.

4. Move on to Yellow class. This is made up of 2 kids (one being the boss' baby girl who is quite used to calling the shots- in Korean AND English!). They are not very advanced and so it was very basic one word matching to pictures and the alphabet, etc.

5. Next was Red class. This is the largest class with about 10 kids. They are 6 year olds, I believe, but not very advanced. This is their first year in the program. No matter what I did, they were not with me. Try doing that for 35 minutes! (Later when I told Jolie, she gave me all kinds of things that I could have done, had I had any idea of what I was to do in the first place!)

6. Lunch time... whew I get a break, right? No. The teachers get everything ready and here again, I stood around like an incompetent idiot because I didn't know anything about the little system that goes on. At the end of class you send the kids to wash their hands. In the meantime, a teacher dishes out all the food into bowls for each class. The teacher also gets a tray, ladle, chopsticks, spoon and tongs. Each class gets cups and a pitcher of water. The students have their own trays, chopsticks and spoon. Each teacher eats with a specific class. Today I ate with Ocean class. As the teacher, you serve each child their food and when everyone is served, you eat. Now, picture this: me sitting in a class with 5 kids speaking Korean. Was it boring? Yes. Did I enjoy it? The chicken was amazing! Then, the teacher cleans everything up while the kids go wash their hands and brush their teeth.

7. We moved on to Mother Goose time. Yes, that's me! They divided the kids by age and Jackie (the other American) took the younger ones. I read them a story about a Princess and a Dragon. Did they understand anything from the story? You never know! Possibly :)

8. Thursdays are a little different than the other days in that for an hour I have gym class with the Red class. We started out with stretches and then moved into a form of musical chairs (its really stretching it to it that) :) They were having a blast and they are the cutest little things. Next we moved into the play room. Seriously it was the most padded room I've ever seen. I don't think a kid could get hurt in there if he tried! Well anyways, I played with the kids, went down the slide and permanently damaged my tail bone, and generally had a good time. :)

9. I had a little break so i was able to come home and see Robert for a few minutes (He had the whole morning off the lucky duck!)

10. 3:00 was my first time having this particular Phonics class. It was three kids who didn't speak any English and just jabbered the entire time to me in Korean. They were so cute! we worked on the alphabet and did some motions to words and worked on the sounds. This class was actually one of my favorites of the day!

11. Normally I will have what is called "Phone English" on tuesdays and thursdays but it doesn't start until next week. Basically I just call the kids and we go over a script to try to get them comfortable on the phone.

12. My last class of the day was with two little boys. They were very hyper so I had to change things up constantly to keep from losing them. :)

I worked some more on my classroom. The teacher that I replaced wasn't actually a teacher and you could tell. Its obvious who is here because they have a passion for teaching and those that are here to pay off school loans. Its sad because the kids suffer. My bulletin board had a massive Canadian flag and no offense to anyone, but who can really teach while starring at that?! :)

On my walk home I decided to stop at  a little sticker shop to get some school supplies. While there I realized I hadn't grabbed the key from Robert. bummer. I walked back to school, got the key and then walked home. I got off early today but he doesn't get home until 7 tonight.

What to day after such a packed day? Go shopping for warm clothes! I'm plain sick of being cold all the time and my florida fashions just aren't cutting it! :)

So there's my day. Sorry no fun pictures. Just me. I hope to post some pics later of the school and my afternoon classroom (In kindergarten the teacher moves to the student so I don't actually have a home room upstairs- my afternoon classroom is all mine though).

1 comment:

Marie said...

Oh the joys AND awkwardness of 1st days on the job! :) Keep encouraged Jen. You have boat loads of talent and ingenuity and creativeness. Just be yourself, take a deep breath, don't panic :), and ask God to keep your mind open for His ideas! There are LOTs of friends and family praying for you, so go out there and WOW those little ones :) Too bad you don't have Darcy with you. He would probably break the ice in no time flat :) Maybe you could use pics or video of him as a conversation practice time..or Mother Goose :)