Getting into the swing of teaching

Today I finished my third day of teaching at a girls’ middle school in Korea. I’m exhausted. Who knew that being a rockstar could be so tiring. At least now I get to be the popular new kid at school! Everywhere I go it’s “TB-uh, TB-uh! Hello!” and “TB-uh I love you!” Of course I would feel more popular if the kids knew more English. I thought they did – until I tried some fancy stuff in class. In I swaggered to my first class on Monday, all full of ideas and enthusiasm – and a kickass cool powerpoint presentation. I should have known that the connection to the TV wouldn’t work. It’s an interesting feeling standing in front of your first ever middle school class without ANY of the materials you prepared. And then the students don’t understand your accent. Or your painfully slow instructions. And then they lose interest. And the lessons have gone downhill from there…

Well, at least couple of things have become clear to me. 1) Most South Korean school kids know nothing about South Africa, 2) Charlize Theron is NOT a celebrity here (how embarrassing), 3) most Korean kids know how to spell elephant, but not cheetah, and 4) I look older than I am to most Koreans (eish).

I’m hoping the rest of the week will go better. Public schools are apparently a different ball game to hagwons, and my TEFL course did not prepare me for it. Perhaps there is a gap in the market there…


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