It’s spring in Korea! It’s hard to believe, but it’s already April. This means that we’re already into our 6th month in Korea — WHAT?! Time seems to be going really fast during this experience. Things are going well for both of us and I figured it was time for a general update.
The new school year started back up at the beginning of March. It’s a bit strange the first few days of the new school year because often times many things have completely changed. Schools often get new principals and vice principals and teachers. Most everything with my main school and travel school have stayed the same. With my main school, I still have the same co-teacher and we pretty much have the same schedule.
At my Tuesday travel school (Bongnae Elementary) we no longer teach kindergarten. My co-teacher at this school seemed really happy about it. At my other travel school on Wednesdays (Paegyeng Elementary) the co-teacher has continued to go to the library to work on her thesis, during my classes. This means that I teach all of them alone. I do like having full control of the classroom. I’m hoping I can get her to sit in during my third grade class, because it’s a struggle because they only understand me so much.
I have taken on more after school classes, which keeps me busy. I did a kindergarten class two evenings a week last year. The same organization was trying to get me to sign up for a third evening in our town, Nokdong. This felt like it would be too much for me as they’re really strict about missing a class, even when you’re sick, and I also need some time to relax and work on my other personal projects. I suggested that we have one class in Goheung once a week and one class in Nokdong once a week, but that we make each class a little bit longer. This seems to be the perfect amount for everyone. I love my new kindergartners, especially in Nokdong! Not only do I enjoy these classes, but I’m also bringing in an extra $500 a month = win/win! I also get to teach these classes with my main co-teacher, and we work really well together.
Nick seemed to experience the most changes. He has a new principal and many new teachers at his school. One of his co-teachers also left. For a couple of weeks, they were throwing on extra classes (more than the contract amount, and without a choice really) which was a bit overwhelming. He now has a less stressful schedule and it works well so that he has enough time for class preparation and planning. Nick still seems to have the weirdest school lunches out of the two of us. 🙂
What have we been up to, other than school? We spend a lot of our time bowling, lately. There’s a bowling alley in our town and it costs less than $1.50 per game, including shoes! We also walk around our town a lot. I have been running and reading a lot lately, as I want to continue towards my reading goal for the year and I had committed to a couple of races while in Korea. Nick has recently started volunteering his time to tutor once a week. Someone in our town asked him to meet weekly to practice English, so that is cool. 🙂
In May, we have 3 public holidays, which means days off from school. May 1 is Labor Day, May 5th is Children’s Day and May 25th is Buddha’s Birthday! We both really lucked out because our schools also decided to close on Monday, May 4th, since it’s sandwiched between a long weekend. This means that we have 5 days off in a row and we’ve decided to head to Hong Kong! At first, we were planning to head to Jeju Island, as it’s an easy ferry ride right off of the coast of our town, but the tickets were already sold out. We decided 5 days off is a great excuse to check another country off of our travel list! 🙂
Lastly, we officially have 1,500+ Twitter followers. Woot! 🙂
Well, that is all for now. As always, thanks for reading our blog.