2014 School Year

March 19, 2014

With this being my third brand new school year in Korea, I'll keep it brief. However, this will be something different because it's my first time to start a second consecutive year at the same school. (I wrote about my other school starts here and here).

This 'difference' is something that is definitely welcomed.

In my second year at Samho Middle School, I am able to reflect on past lessons and see the progress I've made as a teacher. Because I am familiar with the content (already having had to re-learn English grammar points) and have a better grasp of my students' levels, I am able to use this to improve my lessons. In my second time around, this also makes lesson planning much less time-consuming.

Equally as important as my familiarity with my students is my students' familiarity with me. It's no secret that students will treat new teachers differently and perhaps test their boundaries; I've done it, seen it, and experienced it. The students who are now in their third (and final) grade of middle school were in first grade when I arrived. Routines and expectations have since been established and my classes have become like clockwork. The new batch of freshman, while unfamiliar to/with me, are more receptive to new teachers because all the teachers are new to them (obviously!).

As has been the case in the past year, I will be teaching at two schools: My main one being Samho from Monday to Thursday and then spending Fridays at Seoho Middle School (with its total of 32 students). I actually have less classes this year; I now have 17 classes which is down from 19 last year. Of this I approve. I'll also likely be doing workshops with Korean English teachers in the area as well as some after school classes.

As time goes by, I'm feeling more and more confident in my teaching. I'll try to enjoy this new, less stressful year without getting too comfortable. I think, as a teacher, it's important to experience some level of stress because I think it indicates some level of progress or at least a desire for it. Perhaps this is also true of life. Things are getting too existential.

***

Easing back into the post-vacation way of life.
Spring is coming. Festival season is coming.
All good things.



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