Officially my first week in Korea will be over tonight, but since I’ll be working today, I decided to write up this post now instead. Overall, it has been a great first week. I moved in last Monday night, met my neighbor, Kayla, who also just moved in, and started making myself at home.
I bought a router for my apartment that Kayla and I split since her apartment is right next to mine. In exchange, she gave me her extra mattress pad for my bed, which makes my bed comfortable enough to sleep on.
Most of this past week I spent training to take over Tez’s teaching schedule. In general, his classes seem pretty manageable. Each class ranges in size from 1 to 15 students. Most of the younger classes and older classes tend to be 1-8 students. The few big classes I have will be in the middle of the day with the middle schoolers. I will be teaching everything from elementary phonics (bat, mat, cat, etc.) to teaching high school TOEFL speaking (you have 15 seconds to compose a minute long speech defending your opinion).
I need to be at work at 1 pm on Monday and 1:30 the rest of the week. We spend the first several hours planning for our classes, as the academy doesn’t start classes until 4 pm. During that time, typically we’ll look over lesson plans, review the material, or get lunch. During the 4 pm to 10 pm block, basically the rest of my day, I teach 5 to 6 classes, with one day of 7 classes. Within those classes, I have one class period off to eat dinner and another class period off for a break. Each class is 40 minutes with a 5-minute break in between.
I’ve gotten to know my neighborhood a little bit better as well. Its a fairly average working-class neighborhood, which in Korea means lots of PC Clubs, marts, and Kimbap places. PC clubs are internet cafes with really fast computers mainly for gaming. Marts are just minimarts and there is usually 1 every hundred feet if not closer. Kimbap places are little cafes with a small menu of kimbap (sushi-like rice roll), several variations on ramen, and a few rice bowls. I’m sure there’s more to them, but that’s all I’ve had so far.