Korea Livin'

this is a new chapter in my life...let's see where it takes me...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Korean Kids

Each day I am amazed by my kids. Not because they say the darndest things...well, that is one reason...but they continually challenge me, in a good way. When I am tired or my voice is hoarse and I am feeling sorry for myself, I can walk into a class, look at all of them, and immediately, I have a reality check.

My kids wake up between 6-7am every morning. They have Korean public school all day, then come to English private school in the evening. They study their vocabulary and grammar in between classes or breaks, and finally get home between 11pm-12am. When they get home, they study and do homework. By the time they are done, they are finally tucking in for the night around 2am just to repeat this the next day. 6 days a week they go to school. Their one day off is Sunday which they spend doing MORE homework, going to church, reading, or getting to be what we call a "normal" kid by going outside to play soccer or baseball in the park. Not ALL kids have this schedule, but a majority.

My elementary kids have the best spirits. I try my best to not have favorites...but it's inevitable that it happens. They are so full of life and excited to learn English. Middle school students are a little different. They are more challenging for me. There are some students that are awesome and like speaking English, but a lot of times, middle school students just want to speak Korean because it is comfortable for them and a lot of times they are there because their parents are making them. It is my job to keep them entertained while teaching them speaking and writing. This is my biggest challenge...which usually candy as a reward for speaking a lot in class, giving new ideas or using vocabulary, and NOT speaking Korean works wonders!! When the boys say, "MaLeah teacher, you look pretty today," they KNOW they are getting a piece of candy. Hey, if I have to bribe them to speak English, I'll do it!! LOL Now that I have been here for a month (at my school - Suji Campus), the kids have warmed up to me and I only have an issue occasionally. I am quickly learning the tricks to trick them into liking class!!

As much as I hope to teach them how valuable it is to know another language, especially English as it has become a common language, I also hope to learn from them. Sometimes, outside of class, I will ask them questions about how to say something in Korean. Taking interest in their world has helped build their trust. They love listening to me mess up my Korean, another way of entertainment. Our two worlds meeting is an amazing experience. They teach me their norm as I teach them mine and they are my constant reminder of how lucky we are in the states.  =)

He gave himself the English name, Kimchi! He is laughing because he just farted very loud!! And I called him out on it!! Kimchi's twin brother is also in the class. These boys are ALWAYS talking a lot in English, doing charades if I do not understand...always an interesting class!!

Elementary students on Movie Day 10/23/2011. I was in charge of the contest after the movie. There were 10 questions...each question, we brought 6 students on stage. They had 10 seconds to answer the question. If they got it right, they won a prize (DYB stationary)!! My voice was non-existent after this!!

Em's middle school students coming into my elementary class on Halloween. They knew if they said "Trick or Treat," we gave out candy. LOL

One of my elementary classes. After our classroom auction, we made Halloween masks. They are grades 3-4.

Mario reading what he wrote during an activity. After this, he said, "Why are you so beautiful today MaLeah tr.?" Of course I gave him a piece of candy after. They know how to butter me up...I'm a softy...

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