Week 17, Tuesday

Another plot twist: H is leaving after the end of the semester to take care of her baby for a year. She said “this is why you have to stay for three years! So we can teach together again.”

Third grade classes went well today as G’s good influence still hovers over them. It was also easier since I was more involved in class time and grade 3 is the most intrinsically motivated; I’ve never seen so many hands in the air. The girl who gave me an I love you note last week handed me a vitamin today.

4-2 was bananas as usual but they can behave when given instruction. I’ve been doing more physical count downs and gestures so they know when to start speaking and went to stop speaking during our repetition exercises. “Am I pretty” student had the roots of her hair dyed back to coppery brown and I found out that her grandparents and all of her aunts are hairdressers.

The Seoul teacher group chat lit up recently with a guy who’s working 80 hours a week. 80 hours! He says that the other co-teachers expect him to work those hours as they also work those hours. I have no idea what they could possibly do to double the amount of work they do since subject teaching is not particularly strenuous. He mentioned that his coteachers don’t let him use any of the book activities and also make him plan games from scratch. Then they reject half.

Some other people chimed in that they have to submit lesson plans every day to be vetted and make 20 page workbooks for summer camp. Come on schools, is that really making your English program better? I think not.

When I read that I thought, I’m really lucky to have the coworkers and school I do. (I spent the afternoon laminating props and studying for TOPIK. I got a 91% in the listening practice test which is more than enough for level 2!)

The other schools don’t have their priorities straight. Everyone knows English summer camp is just a place for kids to go while their parents are working…

I bruised my brain after TOPIK practice some more with my first tutoring session this evening. She’s very organized and does teach grammar (just not in the written way). She put me at speaking level 2B which I’m happy to see aligns the level of my other skills.

Still, there’s an ocean between what I want to say and what I can say. Whenever Tank Boy calls “teacher!” and then stutters through trying to out a sentence together, I feel that.

I feel you tank boy!

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