Week 19, Monday

Guitar teacher played me an UNO reverse card and knocked on the classroom door after school to give me chocolate. “For giving me candy last week.”

We could play this game in escalation until I walk away with a car.

This morning I stepped on the back of Strong Girl’s shoe to make her trip. She turned around in the sea of students to shout 누구냐! But quickly amended to “aha teacher!”

I am twelve.

I will see more of her posse since the principal decided to change around winter camp, again, so I’ll have a few more fifth graders than expected. S asked me if that was okay, as if my answer beared any weight. I’m just riding the wave of Asia Time.

Since H is the resource teacher for student council and was a bit behind, I ran all the grade 5 classes while she worked on posters and badges. I felt less murderous than usual because I had control.

I made 5-2 listen to the same 3 sentence dialogue three times until they could repeat them back to me. They told me, oh yeah we know it, but when only the same two students raised their hands I kept repeating it. Oh do you really now?

In 5-1 I called out students who didn’t repeat along with the class or knocked on the desks of students who weren’t listening (my common MO in grade 4). And by no means would I call myself a strict teacher, but if you’re here you need to put in effort.

5-3 is higher level and rarely needs reminders (although they didn’t know what the target sentence and chapter title “what will you do during winter vacation?” meant until I translated into Korean). I have so many complaints about the textbook, mostly that it’s vocabulary and target sentence based with no explanation for what the grammar is or why we need to use it.

I asked 5-3 what they will during winter vacation and not one could answer. “Okay. We will study and then I will come back and ask every one of you.” I did. When they realized I was taking no prisoners they panicked. Maybe I’m sadistic but it felt good to see them struggle but then finally use basic future tense. Book be dammed!

I wound down after the events of the day by playing with the musical instruments in class. Since S leaves at 2:30 every day I’m going to start practicing the flute in the afternoons. Mostly so I can play the theme song of the Chinese drama I binge watched.

As the new year approaches I wonder…

Should I renew with this school? I know all the kids and routine. I’d at least like to move out of the studio and to a bigger place either north of here or east of the city (with a reasonable commute). I’m trying to stave off any decisions until I meet the new English teachers.

Is it worth trying for another school in another city for a change of scenery? Or is that throwing away a good thing for an unknown thing? The problem is the school might ask for my renewal in March even though my contract ends in August. Like damn, why can’t we run on Asia Time for this??

I’ve never really had a five year plan before because that would mean I must admit I’m mortal. But a plan is starting to take shape. I want to tell you but I don’t want to jinx anything. So stay tuned.

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