I’ve been extremely fortunate with my new elementary school. In February, I was feverishly job hunting at the last minute and eventually had to choose between working at an English kindergarten academy or a
nother public elementary school. I was really worried about making the right decision.
They both offered similar benefits, although public school is known to be less demanding. However, I longed to be the sole teacher in my classroom and to teach smaller classes in order to develop a closer relationship with my students. Six months later I feel like I have the best of both.
I am blessed with a position in a small elementary school where I know almost all the (English) names of my 5th and 6th graders, whom I see twice a week. Compared to last year’s school in which I saw (not an exaggeration) probably about 700 students a week, I’d say I have at least a fighting chance of getting to know my students this year.
My co-teachers are very easy to get along with, and my main co-teacher is not only a great teacher, but she is very supportive. I notice there is a difference having a young co-teacher (like I did last year) and having an older more experienced teacher, just in the sense of navigating the Korean work hierarchy. My older more experienced co-teacher has some pull when it comes to getting information about things, sorting out any difficulties I may have with my housing and bills, and just takes very good care of me. She even found a way to include me on a field trip with the students to Oceanworld a few weeks ago. This meant I could skip my classes for the day (didn’t have to make them up) and just go have fun. Wow.
The only minor complaint I have with co-teaching this year is that one of my co-teachers demands more of me, as far as planning and leading the whole lesson, while the other one sometimes relegates me to be the human tape recorder. Lol…Actually, it’s not that extreme, but pretty close. It would be nice to have a happy medium, but it sure is stretching my cooperation and teaching skills.
For now, things are going well at my new school. If I’m asked to renew, it will most likely be in the fall. Mike and I are unsure of our plans for next year so it is still a possibility; our ‘year in Seoul may become our ‘three years in Seoul’. In the meantime, I’m grateful for the circumstances that fell into place to allow me to work at my current school.