Today marks the day that I have successfully (more or less) visited all of my schools thus concluding a week of education. It's been a crazy week and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. I'm sure the burning question is this: What are your schools like??? Never fear, I shall oblige you with an answer.
For starters I have three schools. My main school is Ancheon multilevel school. I teach elementary, middle and high school there three days a week. On Wednesdays I go to Paegun Elementary school. At Paegun I have an after school tutoring group. and on Friday's I am at Buwgi Middle school. At Buwgi I also teach the teachers. So I literally have all learning levels.
you must be thinking to yourself "Wow that sounds stressful. How have you not managed to crack?" Well it helps that the largest class I have is twelve students. I have three schools but they are the poster child for rural mountain communities. Honestly the most stressful part of my week was navigating the bus system. My schools are in three different cities none of which is my home town. Jinan is small the the cities my schools are in are microscopic. Everyday I leg it to the main bus terminal in Jinan which is about a ten minute walk. My morning's this week started out like this. I would hike to the terminal, stare at the bus schedule in determination (then desperation) realize that I still have no clue what it says; cave and go to the ticket window where I repeat the name of the city I need to get to in various accents until the lady figures out what I'm trying to say and hands me the ticket. Then I walk out to the bus lot and try to compare the symbols on the ticket to the signs on the bus until a granny gets fed up with my mystified expression and herds me to the correct bus where I then gratefully hand over my ticket and whip out the sticky note that has my final destination written on it in Korean. The bus driver then waves me into a seat and I sit there until he waves me off the bus while pointing in the general direction of the school. I then wander through the village waving my sticky note to anyone and everyone and the people band together to make sure the clueless ghost lady makes it to her final destination. This system worked fairly well for me in Paegun. A nice man actually followed me in his truck and pointed out where I needed to turn until I made it to the school grounds. I wasn't as successful in Bugwi because I didn't realize my note said elementary instead of middle school so I ended up on the wrong campus but it worked out in the end because one of the teachers there was kind enough to drive me the extra half mile to the middle school and explain to the teachers at the middle school that I was a lost child. So it was all good. getting back was basically a reverse of the process.
So after all of that I have to teach. No pressure right? Honestly meeting the children was the most enjoyable part of my week. Why? I hear you thinking? Because children are universal and they have never scared me. the boys and girls at Paegun elementary act exactly the same as the students at Hillcrest. Loud, kinda crazy, and can't stop touching. I had little girls take me by the hands and lead me on a tour of the school petting my hair the whole time and giggling while the boys ran ahead jumped off stairs and made crazy sound effects. The middle school students and I had a good time looking at my Facebook pictures as they tried to act cool and ask a million questions all at the same time. We all love Avengers and BTS. I don't know what overwatch is but Undertale is the best. High school students think they're adults in Korea as well. They tried to be sneaky with their staring instead of blatantly hanging out the window like the elementary students.
One of the veteran teachers here made the comment last night that I seemed to be adjusting rather well. I should hope so. None of this was new to me. The language might be different but people aren't. Also I made up my mind long before I came here to be content with whatever came my way. In this matter I think the Apostle Paul said it best. "11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:11-13.
My name is Arielle. (Not actually named after the mermaid, but a character from Thundar the Barbarian) I am an English teacher in South Korea.