A Busy Couple Weeks

Well, we had a little teacher’s meeting today. Actually it was only the foreign teachers. Doug got all the info from the head teacher and he passed it down to us. We have a lot of events going on in the next three weeks. I didn’t know until today, but tomorrow is our next birthday party, so I’ll be able to take some pics that I missed taking the first time around.

Next week we have our monthly cooking class on Tuesday. We don’t know what we’re cooking yet. I hope it’s something more interesting than hotdogs this time. Anyway, it’s a nice break from teaching something anyway. Then on Friday, during the morning we’re going to give each student a couple eggs to decorate, and then during the afternoon we’re going to go on an egg hunt around the playground. Some of my workers complain about the place, but they do a really god job of providing the kids with lots of entertainment.

In two weeks, we’re going on an all day field trip. The place is called Bear Tree Park. It even has a website you can browse in English. http://beartreepark.com/ It’s apparently about 40 minutes by bus from Cheonan, so we’re going there at 10 AM and having lunch there, then coming back for our regular classes in the afternoon. It sounds like since I have older students they’re going to give me more freedom to take my kids deeper into the park, presumably without a Korean teacher tagging along, because they’re going to be keeping a close eye on the youngest students. Sounds awesome to me.

Then, in three weeks we have Children’s Day. Children’s Day is a national holiday, so I get it off, but the day before we don’t have to teach either. The Korean guy that comes once a week for Korean gym class is going to be setting up a bunch of outdoor activities, so we’re just going to assist him and play games all morning. In the afternoon, we’re not teaching our hagwon kids either. We’re just going to come up with different activities like face painting, sack/three legged races, bobbing for apples, etc… Sounds like it’s gonna be a great day.

The next week after that, we get a day off for Buddha’s Birthday. At least, I’m really hoping we do. I’ve never heard of anyone working on that day, but some people at work seem reluctant to believe we’ll get the day off. I hope we’ll get a certain yes or no on that soon, but we’ll probably find out the day before…

Anyway, work was all right today. Part of the lecture I got last week was about how my class is going to elementary school next year, so I have to prepare them for behaving properly in an elementary school classroom. I’ve been pretty hard on them all week. Wednesday, I actually sat down and just talked with them about how I don’t necessarily care a whole lot what they do as long as they’re not fighting, but they need to prepare for school because they’re going to be expected to act a certain way, so I want to practice in our class. They actually seemed pretty understanding.

Today, I had one of my favorite classes. I got sick of the one boy in class always being kind of a prick, so I told him, nay, promised him, that I would go out and buy a really girly headband and if he misbehaves in class I’m going to make him wear it. And take pictures. And show all my friends. So today I went to the train station and bought the most obnoxious, big bowed headband I could find. I’m going to bring it in tomorrow and introduce all the boys to the Headband of Shame. I’m giving them three strikes, and after three they wear the headband for 5 minutes. After that, no warnings and it goes to 10 minutes.

I have a little bit harder time punishing the girls. Partially because they’re generally better students, so a lot of their goofing off stems from being done and waiting on the boys to finish. Part of it is because I don’t want them to cry in my class. I think I’ll give them the same strike count and if they lose them all, they’re going to have to do the Chicken Dance five times. Repeat offenders get ten goes.

The only other funny thing is that maybe my favorite student Beth said she wanted to exchange gifts. When I asked her why, she said just because. So in two weeks, we’re going to have a gift exchange just me and her. The only rules are between one and two thousand won. I looked around a little bit tonight while looking for a headband, but I didn’t see anything much. I’ll probably end up spending more than 2,000 won.

Anyway, tonight is Pool and Movie Night. Tomorrow is nothing special. Just a night in Cheonan with whatever trouble I can find. Saturday I’ll be heading to Seoul for a concert. Just not sure which one yet. I have a choice between a friend’s concert at my favorite bar or seeing the same band, Wagwak at another bar in Hongdae, though I may have to pay a cover. Decisions, decisions.

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