March 04, 2011

teaching observations....

I started my first day at my new school on Wednesday, and I don't think there is nothing better than the first day butterflies. Simple decisions such as, What do I wear? and What time do i show up? become monumental as first impressions are everything (especially in an Asian workplace).

After a short kafuffle with cabbies I arrived at work eager to start my second year. I figured the day would be easy because I'd be observing the other teachers. I thought of these observations as very important, as I could learn the lay of the land. If I was sure of anything it would be that this school was going to be very different from my former school. Considering that I walked in with the knowledge I'd be observing classes, it removed most of the jitters, I knew I wouldn't have to stand clueless in front of a class.

Well that last paragraph was laden with foreshadowing (it was deliberate). When I walked in expecting not to teach, I was wrong. My school is currently undergoing a 'staff change' to word things lightly, and the Korean teacher that I was to observe quit that morning. So, I was then told to teach the classes I was supposed to observe. With that news my heart sank, and the small room started to slowly spin. Worry not, I didn't pass out, I think I was just trying to make this reality a dream.

The first classes start at 2:30 and it was 12:30, leaving two hours to cram. In that two hours I had to learn the ways of the magnet. For starters I didn't know what classes I was even teaching (it would take another half hour to learn that). While the room slowly stopped spinning I sat doe eyed and attempted to sponge up the information spewed my way. My day kind of blurred together after that, very similar to a night of heavy drinking.

Before I knew it, it was 9:30, time to vanish into the night, and back to my studio apartment. I walked out of my school a changed person. Not because I was thrown into the fire, and taught without training. But because of the students I taught. These students are fluent, I'd even go so far as to say they are better English speakers than many English speaking elementary students. Despite the rocky start, I think this year is going to be something special.

Interesting facts: 
  • In my new school I'm called Mr. Holdforth, and not Sean.
  • There are 1,665 stairs in the Eiffel Tower (A grade 2 student informed me of this fact). 
  •  Ace and Joseph can both be girls names (at least in korea)
  • I now teach a Tinkerbell, who is aparently a talented singer.
  • Most of my first grade students have Iphones.


  1. Sounds like the best day ever =) are you working in a public or private school?

  2. It was a lot of fun! and I'm working in a private school.