Monday, March 3, 2008

Reasons why school is not so bad

Seeing my students today for the first time after winter break, in the cafeteria for lunch, I can't believe I ever considered not coming back to Korea. I can't believe I was dreading my next 4 months, and now I also can't believe that I wanted to pack my own bag lunch every day and eat alone in my classroom.

Since my 2nd graders have moved up to 3rd, I'll no longer be teaching them and the only time I can really see them is in the cafeteria at lunchtime. Granted, the 1st graders (NOW 2nd graders) were always my favorite grade. Partly because the students were cuter and sweeter but also because their teachers made for better co-teaching.

I didn't think I'd mind the moving up and on of grades because I never really took to my 2nd graders as much. But seeing them today and especially my favorites, they were all just so wonderful. They were so happy to see me and I was so happy to see them. I can't believe I won't be seeing them every week.

I guess I'm one of the lucky ones though, at least I still get to see them around. It's not like they graduated and are all now at different schools. I'm also really enjoying spending time with the other English teachers again. ESPECIALLY now that my pregnant coteacher is back for the semester. She's the best at English and the closest to my age. I think she's 30 (in Korean years) this year and I'm 24 in Korean years so she's by far the youngest of the 3 teachers.

Also, last semester since the head English teacher is so busy (also she teaches Art/Sculpture at a neary university) and the other one I was never close with, we stopped hanging out and spending time together. Which was sad, because they are SOOOO funny. Well, especially my head English teacher. She's the worst at English of the 3 (position due to seniority) and she's knows it and she's HYSTERICAL.

So, spending time with the English teachers is fun. ALSO, the other womenfolk around here have been buzzing since yesterday about the new science teacher. He wasn't at our morning meeting and they were all telling me how young, tall, and handsome he is. So it's all been hearsay and then he walked into the cafeteria today and I KNEW he was the one they were talking about. He sat at our lunch table diagonally across from me and he IS really tall and good-looking. ESPECIALLY for a Korean. AND he's funny/got a good sense of humor. So, yea, my plan to bring my own sandwich and eat alone in my classroom is looking kinda sad and lonely since I'm totally planning on eating in the cafeteria. Y'know, to see my old students ...

More on the school situation: new principal, 15 new staff members (including 2 young men and 1 young woman-YAY for friends!), and pretty similar schedule to last year but a little better. This time around, no Monday classes. The new principal seems really sweet and like he really cares about the students. Which is good. He really seems to care for their well-being and education rather than JUST furthering his own career (which, let's be honest, was the priority of my previous principal). He seems really genuinely interested in improving the students' learning situations and he was very concerned about my classrooms' isolatedness and how cold I am. See how thoughtful? I think this will be a good semester and I know it'll be so hard to leave.

Also, I realized this morning that I spend a LOT of time complaining and making excuses for my misery in Korea, and I've decided that detracts a lot of time from my learning how to make the best of my situation and from counting my blessings. So, I'm trying to change that. I know I was all negative for the past few months but I think it was because I was so bored and had nothing better to do that list things in Korea that annoy me (it was long but sad). Going home was a great rejuvenator (haha, great word) and really has reenergized me (ok, maybe just for now) for the rest of my time here. Only 4 more months, and I'm OUTTA HERE!!!

Ok, I'm going home now. Work's over for today.

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