10 September 2009

Back to School Time

It's back to school time here in Korea and that means back to normalcy for teachers at private academies like mine. The summer break (mid-July to the end of August) is a time of chaos as the tight schedules the children keep become jumbled. Piano lessons, computer class, Math, Science, Art, Tae Kwon Do...most kids maintain a grueling pace during the school year. With the summer break, all the extra-curriculars become jumbled. At many small private academies it becomes impossible to maintain a schedule with leveled classes...you might have 5th year English students in the classroom with beginners. Thankfully, during this period I was given a lot of leeway in lesson planning. I was usually able to find material that was both interesting to the older students and accessible to the less experienced. However, I have nearly used up my giant bottle of Advil.

Thankfully, as I said, things are now returning to normal. As the new classes form I have been making careful notes in regard to individual assessment and class maturity levels so as to begin selection of teaching materials. Unlike at my previous school, where my opinion was not solicited, here I am consulted and expected to have an informed opinion about the students and their needs. That is incredibly refreshing. I recently took a trip to the teacher store with our head teacher and we looked over all of the possibilities and found some good stuff. I am looking forward to teaching with the new supplies.

In other news, my finger is still healing. I have lost a lot of mobility but I am surprised at how adaptable the hand is. Things that I thought I would basically have to completely relearn, like typing, have kind of adapted themselves on their own. And things that I worried would be affected by the loss of strength, like sailing, have come along as well: the other fingers seem to have picked up the slack when I pull a jib sheet or the like.

All in all, things are going well. I recently purchased another scooter (number 3!) and got a huge lock to put on it. I am being careful and hope that this one won't get stolen. It is sure fun riding around on that thing.