March 30, 2012

Friends' Day

On Tuesday we had a Special Day at school for the kindergarten. The whole morning was spent with the kids going from room to room doing different activities. They have Special Days once a month. This month's theme was "Friends' Day." Each of us foreign teachers 'taught' a class (with the help of other Korean teachers). One did a game, another did dancing, and Jason did candy bouquet making. In my class, we made friend's faces with a slice of bread and snacks (we didn't come up with these classes- they were assigned to us). It was actually pretty fun. And all the kids had fun and enjoyed it.

Some of the kids & their faces.

This was my face.
It was a good break from having to teach. Plus, I got to eat snacks the whole time. =)

March 24, 2012

Video: our apartment

Here's a silly, little video we did today of our apartment here in South Korea:

We like our new little place and we're settling in just fine.

March 23, 2012

Week 3 = done

Another week down! Yay! I look forward to every single Friday. The work week for me is pretty tough dealing with kids all day for 5 days straight. I have at least one difficult student in each class (in a couple, I have multiple difficult students). But in one of my 2nd grade classes, they're all good students, so it's a good break from the tough classes.

On weekends, Jason and I just like to veg out and do as little as possible. We're at work for about 9 hours a day (some of our co-workers stay longer than that... we can't do that. Once 6pm hits, we want to be out of there ASAP). Usually on Fridays we like to go out after work. Then Saturdays and Sundays we do whatever we want.

Anyways, here's a few random shots I took with my iPhone throughout the last couple of weeks (because everyone likes to look at photos, right?):

Last night. Celebrating another week down with a date night and KBBQ.

This shows how our apartment is right next to a restaurant and like 10 yards from a Taekwondo studio

Last Friday, we went out with co-workers after work.

Found a good restaurant to get non-Korean type food. Jason got spaghetti, I got "Asian" style spaghetti with pork cutlets. Needless to say, mine was better.

Two of my Cherries. They're cute.

March 17, 2012

Palau: videos

In the summer of 2010, I went to visit Jason in Palau where he was a Peace Corps volunteer. I spent a month there and I almost stayed. I absolutely fell in love- it is like paradise there.

Here are the travel videos we made while I was there (4 parts):

March 13, 2012

This week's menu: kimchi bacon fried rice/spaghetti aglio/chicken sweet potato fries

Jason and I work until 6pm everyday. By the time we get home, we're pretty tired. So this weekend we  decided we should cook a lot of food on Sunday and then eat it during the week. And I've been on Pinterest A LOT lately (follow me here) and seeing all these delicious recipes made me want to cook. So we headed to the open market and grocery store on Sunday and came back with a lot of goodies.

I cooked Spaghetti Aglio, which is a recipe I found on Pinterest. This recipe is so simple, but tastes so good. It's good for the garlic lovers. Find the recipe here.

The next thing I cooked for us to eat for the week is kimchi bacon fried rice. I came across this lady's blog who cooks Korean food. She has a lot of recipes I want to try, but I figured I should start with an easy one first. This one is also really simple and really good. I love kimchi. I love fried rice. So the two together is heaven. Get the recipe here.

We have a few sweet potatoes left and I wanted to use them before they spoiled. So on Saturday, I cooked something I like to call Chicken Sweet Potato Fries (a little variation of carne asada fries). All I did was cut up the sweet potato, soak it for 2 minutes, fry them up, then I added some sesame oil and sesame seeds. Then I cut up some chicken breasts and cooked them up with soy sauce, lemon, honey, spicy sauce, and a little herbs and salt. Then I topped the fried sweet potatoes with the chicken and served it with some fried dumplings and kimchi:

Well, we'll see what we cook for next week. I'm excited to try new recipes!

March 10, 2012

1 week down, 50+ more to go!

I think I've never been so happy that the weekend is here! Our first week of teaching is over and it was . . . eventful?? We were busy, which I suppose is a good thing because it will make this year go by a lot quicker.

I've been sick- but I was feeling terrible on Monday and Tuesday, but still had to teach. In the mornings, I go to different kindergarten classes and sing songs, go over vocabulary, read stories and poems with them- so being sick didn't help me- but I got through it.

My Cherry class was a bit of a handful, I will admit. I get 6 at a time for half an hour each, and sometimes it feels like an eternity. I think the biggest problems are that they didn't have English names (until Friday) and there is a huge communication barrier. When I try to get them to do something or to listen- it's always a big deal because they don't understand me- even when I'm using simple language and a lot of hand gestures. And when they speak to me- they just go off in Korean. I just say "I don't know what you're saying, man..." and try to explain: "Leia teacher- English, no Korean..." lol. But they still continue. There's a few kids who just like to run around and think they're funny. And it doesn't help that I have the worst classroom- I really dislike it. It's really small and there's a huge table right in the middle, so it's hard for me to go around... all the other teachers have a big classroom and a carpet that the kids sit on. Another problem I see is that the material is way to complicated for a 3-year-old- which I don't want to get into right now.

I'm hoping and praying things will get better, and I believe they will as these kids are learning more and more each day. My Korean co-teacher is really good with them. I just wish I knew some Korean so I can handle them better (which I need to work on!! I've been so busy lately and neglecting my Korean studying).

In elementary, one class changed so now I have 2 2nd grade classes, a 1st grade class and a 4th grade class. There's a few kids in each class that like to act up- no surprise- but I can deal with it.

Anyways, this weekend Jason and I have just been home trying to get over our sickness. We were planning on doing a video of our apartment, but decided to do it when we're feeling better. So stay tuned for that.

This is the building where our school is. Who would've thought there was a school in there, right??
Jason's classroom. It's nice.
One of my Cherries.
Some of my other Cherries.
The view from my classroom.

March 03, 2012

...and on Monday- it starts!

We work at a school called KDLP (Korean Dual Language Program). It's located in a high-rise building (you would have never guessed there was a school there) on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors. The 8th floor is where the elementary school is- your regular 1st to 5th grade elementary school. The 9th floor is where the kindergarten is. The 10th floor is more classrooms.

Since we've been here, we've been observing/'teaching' the other foreign teachers' (who we're replacing) classes. Their school year here ended this last Wednesday, and this Monday starts a new school year.

The other day, we got our class assignments. For the foreign teachers, we teach both in the kindergarten and elementary (kindergarten in the morning & elementary in the afternoon). For kindergarten, I'll be teaching the "Cherries" which are the 3-4 years old (in Korea, you add a year or two to their age for their "Korean age"- so here they're considered '5 years'- but for this blog's sake- I'll stick to the "normal" age). I also teach this program called Meysen in which I have all the other classes for half an hour and basically sing songs and read poems (I'm the only one doing it-- the other foreign teachers have other programs they do). The other classes consist of Kiwis (the level up from Cherries), Oranges (a bit older students who have never had formal English instruction) and Apples (the last level in kindergarten before they get promoted into elementary-- and the class Jason will be teaching).

I've never dealt with this young of an age group before in a classroom setting, but I'm actually feeling good about it. I think it's going to be fun, but a challenge. It's these kids' first time at a school, let alone their first time being exposed to English. I kind of feel like there's a lot of pressure on me with this class- especially from their parents- but I'm staying positive about everything and everything will be fine. We'll see....

Then for elementary, I have 2 2nd grade classes, a 3rd grade class and a 4th grade class.

I got to decorate (somewhat) my class rooms and I've been looking at lesson plans (and I've been a little stressed out with everything and now I have a cold- boo!). But all-in-all, it's going to be fun. The school is good to us, the people we work with are very helpful and are also good to us (and the former foreign teachers said this is true and that they had a great year- which was really reassuring to us).

This is the calm before the storm... bring on Monday!!
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