Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Now we are teachers...but I don't feel any smarter : )

The view of the courtyard of my school, Andong High School. The brick building is where I have my English classroom. Oh yeah.

Danny standing in front of his school, Jung Ahng High School. Danny's Co Teacher asked him to "practice" walking to school before the first day so he wouldn't get lost. Needless to say we were successful.

Danny and I have officially be teaching for almost a week. Last week we were in school, but we were just planning for teaching this week so I am glad to finally get in the classroom. As I said before, Danny and I are both teaching at boys high schools so that has been interesting. We have had interesting experiences so far, and I hope that the kids will continue to be as entertaining. So far this is what we have seen in our schools:
Danny's school: The first day everyone was really excited that they had a native English speaker for the first time. The students told him that they loved him as he was walking down the hall and it's funny to think that would NEVER happen in the states. Teachers are a bit different in Korea because at Danny's school they all carry large sticks (drum sticks, bamboo sticks, etc.) or go around smacking kids upside the head with their hands if they have been bad. They never hurt the kids, it is almost like a joke between teachers and students to see how long they can go without getting knocked upside the head. Danny has often seen the students kneeling on their knees in a line, while a stern teacher talks to them about their bad behavior. In Korea, kids start school around 8 am and end classes around 10 or 11 pm! It is crazy that they have to stay as long as they do, and you would think that is enough but they also make them come in every other Saturday. Danny and I were both thinking you would have a riot if they tried to do something like that in America. We only have to work till 5 pm everyday, but other teachers stay literally all day long. CRAZY!
My school: I work at what is supposed to be the "best" boys high school in Andong. This is where the smartest kids come for school. I have been told I am beautiful and that students love me many times already, but don't worry little Korean boys are no contest to my man. I met my principal my first day and I have decided that he looks like a Korean Regis Philbin. I have since learned that he likes to drink Soju (Korean Saki) and sing no rae bong (karaoke), but so far I just see him as a serious guy. I work in a office all by myself which can get lonely, but I can get lots of work done so that is nice. My school is farther away then Danny's (his is about a 10 minute walk) so I have been getting a ride so far, but I tried to walk it this week and found out it takes 1 hr. and 10 min. to go to school...much farther than I thought. I hope to buy a bike this weekend to make the trip easier. All teachers eat lunch at the cafeteria (I was told it is very important for me to eat there so they don't take offense) and the food is pretty good. I of course have kimchi, and sometimes there is strange stuff (squid stir fry) and sometimes it's more normal. Every class is very high tech and has a projector and a ton of computer and sound system equipment which I found surprising. I know there is more, but I will leave that till another that is my school. Good times.
Everyday I learn something new at school and we both are trying to make friends with our fellow teachers, but that takes lots of time. I hope that our jobs will continue to be interesting and maybe we'll even learn to be good teachers. The word for the day is appropriately teacher: sun sang neem.

Now I will share with you the bathroom situation that I have to use at my school. Not exactly my favorite, but I'm getting used to it.


  1. Glad to hear Danny found his way to school. And I LOVE the video. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date.

  2. Katy, boy, do I know a leetle of what you are going through...with teaching anyway, not Korea. You wouldn't think Omaha would be such a foreign place...but my kids were to me--white Coloradoan girl : ) It was hard, but good, too. Hopefully your students are respectful and wonderful all year long! I think you are so fun and adventurous, and you will come back to the states with some amazing leg muscles if you walk/ride that much every day! The toilet is hilarious! Ew! I think I would hold it till I got home... : ) Praying for you! Love, Liz

  3. ha ha ha ha ha ha Katy, that squatter toilet video is it. hope you made it without peeing on yourself!!

  4. Katy, even after 18 months, I still hate the squatters. However, when nature calls, there is no other choice.

  5. I really enjoy all your updates! :D

  6. hey, at least there is toilet paper in that bathroom! In Russia I always have a pack of tissue in my well as hand sanitizer! ;)