Well, I have now finished my first week teaching Engish here in Korea! My lesson was the same for all 19 classes I teach - a basic introduction lesson where I would tell about myself and ask them questions to "test" their listening. I've been told that I can do just one lesson plan for all the classes, and just adapt it so that it will reach those who don't know very much English, and also those who would be classified as intermediate beginners.
Monday is my busiest day with five classes in a row. My easier days are Tuesdays and Thursdays (so far), with only three in a row. I teach at Yesan Middle School for boys. That's right, I teach all boys all the time! The grades I have would work out to grade seven and eight in our school system. Here, though, they go by levels and I have all the level ones and twos - each class (there are 9 classes in each level) is 45 minutes long and has roughly 30ish boy in each.
The heat has pretty much disappeared, thankfully. We had several days of rain in a row, which brought welcomed coolness. Today is sunny and cloudy and very warm (though I'm not sure of the exact temperature). Those first days were so unbearably hot, so I am enjoying today's weather.
I'm pretty well settled into my apartment. I'm just waiting for my stove to be hooked up and my chair to be delivered. The apartment is a bachelor/studio type - just one room; two people could comfortably live in it though.
On Tuesday, Sarah and I were taken to one of the main cities that is about two hours away so that we could apply for our alien registration cards and a multiple entry visa. The visa is so that if we want to travel while we are in Korea, we can do so and still be able to get back in (our work visa only allow for one entry, which was when we landed in Korea two week ago). We were told that it would take two weeks for us to get but one of the ESL teachers in our building said she got hers in ten days, and another one told us she got hers in seven days. We need the alien registration cards before we can open a bank account, and have internet and phone and cable hooked up. Thankfully I have access to the net at school! Not to worry though, during school hours I use it to check email and surf for ideas to use in class. The only time I do anything personal is at lunch or after classes. All the ESL teachers have told us the schools don't care what we do at our desk just so long as we look busy. One teacher told us she reads a lot of books and another has said she has observed other ESL teachers playing computer games...
Tomorrow Sarah, Lorie, and myself are heading to Seoul with two other ESL teachers that live in our building. Sarah and I are in the same town and her apartment is above mine, but Lorie ended up getting placed about 15 minutes from us (she's coming in tonight on the bus to go with us in the morning to Seoul).
Latest prayer requests would include that my back continues to get better (it is now more stiff and a little sore rather than the excruciating pain I was having), that I do well with my teaching, that I can handle the boys, that I get along well with all my co-teachers and develop good relationships with my co-workers (I'm the only foreigner here - everyone else is Korean). Also, please pray that Sarah and I can find a church that speaks English. There are none in the town we ended up in (the town is called Yesan).
God bless, and have a Christ-filled day!