Saturday, September 10, 2005

Aly Teacher, Aly Teacher!!!

Aly Teacher...! It's not Ms. Young in Korea, they go by first names here followed by your title (there's already another "Amanda Teacher" here). You have no idea how much I've heard "Aly Teacher" in the last week... Thankfully, it's Friday and I've now survived my first week teaching Korean children. Although today I did resort to bribing with Dum-Dums in order to get my homeroom to behave. It actually worked quite well, I think I'll be visiting the candy store more often...
My Korean classroom is not the typical classroom that comes to mind when I think back to my primary school years. It is a fairly small room with a camera in the corner monitoring everything for the "desk teacher" to watch on a monitor in the hallway. The camera can be very helpful when the kids get out of hand because a Korean teacher comes in and yells at them in Korean and they get quiet real fast. There are also no desks in the classroom, only a table that is about a foot off the floor (which the kindergartners LOVE to crawl underneath).
On Wednesday I had a class attack me because one of the kids lifted up my shirt and saw I had my belly button pierced-- Imagine 10 8-year olds screaming and trying to take your shirt off-- apparently body piercings are not a common sight here! That was one time I wish the desk teacher would have been watching the monitor, I had to threaten to go get the principal in order to get them off.
All of my students have their Korean names and are also given an English name that they use at Kid's Club. The fun part about the English names is that I get to name any new students that join. I've already named four: Kimmie, Hannah, Bernie and Zachary. I tried to name Zachary "Walter" after my dad, but he wouldn't have it (I even tried Wally, but no to that also).