Learning to be a teacher.

Teaching is a job that has moments of joy and fury. The moments of joy far out weigh the moments of fury.
This is my first year as a teacher and guess what? I’m not perfect. I’m probably not even a great teacher yet, however that is not the point. The point of being a teacher is that you are meant to grow.
What have I learned in the last four months of teaching?
I still am the most creative under the pressure of time. I have planned a lesson for my teacher’s class two periods before it was due and it turned out great. My co-teacher told me it was great and really interesting.
My discipline style is not set. I have varying tactics, I stay quiet, I stand in silence, I yell if I need to. I also know how to project my voice to the back wall with a quick, but loud and powerful, “Quiet!” Some of my students get blank stares and some say you scared me in Korean. Why yes darling students that is the point.  As you see, you were talking so loudly and not listening it seemed to be the most befitting remedy for you.
I am the food teacher. Come to my main school and all  hear my third grade middle school boys say is, “Teacher, food.” I’m known to bake and bring in treats to my after school class. I also reward the winning teams of spelling bees with ice cream. Those who have gone above and beyond to listen to me when the rest of the class ignored me and didn’t help clean the classroom, they get a treat too. I have spent my own money to teach two classes how to bake cookies and another how to make ice pops. And the other two I haven’t cooked with yet will also get one all expenses provided cooking class from me. A promise is a promise and playing fair is important. I have bought ice cream and choco pies for my third graders because they have been studying until 7pm for the last three weeks at school.
Why pay out of pocket? Why use food?
I have th luxury of being at a small school at the moment and the knowledge that kids in Korea have never really baked before. When you bring in food that is different and homemade, you are teaching culture. And you bring out the kids curiousity. I have requests of coming to my house to cook later this summer. My kid are more than welcome.
I might lack the skills to make mind blowing powerpoints and games. I don’t want to be known as the joker who always plays games either. I want my kids to learn something from me more valuable than wasting time on games. I might follow the book for now until I get better at diverging on my own and coming up with a great lesson.  But I will get better.
My principal often tells me in Korean that I am kind, that I have a good heart and that I am good for the kids.
My fellow teachers praise me that I am not like the other foreign teachers they have met over the years. I am open, friendly, and participate with others. Even though I still don’t know a lot of Korean all of the teachers at my three schools, say they are so thankful they can communicate with me.
So I know that the more I teach, the better I will become. I look forward to that.

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Nina, Good morning! What a wonderful and quite sophisticated way of not only teaching but sharing you have..Koodos to you, my dear. You sound very happy with the choice you have made, and comfortable in your environment. So delighted for you…keep up the good work. Do you all get a summer brake like here in the States ? Marie’s cousin teaches in Japan and I find their way is also very interesting..So, for now, we’ll say so long, have a good one and please stay well and above all safe..
    Love,Aunt Millie & Marie

  2. You are growig into the job as I retire from it. My last day is tomorrow. Just like you, I am thinking what do I do next? Keep following your dreams and find out where they will take you !

    1. Thanks Gramma! I hope you have a wonderful last day teaching! I’m sure you will find some new hobbies, you could volunteer or travel more. Maybe make Grampa leave the office earlier on trips. Xoxo

  3. Real estate has picked up for Grampa and Lauren. Lauren has even been coming in to work a couple of hours early. Can you picture Lauren in the office at 7:30 in the morning?

    Do you really think that Grammpa would leave work early for a vacation? Never! I am finding that my thought process has to be different. School ended late this year because of the hurricane and the blizzard. So , school waS over on Friday, jUNE 28TH. I did not have to go to the 2 workshop days. The last 2 days I spent throwing away all sorts of old material. Today, all of you put your material of computers. Before, my mterial wa ket in binders. On the last day I was having trouble breathing and then I noticed a huge 7 foot diameter circe on my rug with a 3-4 inch diameter in black. Over the vaation in April, rqain had poured down into my room onto the rug, and a ceiling tile had fallen out.The custodians cleaned it up, but obviously with the moist, frigid air conditioner that is in my room, black mold had been working on growing for the last 2 months. I am on a nebulizer, aninhaler , and prednisone. As long as I do not talk, it is not bad. I am using th etop part of my lungs to breathe, so I am o.k. At least I will nev3r be going back to that room. I told Grampa, it will be a short summer and then I realized that I will be able to stay at the beach as long as I want. School will be starting some time near the end of August, but I will not be going!!!!!!!!! Aftr 32 years of teaching and all the years I was in school originally , I will not be going. I guess I have finally graduated.Tomorrow we will be celebrating

    Uncle John’s birthday (born 7/2), Toorrow is the fourth of July, Independence day. Happy fourth of July!!!!

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