Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Day in the Life of an Epik Teacher

Loosely based on truth.

23:45 Start getting ready for bed
00:10 Realise you forgot to download the latest episode of Game Of Thrones. Torrent the crap out of it.
00:16 Download complete. You love Korea.
7:00 Hit snooze.
7:15 Hit snooze.
7:30 Hit snooze.
7:40 Race to the shower. Brush teeth in shower. Try to avoid spraying toilet paper.
8:00 Fall down 4 flights of stairs in your efforts to leave the building speedily.
8:02 Cycle at break-neck speed through crowds of small children. This requires ninja-like reflexes.
8:19 Stroll casually into the staff room, just in time. Open up spreadsheets and ppts, and look busy... until everyone goes off to their home room classes, leaving you alone.
8:20 Sleep/Facebook.
9:00 Look busy and try to remember where the classroom for your first lesson is.
9:15 Realise this lesson is going nowhere, the kids are asleep, and they're giving you nothing. They're exhausted from camping on Palgongsan for the last two days. Scrap the plan and play games on the board using vocabulary from the lesson. The kids love it.
9:45 A free period! Try to figure out what you last taught the class you have after lunch. Something to do with giving advice...Search the internet for pictures of interesting problems for them to solve.
9:55 INSPIRATION STRIKES. Create a complex ppt game involving PSY's latest music video.

Giving Advice: PSY's being a dick! What should I do?
10:50: Another class of exhausted first graders. Play games for the whole lesson, based on vocab from the chapter.
11:35 Co-teacher is concerned that the first graders won't finish the content in time for their midterms. Whoops.
11:45 Teach the 3rd grade lesson for the 9th time.
12:30 LUNCH! Pizza, bibimbap, toffee, kimchi pancakes. Poke at unidentified object on tray. Realise it's two slices of bread glued together with jam, then battered and deep fried. Oh, Korea.
13:00 Supervise 'English Time' in the English room. This means showing Doctor Who episodes to students, with English subtitles. Notice the number of students has doubled since yesterday.
13:25 Worry that you still don't know what you're about to teach to this class, and go to the co-teacher to ask in a roundabout enough way that she doesn't realise you don't actually know what you're doing.

The co-teacher smiles and interrupts before you even begin. She explains that these students are falling behind because their classes keep being disrupted by other events, and because they're a low level, so she has decided to have a catch-up reading class instead. She advises you to take a break.

14:00 Make vague gestures towards lesson preparation and self-studying Korean. Mostly faff around looking for amusing gifs to spice up your blog.
15:20 Last class of the day and you teach that third grade lesson for the 10th time, now having done it so many times that you can do it on autopilot, with OOMPH.
16:00 The cleaning locusts descend.

16:25 Flee!
17:00 Stop at Hansot for dinner. Point at something on the menu and hope it tastes good.
19:00 Meet people downtown for no reason other than to avoid the strange smells in your apartment
21:00 Try to remember where you parked your bicycle. Did you ride your bike here? Hic. Walk past the booze in a bag stand.
21:30 Hic.
22:30 Chat up some hagwoners who've just gotten off work, and consider hanging out with them until the early hours of the morning. Remember that tomorrow is Tuesday and you have to get up at 7...ish.
23:00 Home sweet home.

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