Friday, August 29, 2014

The week in review: 8/25/14 - 8/29/14

Monday, August 25
My main co-teacher had told me on Friday that she'd be on business trips Monday through Wednesday this week, the three days that I co-teach with her every week. But she also told me what lessons to cover, so I prepared and was expecting students today. My sixth grade class didn't show to my first period, so I messaged their homeroom teacher a few minutes after the bell with "English class today?"  Ten minutes later I got a "No English class today" back, so I settled back in at my desk until the next period. Same thing happened, but this class's homeroom teacher responded sooner with a "English class push back next week ^^" which made me wonder if I'll get to see the sixth graders at all tomorrow, in what would be my last class with them. So I didn't teach any classes today, but did get lots of blogging done.

My other co-teacher brought a scale from home for me to borrow, as I'd asked him to do last Friday. So Monday night I started loading things into the suitcase, which I have to keep at 15 kg or less for my flight to Tokyo a week from today.

On the walk home from school I also transferred everything out of my main Korean bank account into my Korean Citibank account, which I can transfer home. I have leftover cash from my grandma and sister's visit that should get me through the weekend.

Tuesday, August 26
No sixth grade classes came today, which I figured would be the case after what happened yesterday. Although I'm bummed about not getting to see any of the sixth graders for a final class, I'm glad to have had the blogging time, as it's really time consuming and I wouldn't have been able to finish so many posts about my grandma and sister's visit had I taught regular classes.

I'm also glad that I had my main co-teacher take a picture of me with each sixth grade class back in July right before summer break. I've learned by now that you should never leave anything to the last day, because you never know what sort of last-minute changes will come up, so that's why I wanted class pictures even though it wasn't my last day teaching. I never would have guessed that those classes back in July would actually be the last time I'd have the sixth graders, so it's a good thing I planned ahead.

My main co-teacher texted me this afternoon and said "Sorry you had a hard time with 6th grade," which I think is supposed to mean sorry they didn't come to class. She told me again which lesson to do with the third graders tomorrow, so I think they will come.

Some computer guy was in our classroom near the end of the day, but when I left my co-teacher said it worked and the computer guy was finished.

Wednesday, August 27
Since there was a computer person in here yesterday, I made sure the classroom computer worked with plenty of time to troubleshoot before class. I'm all set up, my third graders start coming in the room, so I turn on the TV and hit play on the song and... no sound. What?! Aghhh. My co-teacher had already left to teach his fourth grade class in their classroom, but he usually fixes computer problems.

Luckily this third grade class's homeroom teacher is the one with the best English in the school (my opinion), and he was still in the room. So he tried to get the sound to work. It was taking a while, so then he tried to keep the kids occupied with Simon Says. After he finished explaining it, I took over giving the Simon Says directions while he kept trying things with the computer. Fifteen minutes into class I was telling him that's okay, I'll just change plans and teach without... and then he got it to work.

So class went really fast and we didn't cover everything we were supposed to, but that's okay. At the end of class I said that on Friday I leave. Their teacher was back in the room at this point and translated into Korean. The kids made comments in Korean, and their teacher told me that the kids hadn't known I was leaving, and that this was their last class with me. So he had them say thank you, and then some came and gave me hugs or high-fives after class, and then they were off.

My next class wasn't there when the bell rang, but their classroom is right down the hall, so I just waited a few minutes. Then my co-teacher came back to the English room, though he should have been with a fourth grade class, and said "Oh yeah, there are school elections today." Ah, so no second period? No.

Then I had regular third period, and that second period class got pushed to fourth period.

Thursday, August 28
Today was my last day teaching with my Thursday/Friday co-teacher, as he'd be gone tomorrow when we usually teach together. He had us do a bit of book stuff, and then at the end the kids all had to write me letters. Our fourth graders aren't at the level where they could organically create a letter like that, so my co-teacher wrote one that everyone basically copied. He put out markers and crayons so students could decorate them, it was sweet even though it was obligatory.

I learned today that starting September 1 all schools in our province will have a new start time of 9:00 (instead of 8:30), and the first period will start at 9:10 (instead of 9:00). Ending time for the students will push back 10 minutes, from 2:30 to 2:40.

Since my main co-teacher is starting a new job on Monday, the new English teacher (Korean) dropped by in the afternoon. I only got a "hello" in Korean from her, and then she went down the hall to meet with my co-teachers in an office. I hope the kids like her...

Oh also, I'd translated a message from the messenger earlier in the week, and it said something about a social dinner tonight. I figured it was a goodbye dinner to my main co-teacher and myself, but nobody ever specifically invited me or told me about it. My other co-teacher had mentioned last week that we should have some sort of goodbye party, and then earlier this week said we would celebrate with all of the teachers - but that was it! He never gave me the date or time or details. Had I not seen and translated the message, I wouldn't have had any idea this was going on.

Then my co-teacher told me we'd to to my apartment that afternoon for a check, you know, to make sure the items that the school owns were all there and in good condition. Whoops, wish I would have known that someone would be coming into my apartment! I'd thought the check would be on Friday. It wasn't too bad, but it could have been better - still somewhat embarrassing how I'd left the place in the morning.

So we left school at 3:35 to go to my apartment, and finished well before 4. Amazingly, my co-teacher said he would come back to the apartment at 5 to pick me up for the dinner. Ah, the dinner! That was totally the first anyone had told me of the dinner, at 4pm the night of, but I played along that I'd known all along. So then I had a nice hour at home, during which I did a quick load of laundry and a bit of blogging.

Friday, August 29
Although my co-teacher was gone today, he said to do something with the fifth graders like what we'd done yesterday with the fourth graders. So I decided we'd spend half the class learning/singing Connie Talbot's version of "Count on Me" - which is super popular with all our kids, by the way. And the second half they could write me a little letter like we'd done the day before.

So I prepare, get the class set up, bell rings, no students. Are you kidding me? It was Monday and Tuesday all over again. I waited a few minutes, and then messaged their teacher. I could see on the messenger that their teacher wasn't at his computer at the moment. Was the class somewhere else? The reason why I hate when this happens (though it's a rare situation, and didn't matter anyway because this is the last time it could ever possibly happen) is because I worried what my main co-teacher would say if she happened to walk in and see that I didn't have a class. I imagined a "Why didn't you ~?" But of course I've never been given the protocol for what to do when you're teaching without a co-teacher and the class doesn't come, since that's such a rare situation. Anyway. The teacher finally saw the message (the program tells you when it's read) maybe 15 minutes into class, but didn't reply that they weren't coming until maybe 30 minutes into class. I had to send a message to the next two periods as well, but their classes ultimately came, just a few minutes late.

One student during second period asked for my autograph, and then everyone in the class wanted me to sign their book or a piece of paper. One boy wanted me to sign his pencil case, and a few boys joked about me signing their shirts - but I wouldn't sign the pencil case. It got around fast, and the following fifth grade classes, and later in the day many third graders and random other students came in for my autograph. I got some great practice with signatures! I felt like a celebrity. And in a snap the day was done. The last one.
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