Tuesday, August 25, 2009

No Such Thing as a Patience Pill

I just finished Day 3 of teaching. You'll be happy to know that I am, in fact, still alive and kicking. Teaching is tough for different reasons than I initially thought. I don't think the kids are bad. The language barrier interferes a little, but it mostly acts as comedic relief. I just never thought I would get so tired. It seems that each class just kind of sucks the juice from me. And, since I am the new kid and I have a very unique position in the school, I always have to have my On-Face. It's like I'm being graded every second that I am out of my apartment. And even when I get home, I am still a guest. I still have to be "On." It's not that I'm complaining about it (I realize that this might sound a bit whiny). It's just that I'm learning just how much it takes. Nothing in life is easy. There is no patience pill or time stopper. So you just have to figure out what you need from you to make it through the day, week, month, year.

I also developed this annoying little habit of trying to see how everything can be a lesson. Ahhh! Is this how teachers think!?

Okay, on to the good stuff from my first few days of teaching. I teach three kinds of classes: all-levels freshman, split-levels freshman and all-levels sophomores. High schools only have three years here, so the only students I do not teach are the seniors. All-level classes means that the classes are mixed with beginner, intermediate and advanced English speakers. The split-level means that they are divided by ability. So, in sum, I see each freshman twice a week and each sophomore once.

In my "all-level" classes, we played a game that required the students to write down six facts about themselves. Here are some of my favorite answers:

"My favorite food is hot fish water"
"Random fact: I am handsome"
"Random fact: I am Jesus"
"I want to visit Hell"
"My name is Harry Potter." (This was a girl. Her Korean name is Hah Rae Paht)
"My name is Madonna"
"My name is David Beckham."
"My favorite hobby is kissing."
There are dozens more, but those were especially good. Another funny encounter:

Student: "Teacher, you look like Hilary..." she paused and I thought, "Please, please don't say Clinton." But she finished with "...Duff!"
Me: [Very much relieved that I wasn't confused with a 61-year old politician] "Thank you!"

I received my scooter today. Yikes! I am a little nervous! The past few days I have been using a happy little bicycle, but I have traded it in for a happy little moped.

Not gonna lie, it was a little interesting the first time I took it out. But, I woke up early this morning and practiced, so I think I got it now.

Well, I started this post Wednesday afternoon. It is now Thursday morning. Yikes! Busy busy! Thanks for reading, hopefully I'll post more soon... :)


  1. Amy, although you are young, your wisdom never ceases to amaze me -- your ability to look at the big picture and summarize all those touchy-feely feelings. You don't sound whiney at all to me. You sound like you are finding yourself. I love your moped. It looks safer than what I expected. The job will get easier. Give it some time. Re-read your blog a month from now and I'm sure you'll agree. Take care, Momma

  2. Hey Amy, I tried living with a family in Texas when I was a graduate student. I couldn't quite hack it because I couldn't be myself when I was "home". I am genuinly in awe that you are handling it so well. Also teaching... it's exhausting! Hang in there, and you will have your rewards in many different ways.

    However, I hope you can find some other/former ETAs in the area and have some time to hang out and be yourself and relax!

  3. Hi Amy- We are so proud of you! Really look forward to reading your blug. Grandpa says starting a new job is always tiring. Jeff said that somewhere on goggle they have lesson plans that are helpful. WE'll ask Jeff how you do this. Your moped looks like fun. Do you think we could handle one? Your Mom said it's fun to visit with you on skipe. We'll try to get ours working so we can see your 2 "brothers". Love you honey-G&G

  4. Sweet moped. Now you're like every football player and sorority girl in Iowa!

    As a REAL teacher (pff) I can sympathize with the tired thing. This is the latest I've stayed up all week and it's 9:23. My normal bed time has been 8:30 every night. I don't know why, but it's just exhausting.

    Kids are funny. I think I'm going to look forward to Thursdays the most because that's when I go to the elementary school. The kids there are just weird. Between the one girl asking us if we think we're just living in a dream and the other girl telling us her name is spelled Kortneee (yes, 3 e's), I think it'll be a riot.

    Sounds like you're having a blast. I'm jealous. I'd like to visit if I ever got the opportunity (maybe if I get a sweet job in the Spring and make lots of money I'll see you in the summer lol)