During orientation yesterday our groups talked about making priorities in our teaching career and with our homestay families. Priorities are important. They help us organize what we need to do and help us recognize what needs to be done. Though we’re not even a week through orientation, it’s still an excellent time to begin thinking about year-long priorities: both professional and personal.
Preliminary Professional Goals:
- Connect with my students. Take time to get to know my students outside of class and learn their interests. Sometimes, seeing a teacher outside of class can make a world of difference for a student.
- Create extracurricular activities for my students. I would like to set aside time in the morning for my students so they can come and practice their English or just receive extra help. A little help goes a long way.
- Create positive relationships with my co-teachers. These teachers will be the ones that will assist me throughout my year in South Korea and getting to know these individuals, and even other non-English teacher, will be highly beneficial.
- Get brave. During my student teaching experience at Georgetown College, I was uber timid. I played by the rules (a good thing!), but I was afraid to take risks. I want to take acceptable risks in the classroom and help my students.
Preliminary Personal Goals:
- Photography. Today, a professional photographer presented us his photographs of Seoul. Though I do not have professional photography equipment, I can still take photographs with a purpose. I might start a series of photos focusing on the lives of Korean women or something similar of that nature.
- Language Lessons. Korean is classified by the U.S. Government as a “Level 4” language. Diplomats to Korea are given two
years of full-time language training before diplomatic service. The language has no articles (“the” and “a”), and uses a complex honorific system (different forms for different people). I would like to take lessons during my time here so I can communicate with my Korean friends and family. I believe that is a courtesy that I can provide during my stay here.
- Travel. I want to travel throughout Asia this year, especially Japan. Through domestic airlines such as Busan Air, I can acquire tickets for a relatively cheap price to some Asian countries. Even if it’s just for a few days, I would love to visit a handful of other countries.
- Taekwondo. My taekwondo lessons for orientation begin on Monday, but I’d like to continue my taekwondo career at my homestay. We’ll see how this turns out.
In other news…
Today we walked into the town of Goesan on a scavenger hunt. If you’re from the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, Goesan is like a typical small town in Eastern Kentucky only with tons of shops compacted into one place and with neon lights. Goesan is a Neon Kentucky. There’s a Lotteria (Korea’s answer to McDonald;s, delicious ice cream BTW), an outdoor mall, two Family Marts, a D-Mart, and just about anything else. However, the town is compacted into a tiny space that probably doesn’t exceed the one end of my home town to the other. Friends, that’s tiny.
Tomorrow (July 8th) will be a lighter day with a visit to an all-girls high school on Monday. I’m beginning to get into the full swing of activities and I’m sleeping well. That’s always a good thing.