Sunday, August 16, 2009

School Report

Well, I finished my first day and a half of school. We had a half day on Thursday and a full day on Friday. I'd like to say that things went smoothly my first hours as an overseas teacher but...not so much. I thought I was really prepared but I wasn't. The problem was, I didn't know that I wasn't prepared until I wasn't prepared. I have a homeroom this year, I've never had a homeroom before so when they ask me questions like, "When do we get our schedule?" and I say, "I have no idea but I'll find out," and then finding out that I'm supposed to have already handed them out...that happened like 4 different times last week. But now I have a better understanding of how it works so when I receive emails that say something like "Please, pass out these schedules to your students," I know that it's talking directly to me. :)

Anyway, I'm pumped about my classes. I have many things to adjust to though. First of all, we're on a 6 day block schedule. I can no longer go by "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...", I have to go by "Day 1, Day 2, Day 3...." because Monday may be Day 1 or it might be Day 2. And then on top of that, it's block scheduling so I only see my students every other day for an hour and a half. It's going to take awhile to adjust to it because I have to think in 6 day schedule terms and I have to figure out what I can and cannot fit into an hour and a half period. To be honest, I think I'm going to love this schedule. I'll be able to really spend some quality time, especially in AP World History, on my topics. And, this is purely selfish, I'll only have to plan six lessons a week (whereas I was making 20 last year) because I only have two subjects (even though I teach four classes) and I only have class every other day. Oh, and the other amazing thing is, I don't have class until 11:30 am every day. I have homeroom for about 30 minutes from 9:30-10:00 and then my first class is from 11:30-1:00, then lunch for 30 minutes (which awesomely, I don't have to go to even though it's provided for me free) and then 1:30-3:00.

I know, it hardly sounds like work but to put it into some perspective, there were two teachers last year doing my job. I'm going to be very busy. AP is a crazy hard class because of prep time (I have to do all my own research) and grading writing (AP is all about essays) and then MUN (Model United Nations) is also all about writing. It also includes not only the teaching aspect but also the trip planning aspect. I have to do many things with paperwork and budgeting and planning. That in and of itself will take several hours a week.

On to my students...I think they are going to be great. I have at least a couple who are in my homeroom, the AP class and MUN so they get to spend a lot of time with me this year. Hopefully, that's a good thing. For both of us. Most of them are pretty quiet but I have the benefit of teaching two classes where the students are choosing to be in there. Because of that, their participation is not just expected, but required. The Korean students (90% of my students are Korean) tend to prefer to sit in class and be lectured to. They'd rather memorize the information than actually comprehend it. And they will too. They will memorize it all, without really understaning it. Well, both of those things go against my nature. I'm not really a lecture teacher nor am I just about memorizing facts. I love to do group work and projects and have discussion. I think it will be a challenging year for both of us. I will have to work on becoming more lecture oriented (because there's nothing wrong with lecture as long as it's one of many types of teaching styles) and they will have to work on becoming more cooperative in their learning.

Last thing for MUN, we travel to conferences all over, mostly in Asia but somewhere really big during the 2nd semester. The last big trip hasn't been decided yet so I thought I would have my students participate. I split them into groups and then gave each group a conference, all in different countries...Italy, Ireland, the UK, Mexico, Egypt, and the Netherlands. They have to make a persuasive argument why their conference/location is the best. Then we'll vote on it as a class. Of course, I have three MUN classes so it'll have to average out. I'm excited though. I would love to go to any one of those countries.

Okay, for those of you who have been waiting for this post, sorry for taking so long. Thanks for your interest in my life. Love you!


Anonymous said...

Hey - loved catching up on your life today. Especially the foam story. CRACKED me up. Classic.

Keep up the blogging - and good luck at school!


Anonymous said...

Good times and hard work ahead. What could be better? It certainly will all be a challenge, but it's nothing you can't handle with the Lord's help.

Have a glorious day/night.

Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Jen, all I can say is you're amazing! Did I tell you I'm having Wade keep up with your blog? It's both funny, and informative. Thanks for keeping us entertained! Loveya, Kathy

Anonymous said...

I love keeping up with you through your blog! It sounds like you are going ot be busy, but I know you can do it! Love ya!