Monday, February 7, 2011

Brown International School

I was SUPER blessed to find a job teaching English so quickly in Korea. I knew that teaching jobs for Americans were abundant in Korea, especially for those that have a teaching degree, but my job search could hardly even be called a search. I called our relator to ask her if she knew anyone who was teaching around Pangyo (the part of Seoul where we live.) At this point our relator was the only person we knew who spoke Korean, so she was our go-to person for all things Korean. She gave me a phone number to another client of hers named Faith.
I called Faith and she gave me some good ideas about tutoring in Korea, but I really wanted to teach in a school and have a classroom again. Josh and I talked about it and decided that the right job would present itself if I was just patient. An hour later Faith called me back saying that a teacher at her friends school had left with no notice and they were looking for a substitute for two weeks, or right up until Christmas. The best part is that the school is called Brown Interational! The principal and I spoke on the phone at around 10pm (One thing we learned VERY quickly is that Korea is a NIGHT city. Calling a potential employee that late at night is nothing!) and I was asked to come in for an interview the next morning.
My interview went something like this:
So, you went to college?
You have a degree in teaching? Oh wow..that's great!
You have Masters credits in education? Oh, ok!
Do you plan on having a baby in the next 12 months (this one really surprised me and I thought I wasn't understanding her correctly because of her accent, but they really wanted to be sure I wasn't going to have a baby and break my contract to stay at home!)
You could start today?
Give me 20 minutes to type your contract!

I signed my contract about 4 days later, after some negotation about pay and time off to return to the states in August for Heidi and Jake's wedding. Working for a Korean has been an adventure, as their business practices and ways of interacting with each other are totally different than what I am used to, but I'm really loving having a classroom again.

In the morning I teach kindergarten classes in social, reading and vocabulary. In the afternoon I am the social studies, writing and book study teacher for grades one to five. Each class is 45 minutes long, so I teach eight different classes per day. This means lots of preparation, but I love that my largest class is about seven students. The kids are really adorable and love to learn English which has made for a really fun atmosphere. The school is pretty small, with just five teachers and then Korean staff that function much like paraeducators would in the states, but they aren't in the classroom while I teach.

Lately we have been preparing for kindergarten graduation (the end of February is the end of the school year in Korea) as well as the end of the three month term for all other grades. This means testing, testing, testing.

Here are some pictures I have taken so far:


This is the wallpaper in my classroom- HELICOPTERS! I think between the wallpaper and that the school is named Brown it's a good fit for me!

Another shot of the kindergarteners

When new students come to our school we give them American names. This little guy loved the name Josh! He comes into my classroom and points at a picture of Josh and I that is on my desk and says, "That's Josh...I'm Josh! That's Josh!"

The kiddos practicing their musical

Me on the first day of work

They love math!


Celebrating three birthdays

Andre....the Korean!

They are serious about school birthdays!

I was able to give this girl an American name also....Erin. She loves to ask me, "How am I?" but what she really means is, "How is your friend named Erin?" She thinks that because they have the same name they are the same person or something-haha!

1 comment:

  1. I am a teacher also and envy the ease of you getting a job like that! You must have been stunned. lol Can't imagine having so few students in a class but how wonderful. :) They'll be speaking English in no time. Have you taught the, "She'll Be Commin' Round the Mountain?" Kids always love it. Hope it's all going well. A special, "hi" from Montana. The Big Sky state. I'm studying all things Korean right now. The language is beautiful. French is my second most loved language but Korean is getting third place. :)