Why I Haven’t Been Blogging

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last updated. It’s been about 3 months! So, what happened? In short, my life just got crazy busy and I haven’t had the time, energy, or (honestly) the desire to write any blog posts. If you want more details, continue reading!

An EPIK Surprise

Back in maybe December or January my vice principal notified me that a nearby school was looking for my school to share me–the native English speaker–with them. My education district in Busan only has 3 or 4 middle school native English teachers, and I happened to be the closest one. He asked how I felt and I kind of made an “ehhh” face and said, “I’ll do whatever you tell me to do.” His answer was “no”. The topic came up again a few times over the next month but each time everyone said they didn’t want to share me with a second school.

Because my school shrank in numbers between the two school years, we lost 3 classes. Therefore, I lost three teaching hours. In the eyes of the education office, I had plenty of time to spare. My school came up with a plan where I would teach the 1st graders twice a week to increase my hours and make me too busy to go to a second school. Well, it didn’t work.

Exactly 1 week before the start of the new school year, after a whole month of desk warming and preparing lesson plans for my new schedule, a letter arrived from the Office of Education informing me that I would indeed be teaching at two schools now. No one saw that coming. I was pissed

A lot of EPIK teachers teach at multiple schools. Some teach at as many as four! So I knew that teaching at multiple schools was a possibility when I came into this whole thing.  I just wasn’t aware that once my contract was signed and I had started my assignment that they could change it like this. Additionally, I was finally getting used to my students and they were getting used to me. I also just started to feel comfortable and like a real member of the school community. Now, they were ripping me away two days a week to teach at another school.

My class hours went from 16 (not counting after school) to 22. I teach three days a week at my main middle school (School 1) and twice a week at an all boys middle school (School 2). This semester at School 2 I only teach 2nd and 3rd grade (8th and 9th).

Without getting into it, I don’t like School 2. I literally dread going there. Especially on Thursdays. Thursdays are the worst! I teach 3rd grade all day. Two of the 3rd grade classes are particularly awful. On the other end of the spectrum, however, is Fridays with the 2nd graders. These classes are always great fun and I look forward to them.

But at school 2 I feel like an outsider. What doesn’t help is that I don’t have my own computer. Because I don’t have my own computer, I sit upstairs in the English classroom all day to use that computer (more on that computer later!). The only time anyone ever sees my face is 5 minutes in the morning when I get to school, lunch, and 5 minutes at the end when I pack up my bag to leave.

 

It’s been almost two full months of working at the two schools, and I’m so happy to say that things have gotten easier. I’ve gotten much better at planning all the different lessons in a way that makes it easier for me. I’ve also got better at managing the little planing time that I have. I’m still counting down the days till the end of this semester when I don’t have to teach the 3rd graders anymore. Instead I will start teaching 1st grade along with the 2nd graders! 😀

Computer PTSD

This is kind of ridiculous , but the computers at my new school have given me PTSD…or something. The computers at School 2 are connected to TVs which are similar to the SMART Boards we use in America.It’s really nice having a bit of newer technology to work with and it’s easier for the students to see the TV screen compared to the blurry projector I use at School 1.

Well….the SMART Board-like system has hot spots set up on the edges of the computer that correspond to buttons on the edge of the TV (does that make sense?). There are hot spots for screen recording, lock, touch lock, taking a photo of the screen which you can then write on, opening random applications, shut down, and a few others.

Anytime I’m using the computer and the mouse goes anywhere near the edge of the screen something always happens. At first I couldn’t figure out what the crap was happening. Why was the computer all of a sudden shutting down in the middle of my lesson? Why is this stupid drawing pencil not going away?! Why can I not move the mouse or type anything?! The first three weeks at School 2 were hell because of the crazy computer hot spots doing crazy things and me not being able to figure out how to stop it. Yes, even when the TV is off it still does this!

This has traumatized me so much, apparently, that now whenever I use my personal computer at home or laptop at School 1 and my mouse goes near the edge of the screen, my heart literally stops and I jump out of seat.

If anyone knows what I am talking about and knows a way to maybe disable the hot spots, I would greatly appreciate it!

Korean Class

Before this crazy “you have to teach at two schools now” stuff happened. I took a placement test for a Korean class. I was so pleased that I made it into level 3! I go to class twice a week for 2 hours after school. The class has been amazing and I have learned sooo much already! Our teacher is great too! One of the best parts of this Korean class is that it is FREE!!  …well, you have to pay for the book (I think ~16,000won) and then 10,000won for a cultural experience. The class is offered at the Busan Global Center (orange line, City Hall, Exit 2, 13th floor.) and there are 3 sessions a year. If you want more information about the class, visit its’ site HERE.

I’m also still attending the language exchange meeting MokTalk every Thursday.

Busy busy busy

So there. That’s all! I’ve just been way more busy planning and studying. I’m extremely exhausted every single day. Koreans aren’t afraid to tell you how crappy and tired you look, so I know it’s not just affecting me on the inside.

I love my coteachers and staff at my main school.  They have all been so lovely and supportive during this whole thing! ❤

I will try and do a better job at posting. I have a note in my phone of all the posts I want to write. I’ve still been trying to do as much as I can on the weekends with my friend, so I post a lot of pictures to my Instagram. Make sure to check those out!

❤ Natasha

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