Friday, May 8, 2009


As promised, here is my post about Youngnam Elementary School.

In contrast to Dongbu, there are a lot of things that I wish were different about my situation at Youngnam Elementary. Since the school is six times the size of Dongbu, their entire building is understandably more busy. But since I only go there on Tuesdays, it's hard for me to settle in. I have so far only been to Youngnam twice. When we got here I started work on Tuesday and as a result was at Dongbu for the day. I was at Youngnam for the next two weeks, but then I got sick and missed the week after that. Since then they have had a picnic that I was told to stay home for and a holiday. I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever really fit in there.

The good news is that the students and staff are every bit as excited as the Dongbu peeps when I'm there. Everyone is helpful and interested, so I never feel too left behind, though I do frequently feel very out of the loop. In fact, sometimes it would be nice to have a minute to myself, since I teach six classes there.

I am in charge of teaching English to 3rd and 4th graders at Youngnam. They have three sections of each grade, so I teach three 3rd grade classes and three 4th grade classes. This means I only have to prepare 2 lessons for the day. The major issue, though, is that I don't get to talk very much with the teachers. So even if I prepare a lesson, I might be told that I can't use it because they have a different lesson. Sometimes they want me to teach their lesson (which they have prepared largely in Korean) and sometimes I am reduced to a "talking parrot" as we say in Korea. That means I'm there to say words and have the students repeat me.

Of course, I can't complain too much because this job is wonderful. Even at its low points it's better than a lot of other jobs.

Either tomorrow or in two weeks (I don't know which yet) Sara and I will start teaching a Saturday English camp (after school English-language course) at Youngnam. My hope is that the English camp will give me a chance to get to know the staff and students there, so that maybe Tuesday will no longer be the day of the week that I dread.

Until then, I guess I'll suck it up. Afterall, I could be working at some university writing center or something... ;-)


  1. It was great to see you & hear you today! Glad to see you are feeling better. Talk to you tomorrow! Tim

  2. way to look on the bright side of things, Scott! That is such a good trait to have. You are blessed and you seem to know it :)
    Keep up the good work.