I think it’s time I take you through a typical day at Yeoju Girls High School.
8:00am – I arrive at school. The bell rings – which is a little 30-second melody, actually. It plays whenever class ends or is starting. The girls run to “morning class” – an extra class for whatever they need help in. I was informed yesterday I’ll be teaching morning class everyday from now on, to the 1st graders (sophomores). AWESOME!!!!!
9:00am – 1st period. Korean schools are different from American schools in that each class (group of students) has its own room, and the teachers travel around throughout the day, instead of students having their own, unique schedules. Except for me! The students leave their room and come to the Language Lab just for my class. I feel special.
10:00am – 2nd period. This might be the time of day when someone comes into my office to tell me that a class has been added to my schedule today, that I won’t be getting a paycheck until I have a bank account, or that my wardrobe request needs to be approved by the principal.
11:00am – 3rd period
11:50am – LUNCH! Every day we have something dericious for lunch. The teachers eat lunch in a separate lunchroom from the rest of the students. I think it must be a temporary situation, because we eat in the Earth Science Classroom. No one has explained this to me, of course. I get a little metal tray with 6 circles for the different dishes. There is always a soup, rice, and kimchi. Then a meat or fish dish – today we had fried fish. It was actually pretty good. Then a little side dish, some sort of noodle thing, kinda spicy. My aversion to spicy foods is slowly evaporating with each day. Woohoo! Koreans don’t really drink while they eat. Maybe a glass of water after the meal, but that’s it. It makes eating spicy foods an even greater challenge. Also, all the girls in the school brush their teeth after lunch, so responsible!
12:40pm – 4th period. I only teach 4th period once a week, on Fridays. So I get a little extra time to digest my food on most days. When I’m not teaching, I’m sitting at my lovely desk on the 3rd floor, in an office that I share with 3 other teachers: a computer science teacher, an English teacher, and the 3rd is unknown. We are slowly becoming besties.
1:30pm – 5th period.
2:40pm – 6th period. ALMOST THERE!
3:40pm – 7th period. By this time, I’m usually exhausted, and my cheeks feel rather swollen from smiling all day.
4:30-5:00pm – Cleaning time. I sit in my room and watch the kids clean my classroom. It’s rather strange, but I’m getting to know these specific girls really well. They are teaching me about K-Pop, Korean pop music. Once I become well-versed in this music genre, I will post some music videos. They also love American music, so I play some music while they clean. It’s a great time all around.