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Hello, I'm Back

Hello, again! It’s been a while, I know. I started this blog because I wanted to share my experiences here in South Korea and share little things here and there about myself and my life. I thought I would be writing here every two weeks, maybe even once a month, but it’s now March 1st and I am finally here after three months. My bad. I will work on that because I do want to post more frequently. Since it’s been a while, I thought I’d come here to share a life update.

I have been in South Korea for a little over three months and life has been busy.

My first week of teaching back in December was a rollercoaster. I got to the school and started teaching on my own from day one. I was hoping that I would have a few days of shadowing other teachers to get a feel for the classroom structure before beginning my own lessons on my own, but I began teaching right away. It sounds a lot scarier than it actually is! The lessons are all planned out and I have a schedule to refer to regarding the pages I should be teaching in our textbooks. So, not bad. After doing extensive research before moving here to be a teacher, I learned that the lesson planning differs from school to school. Some schools have the lessons planned out for you, others require you to create your own lessons. I am so thankful that my school has the lesson schedule covered! I still have to do some minor planning to make the lessons fun and engaging for the students but that’s about it.

I love Busan. It’s been so cool to be working in the second largest city in South Korea. The Korean locals that I have encountered have all been kind and helpful. And even when we are having a hard time understanding each other due to the language barrier, we still manage to understand each other in the end either with gestures or a translation app. Thank God for technology.

My students. Where do I even begin. I have been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with this group of children. They have taught me so much and I have only been here for a short time. It’s so easy to forget to look at the world through the eyes of a child when you have all of these adult responsibilities and stresses that keep you in your “adult” bubble. I say “adult” because even at 28 I still do not feel like one. But when I am in class with my students and they’re being exposed to some of the learning topics for the first time, their excitement catches me off guard. Maybe I happen to have gotten a very enthusiastic group of kids, but it makes me wonder what they’re thinking. I try to look at the lessons and topics through their young eyes and it makes me feel like I am understanding them a little better. Who knew that teaching them that the colors blue and red make purple would have them squealing in happiness as they rub these colors together on their coloring paper and watch the colors transform right in front of them? It makes me happy to see them so excited. However, since I got to Busan towards the end of the school year, I have already had to say goodbye to some of my students. I did not think I would be so attached to these little ones so soon, but they find a way into your heart.

Outside of work, I have been doing my best to go out and explore Busan as often as I can. That becomes a bit of a challenge when you’ve been a homebody your entire life. Being here has been forcing me to get out there and take in the city. I will admit that the work week can be rather exhausting so there are some weekends where I stay in to rest so I can take on the next workweek feeling refreshed and renewed. Even so, I try to make plans and explore as much as possible. I have explored Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을) a couple of times. Each trip was so different since there is so much to see in this little village. I have frequented Seomyeon (서면) and Nampo-dong (남포동) and even found a cool book alley in Bosu-dong (보수동 책방골목 문화관). I think I’m doing pretty well for a homebody.

I’m finally developing some sort of routine. It took a few months but it’s starting to feel like I’m getting organized, in many ways. I feel happy. I know this is where I am supposed to be during this season of my life. I love it so much already, who knows if a one year will be enough for me to take it all in. Maybe I will end up staying for another year. Either way, I’m feeling confident and although the future may be unclear, I’m still happy to be on this journey.

I hope to work out a schedule so that I can write more often. Please stay tuned and thank you again for taking the time to read my words.

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