Sunday, August 31, 2014

I Told You I Would Be Bad At This...EPIK Days 5, 6, and 7

So this post will cover the last couple days of the EPIK orientation because I can't possibly expect anyone to read a single post that comprises the last several days.

So Monday was filled with more lectures, which were honestly starting to get old. Now that I am writing, this it seems like it was so long ago, not just last week. Monday's lectures consisted of Preparation for Lesson Demonstration, which was actually a workshop to work on the fifteen minute lesson demo we had to teach in groups of three. So we basically sat in a room for an hour and a half trying to figure out how to use the computers in Korean. The next lecture was After School Classes and Camps. This is helpful because the reality is that everyone is going to have to teach during summer and winter breaks at camps that vary in length. I didn't realize that some people would have to do after school classes if they didn't meet the 22 hour teaching minimum. So far as I am aware between my two schools I am covered and therefore have the after school hours to myself. Then came the secondary education lecture which I had been waiting for because I have two middle schools. Of course I was kind of disappointed this was one of the more lacking lectures, but it provided some information. The final, and most welcome lecture, was classroom management. The lecturer for this one was awesome and gave some of the people without a teaching background a look at what to expect. So the reactions to some of her stories were rather hilarious. 

Tuesday was the day of the demo lesson so everyone was nervous and dressed to impress. I admit I was nervous too. We had the oddball lesson assignment titled "Piano in the Jungle" even though it was about ordering food at a restaurant. Then there was also the part where we were last because we presented in grade level order. Our lecturer did things a little different from the norm and told everyone to act like a normal student would, including behavioral problems. So that tended to be an issue for everyone. 

I can honestly say there weren't any groups that completely bombed the lesson, in my class at least. When it came time for our group to present I did my signature nervous pacing and then went into my alter ego teacher mode. It went really quickly and it was admittedly difficult to make a fifty minute lesson (high school periods are fifty minutes long) into a fifteen minute lesson, but we did pretty well if I say so myself. When it was put to a vote we came second for the best lesson, but we lost to a really enthusiastic group that did an elementary school lesson with singing and dancing. So it really isn't that bad for a lesson without any of the corny things that high school students would roll their eyes at. 

That night we had to bring all of our large luggage to the lobby so that the next day would not be a disaster of about 300 people with at least two suitcases each bringing down everything at once in three very slow elevators in an 18 story building. So we packed away our lives one more time and waited for our designated luggage to lobby time. During said wait we decided to go for bingsu which is a shaved ice dessert that is very popular here. I got a coffee oreo bingsu that was way to big to eat alone. So of course I finished it. It was good, but I would definitely check the size for those before ordering. 

The next morning was when we moved out to our placements and said goodbye to friends heading to other cities. That was a bit difficult to do seeing as we had been holed up in one place for a week in our bubble of English. The people heading to Gwangju were the last to leave because we were the closest to Jeonju where we had the orientation. It was a quick hour ride to where we met our co-teachers. I will leave the co-teacher meeting for the next post and of course my new apartment. As aforementioned, that's too much for one post. So here ends the orientation recollections. Now begins the real adventure of teaching in Korea. 

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