Submitted by Jenny Wilborn ETA’11-13
This entry originally appeared on a Fulbright grantee’s personal blog and is published with permission here. The views expressed in these entries are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fulbright Korea or the Korea Fulbright Infusion staff.
Today is August 23rd, 2012, and it’s the first day of my second year as the English Native Speaker/Teacher at Sapgyo High School. It’s a mix of old and new. I’m currently typing on my old computer at a new desk in a new office. It’s a new school year but it’s a school I’ve called home for a year already. My students are the same, their smiles and swagger the same, but it still feels like I don’t quite know them. That they’ve grown since the last time I saw them (or maybe just purchased a new pair of lenless glasses.) Even though it’s only been a month or so since I last stepped into their classes, that’s been plenty of time for our (close) relationship to slip back into uncertain and awkward waters. It happened after winter break, too, and I just want to get back in the classroom again asap to start making progress with them again.
I’m not worried about teaching. Teaching is something I enjoy, and I know the moment I step up in front of a classroom of rowdy high school students, I will slip back into my teaching persona. Whatever that means. So I’m not worried about the how, I’m worried about the what. And I have today and tomorrow to lay the foundation for the next couple months of lessons.
It’s good to have a break between semesters, not only for students, who need time to relax and reset, but also for teachers. The break gave me time I needed to reflect on the past semester and what I had (and hadn’t) accomplished. It’s easy to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of the day to day, but the moment you get the opportunity to stop and breathe, things can suddenly become quite clear. For the last month or so, I’ve oscillated between feeling proud and ashamed. Proud that I introduced ideas to my students that (I hope) promoted self confidence. Ashamed that it seems all I did was teach bizarre slang phrases like, “What’s up?”, “So what.” and “Chill.”
Sigh, a teacher took me away from my desk to eat grapes and then I moved all my stuff from old desk to my new one and suddenly I hate everything about this post, but for the sake of… whatever, I’m going to post it anyway and get to lesson planning. Hopefully. I have no idea where I want to start. Lesson planning muses, come to me!
“다시 한번 One More Time” was originally posted on Jenny Wilborn’s blog “the curve of the earth” on September 6, 2012.