Friday, May 31, 2013

My Workplace

It's kinda weird for me that I first wrote about my classroom nearly three years ago. Some days it feels like I've been in Korea this whole time, and our 5 months travelling + 6 months in New Zealand were just glorious dreams featuring inexpensive sauvignon blanc and restaurants that serve food other than Korean or 'western.' This time around I don't have the luxury of an English Room so I spend most of my days in the Kyumushil - teacher's room or 'Kyocera office' according to Google translate.

I recently gave up school lunches and while everyone was out eating cafeteria food I took a few pictures to show y'all. The lunch thing was a long time coming - last year I loved them, this year I'd been living on kimchi and rice and trying not to kill everyone when my blood sugar crashes at 3:30pm every day. It's been a month off the cafeteria and I feel happy, healthy and more tolerant of late afternoons. I do get stared at a lot more and I've had to explain what couscous and quinoa are to my workmates.

This is the view from the office - my co-teachers desks and the school field. For the first 6 weeks of my employment, the kids gathered here every day and sang and danced to Gangnam Style. It was hell.

My vice principal sits at the head of the room, in front of a board which covers the monthly events and the breakdown of students per class. Currently we stand at 1170 students, I teach 446 of them. I probably know around ten by name. Jangnak's the biggest school in Jecheon and we have a lot of students, but we had a hundred more last year - evidence of Korea's declining birth rate. 

Sorry so blurry!
My desk has a delightful view of shelves stacked with books I have never seen anyone even touch. The yellow cushion on my chair plugs into a USB port on my computer and heats up! It was an absolute lifesaver - even in -14 degree temperatures, the office windows and doors are opened daily to air the place out. Having a completely hot butt was amazing.

My desk is always this messy, much to the delight of my neat-as-a-pin co-teacher.

For a peek into my classroom (which I put on Facebook last week) here's a pic of my students. To indicate they've finished work, they either have to put their hands on their head, make a sign language turtle - like this, do a Vulcan Hand Salute or their favourite - Batman faces!

It's my favourite too.