Hello again! This week I began teaching the kindergarten classes on my own. This would seem like nothing except, the past three weeks they have been practicing for the Thanksgiving Day performance that I talked about in my last entry. The first week I came was the only time I saw how a normal day teaching kindergarten goes. And since then I had just been sitting in the room off to the side watching Ree and the co-teacher practice with them.
Kindergarten in Korea lasts 2 years. So I teach two 30 minutes classes from 10:10-11:10am. The first class has the new kindergarten students and the second class has the older kindergartners. The kids do not know English besides phrases like “good morning” and “thank you” which means my co-teacher is very important in not only translating what I say to them and what they say to me, but he also helps discipline them.
Every other Monday the kids have taekwondo so this week, I started on Tuesday. I was really nervous because I had a lot of confusion about teaching them and just anxiety in general. While there is not set routine on how things go and I’m allowed to change things up, I thought it was best for me and the students if we stick to how they have been learning. But the problem is how have they been learning??
I was told to break up the 30 minutes into three parts: 10 minutes for song time, 10 minutes to teach or review a bible verse and 10 minutes for bible story time. It sounds simple right? Easy? It’s almost exactly like what I’ve done when I helped with Vacation Bible School in the past.
Now imagine you have no CD for the music, you don’t know what the song is which means you also don’t know the lyrics or the motions, and you don’t know what the bible verse is that you’re supposed to teach or the motions for that are either. Now you can understand my anxiety a little more, right? I’m pretty much going into a classroom completely unprepared.
Somehow I made it through, mostly by going to class late so I had less time to struggle through it haha. For the first class, the younger kindergarteners, my co-teacher did motions for the song and I learned them then so I could teach them to the second class. The bible story went well. It’s the easiest part for me. I did not teach a new bible verse, because I just didn’t have the confidence to do that. But I plan to start on that next week.
Oh, one kid did cry in the second class. I have no idea why which freaked me out. My co-teacher tried to tell me why he was crying, but I couldn’t hear him well.
So day 2 was today. The first class was happy to see me, but still asking about Ree-teacher and where she was. We went over the song I taught them yesterday. It’s about Jonah and they really like it and thought the motions were fun so we sang it a few times. I reviewed the first part of the Jonah story with them and then they got to color. While coloring, they noticed I didn’t know Korean well and started staying how I don’t know Korean, but Ree-teacher does. That’s what you think little ones! What they don’t know is that if they speak slowly, loud enough and use words I know, I do know what they are saying.
The older class went well too. No one cried! They also liked the Jonah song and the story.
I’m hoping things will improve over the coming weeks and I’m sure it will. It will just be a big learning curve and take some patience.