Monday was our first full day working, I didn’t realise but the school is part of a scheme for elementary schools around the Seongnam area to come for a week to learn intensive English. So Monday morning it decided to hammer down with rain, and we had to go greet the students off of the bus outside...luckily we had umbrellas. We then walked them to an auditorium and all the teachers said hello, what country they are from and their favourite, movie/ colour/ flower etc. We all have teacher names, I chose ‘Cherry’ as I couldn’t think of anything typically English and Paul went for ‘Wayne Rooney’. The kids were all like ‘Really, Wayne Rooney?’ He was like a celebrity around the school, all the kids just shouting 'Wayne Rooney' when he passed. It was hilarious!
We got assigned what class we will be following for the week, my class was called ‘Kind’ (but they were anything but kind, as they kept fighting) and Pauls was ‘Fantastic’ (which every teacher said how bad they were). We had some challenging kids; they couldn't speak or write much English at all. They got red stickers if they did well in class, and a blue stickers if they did not. We got told to draw round the blue stickers as the students just peel them off.
On Tuesday morning we sat and observed lessons, and in the afternoon we went to Immigration with Chan. She drove us to Seoul, which took about an hour. Chan sorted everything out for us, and she got us a ticket with a number on and we waited until our number was called. This part was just getting our fingerprints on immigration's system for our alien registration card (ARC). When we get this we can open a bank account and even get a phone!
The rest of the week we sat and observed all the different lessons, just waiting for Friday afternoon when the kids went home! Yey! All for it to start again on Monday!
Paul and I both had to do a mock lesson in front of Ashley, which was just to give constructive feedback and also help give us ideas on what to do in lessons which I found really helpful. I’m really looking forward to teaching, however the classes I’m teaching next week are; ‘Broadcasting Studio’ where the students create an interview, which there is a news room for them to do it in. I also have to teach ‘Cooking’ where we make hoddeok, which is a Korean pancake, and we put cinnamon and chocolate chip cookies with it. I still have to try this pancake, so I can’t wait to eat some!
After a 10 hour direct flight from Heathrow Paul and I landed safely at Incheon International airport! We went through a well organised immigration process. We showed our passport, got our photo taken and got our index fingers scanned. After this we got some trolleys for our bags.
Whilst waiting to collect them, I realised how rough I looked and needed my make up asap! As soon as our bags arrived, I opened my case, got some deodorant, my make up bag, a hair brush and I walked straight to the toilets. There was a button that stated ‘Please push me before using’, I didn’t notice at first but the seat was wrapped in some sort of plastic which when the button was pressed puts fresh plastic covering on! We headed out into the main hall, as we had to get a bus ticket and made a phone call to our employers.
The bus ride took about an hour, and after this we got straight into a taxi. I showed the taxi driver the address, and he just replied with ‘ney’ and then grabbed my suitcase to put into the boot...The boot didn't shut all the way with my suitcase in, Paul put his bag in the back with him and I sat in the front. Paul informed me a few minutes later that the boot was fully open! Luckily my case was that heavy that it had anchored itself in the boot.
We finally arrived at Seongnam English Town (SNET), we met Ashley (who recruited us) and we took our very heavy luggage up some stairs of while Ashley was telling us so much information that not much of it went in. Except we will have our medical check the next day and to go to the office to get our teaching manual, she took us to our temporary rooms to stay. After this, we both took a shower and planned to take a nap, however everyone finished work and we chatted in the common room. We got invited out by a couple, Sam and John to go eat Korean BBQ, which was amazing!
After eating, I started to feel the jet lag hit me. John signaled a taxi for us, and told the driver where to take us. Only when we got to our apartment building we realised we couldn't get in as it works by a fingerprint system... However, Sam called around letting other teachers who may be home to look out for us. Luckily JK (a Korean guy, who speaks good English, and the next day got our fingerprints on the system) opened the door for us. I started to read, as I couldn't get to sleep, then all of a sudden I conked out.