Wow time flies. It has already been over a week since I have settled in at my new apartment and workplace, but it feels like it has been longer since I’ve been through so much! There are many things to talk about, but I will start with my school.
During my first week, I met my fabulous co-teachers, introduced myself to the 5th and 6th grade students in class, and said “Hi” to everyone in school through the school broadcast system. My elementary school is huge. There are over 1200 students and 50 teachers in four 4-story buildings connected at different floors.
At the end of the day and during my brief breaks between classes and lunch, I get to sit at my own desk. There I research my predecessors’ files and online database for lesson plan ideas and materials, and plan the next lesson with my co-teachers. I have to work with 3 lesson plans per week (one for six graders and two for fifth graders), and perform each lesson 7 times each, because there are 7 classes per grade. Although it seemed simple at first to teach the same lesson multiple times, I quickly realized that each class has a different atmosphere and fluency level, so we always have to be flexible about task difficulty and time management. Some classes are active and well-behaved so we end up finishing too quickly, but other classes sometimes get out of control so we end up in a rush. As the native teacher, most of my job has been pronouncing out loud for the students and having them repeat after me. I should probably learn how to speak from my stomach rather than my throat, or else I’d end up with a husky voice (or I could just use the microphone to save some energy!).
I’m exhausted by the end of a full day, but I am happy to be given a job to do. There is still a lot to learn from my students and co-teachers.