I got to my desk in the teacher's room 30-minutes before my first class on and asked the guy next me, "How is it here?" He looked slightly befuddled.
"Have you ever taught before?" He asked.
"Nope," I said.
"Well, have you ever seen 'Kindergarten Cop?'" he asked. "`Cuz it's kinda like that."
I politely giggled and turned back to the English language workbook at my desk. I opened her up and I tried reading but I couldn't stop thinking about the governator's ulcer. That intro into the system did not sit very well. I immediately felt exhausted and out-of-my-league. "Who are these kids?" I thought. I had heard multiple horror-stories about private Korean schools just screwing Americans over. This job was a leap of faith and at this early point in my teaching career the faith I had possessed fell immediately with that comment.
But I sucked it up, repeated my motto (fake it 'till you make it) and cruised into class. 12 sets of curious eyes and anxious smiles waited patiently for my arrival. They got the first word.
"What is your name," little Rex asked.
"Mahkuh teacher!?!?" He boisterously replied as the class giggled. Koreans have trouble with the "r" "k" combo in English and they sometimes add vowels to end of English words.
I smiled. It was funny. I corrected him and spent the next 30-minutes laughing with the most intelligent 5-year-old's I have ever met. No disrespect to my nieces, nephews or little cousins but I had a full conversation with these kids in English the first time I met them. I was impressed, and excited.
I teach 12 4-year-old's, 12 5-year-old's and 13 7-year-old's that can all understand English. I also teach 24 5-year-old's that know very little English and a group of 3-year-old's that know about as much English as 3-year-old Korean children should know (they know colors and the word "hello"). All of these are split into groups of 30-minute classes and after 4 weeks I can honestly say I feel lucky being here. The kids are filled with love and the staff works really hard.
I did not exactly know I would be "teaching" such young kids, but who cares. I remember my friends after the age of 8 and it was nothing but annoying the authority figures. So I'm cool with it.
And plus, I'm too young to have an ulcer...I think.