today was the big day. First day teaching. True to form, I stayed up until around midnight last night putting the perfecting touches on everything: edublog, video greeting for edublog, ppt, teaching philosophy, class policies, writing diagnostic, and desperate fb messages to all of my teacher friends/mentors for advice about icebreakers, etc.
In the end, I decided to go with the classic “3 Truths and one Lie” game for the first day. I don’t quite know my reasoning. At first I was going to do a writing diagnostic…but I don’t know. English class is supposed to be fun, and even though we will be writing (and I will be doing a diagnostic)….I just wanted the first day to be fun.
So anyway, I went with the 3 truths and one lie thing,
and it was hilarious. I learned 3 things about my students: 1) they are hilarious. 2) they are not shy 3) they are surprisingly up on American Pop Songs (as exhibited by the LMFAO reference that, coincidentally, made me LMFAO).
I am glad to know these three things about my students, because it will definitely influence my approach throughout the year, although I don’t think my co-teacher appreciated it because after those classes she became a lot more hands-on, telling me what I need to plan for them for tomorrow and Monday.
Oh well. I’ve had 26 years to come to terms with the fact that not everyone gets my humor.
Speaking of 26 years….
isn’t it awkward when someone guesses your age…and get it exactly right? Is that only me? It’s like damn, I really look my age?
I have been long-since warned about the Korean tendency to ask you seemingly personal questions as a way to get to know you (are you married, how old are you, etc.), but today was the first day anyone actually took a personal interest in me I guess. This teacher guy at my school asked me whether I was married (to which I replied no….mi-hon–single). Then he said some stuff in Korean, the Korean teachers giggled, and my co-teacher translated:
“He’s trying to guess your age.”
To which I replied brightly, “Oh, 26.”
She translated, and everyone had a good laugh. “That’s what he guessed,” she translated. “26 or 27.”
…da fuq?! Now you can look at me and see I’m in my late 20s? Oh,
not cool man.
Old though I may appear, I definitely felt like a freshman in high school today. I had the typical first-day-of-school round of mishaps: brand new pimples, missing the bus, tripping up the stairs, and even finding a hole in my tights. So the universe kind of got the inverse of what I want, which is to look like a high-schooler but conduct myself like a grown-ass woman, not the other way around.
And finally, to sum of my first day teaching, I leave you with this:
As a part of wrapping up my second class of the day, I asked students if they hand any questions for me.
Amid the shaking of the heads, one girl raises her hand.
I smile and tell her to ask away.
“Do you eat chicken?” she asks.
The class laughs. Again, I’m like….da fuq?
In my mind, I’m trying not to go there–there being stereotype threat, of course: Oh. Why you gotta ask the black girl do she like chicken? I’m trying to tell myself this is a whole ‘nother part of the world. Maybe she wants to know if Americans like chicken. Or maybe she just wants to know if Ms. Bri, the individual standing in front of her, likes chicken.
I’m thinking this while the class is laughing, so I put on my best smile and I reply, “Do you like chicken? Since I’ve been in Korea I’ve noticed a lot of chicken restaurants. So yes, I like chicken, but I think everyone does, don’t you?”
Meanwhile, my co-teacher asks her, “Do you ask every teacher that?” to which the girl replies “yes.” So I go, “oh, you’re taking a survey about which teachers like chicken or something?” to which the girl replies no.
Liar. It was just something she asked me. I’ve got my eye on you, you little so-and-so.