Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tuttle Update

1) This week, I received my contract offer for the next year (August 2012-August 2013), which looks basically like the one last year--including the pay rate: I am already at the "top tier", so I don't even get a raise.

One thing that has been much discussed by the NSET crowd is the termination of high school teaching jobs--except for those few "English-focused" high schools. This means I will be reassigned, though I do not know yet where that will be, and I don't much care, since I know it will be in Seoul. I do want to find out as soon as I can, so I can begin preparing lessons, materials, etc.

2) My public speaking class for Nambu District will have its final exam on Wed., August 8. On August 9, I will be climbing aboard a United jet at ICN for a 10 day sojourn in the Atlanta area. So, to all my friends back home--get ready: pull down the shades, turn off the porch light ...

3) I was invited last week to a dinner at my principal's home (in Ilsan), where we had samgyupsal, beer, soju and makgeolli. This is not unheard of, but is not exactly common, and suggests at least that I shall be missed at Young-il HS. When lauding my value as a "great teacher", one of the things he mentioned first was my attendance record: never missed a single day in four years.

Okay, that is indeed a sign of dedication and professionalism--but it's mainly a sign that I don't happen to have ever been sick enough to stay home. Surely, better measures of my professional competence are my creativity and ingenuity in designing lessons that (more or less) work, my ability to discipline students without resorting to physical force, my success at forging good relationships with both teachers and students despite the language barrier, etc ...

4) I went to my handler on Friday to get all the information about Summer Camp: the dates, the number of classes I would be responsible for, what kind of topics they would like me to do, etc. He said, "Don't worry about it. Just enjoy your vacation time." Cool! God, I'm going to miss Young-il HS!

5) We have final exams from Thursday to next Tuesday (i.e., July 5 to 10), but the last day of classes is Friday, July 20. So basically, I have a week of a "puzzler" lesson, which students generally find kind of fun, then a week of watching videos--I show several shorts, so there's something for everyone. And then I'm done.

Except for packing up the voluminous materials I have accumulated over the last four years.

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