Monday, October 17, 2011

Geumseong High School

   Hi everyone,

Geumseong High School
    The past few weeks have been very busy but a lot of fun (not going to fit everything into one post so, I will probably do another one later this week).   In this post, I want to focus on my school.  After roughly 2 months of teaching, I now feel right at home.  My school is on top of a hill and is next door to Geumseong Middle School where my good friend, Eric, is working as an ETA.  Here is a website about Geumseong High School:
      Here are some of my students...

These guys are relaxing between classes
   The students at Geumseong, and most high schools in Korea, start school at around 7am in the morning and finish around 10pm.  They do not have as much homework as American students, but they often are up very late studying (average is around 5 hours of sleep a night for Korean high school students).  They LOVE Soccer.  As far as music goes, they love k-pop.  Their favorite groups are T-ara (, Girls' Generation (, Shinee (, and 2PM (  As far as American music goes, they are fascinated with Beyonce (more specifically, the "Single Ladies" Video) and Lady Gaga (just for being Lady Gaga).  Most of them will say their favorite movie is Ajeossi (a fantastic action film starring Won Bin;  They also like Twilight, Transformers, and Harry Potter.  A few have girlfriends, and lots of them like computer games (especially Maple Story;

He saw me taking photos in the hallway and struck this pose- his new nickname is GQ
   I teach 14 classes a week to second years, or Juniors.  Each class is at a different level in their English ability.  At first I struggled with planning lessons for different levels, but I have found many ways to face this challenge.  I try to have a lot of variety in all of my lessons and frequently use videos and games in order to keep my kids focused.  One of the most successful lessons so far has been a Introduction to American Hip-Hop/ Rap Battle with Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady."  I used the chorus in this song in order to help my students with pronouncing the letter "l" (very difficult for Koreans- not in Korean alphabet).  I also recorded some female friends over Skype and played the dating game with my students in order to help them with self-introductions.  Other successful lessons were with commands and directions, describing people, listening comprehension with Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me," and listening comprehension with an episode of Glee.  Last week, my good friend Sonia visited and we co-taught the Dating Game lesson together.  I am not sure if they actually enjoyed the lessons or were just excited about seeing a new female around campus.  This week I am going to introduce my students to prom (they have know idea what this is) and do another listening comprehension activity with prom music.

They love soccer and the tv
    Thankfully, there have not been too many discipline problems.  I have to wake guys up from sleeping and keep them from speaking Korean.  A few weeks ago, students were trying to cut my class and other classes as well.  I became stricter with having students come to class on time and, since then, there have not been as many issues.  For whatever reason, my guys feel very comfortable around one another and frequently remove clothing in the middle of class or in the hallway.  At first, I would tell them to go to the bathroom and do whatever they were doing, but I realized that I was going to lose this battle.  Now, I just avert my eyes and accept the oddity.
  Recently, I have begun to become friends with many of the people in the gyomusil (Korean for teachers' room).  My co-teachers are my main support at the school.  They are all fantastic and always willing to help me with pretty much anything.  Many of the younger teachers have also befriended me, and we frequently go to lunch together.  We have to speak Konglish with one another but, the difficulty only helps me improve my Korean.  More updates to come very soon!
My students and I

This guy loves to tell me that we look alike and are twins

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