Traveling teachers

Annyong Aseo!
That is a polite Korean hello, something you say to everyone here, unless you know that person on a very personal level, and in that case, an “annyong” will do just fine.
Things here are good, I just finished my Monday at school, a day full of “Miss Lindsay, Miss Lindsay, teacher, teacher!”
It was the first day that Whit and I had our full schedule of classes–seven 40-minute classes. Our day starts at 8:30 a.m. when we arrive and doesn’t end until our last class ends at 4:10. It’s a long day, one with few breaks and lots of headaches. You other teachers out there know what I mean.
As English teachers, Whit and I teach “Maps” to first and fourth graders; “Math” to second graders; and science to third, fifth and sixth graders. In all, we have about eight books, since third through sixth grade is broken up into low, middle and high levels and each has a separate book.
By the way, it’s a good thing I was a journalist, this way I know how to talk, ask questions (or write) about any subject, just fudging my way when needed.
While I am now officially a teacher, sometimes I sort of float above my body and look down, surprised and shocked. I sound astonishingly like my sister Jessica when as little girls we used to play class in our playroom on Pine Marr Drive. “Johnny. Johnny! JOHNNY! Are you listening?” she would say in her best six-year-old pretend teacher voice, tapping our chalkboard with a ruler, pushing up her thick glasses and fluffing her hair with a whiff of her hand.
These days, teaching is a lot to keep up with, especially since we don’t have one certain classroom. We are traveling teachers, sharing the sounds of our native tongues with every grade. Today I had my first-graders draw maps of their neighborhood, third graders draw and describe the rocks I found next to our apartment (quite the class hit!!!) and advanced sixth graders read a New York Times article on that huge spider web that was found in Texas last week. Maybe you read about it?
My last class of the day is a class that students sign up for just to get extra English practice. Have I mentioned these kids are not only smart, but also eager? Or maybe it’s just their parents, but either way, it works.
Since I have advanced students in my last class (Whit has the lower levels), I have made it a “Current Events” class where we read a newspaper article and talk about it. Today we talked about the South Korean hostages who were just released by the Taliban. Big news here!
I want my kids to bring their own English articles, but don’t know a good web site to send them to. The only thing on CNN online (and the CNN tv station here) is about the embattled senator’s “bathroom scandal.” And that is just something I don’t want to even try to explain.
Well, I know it’s only Monday, but I sure am looking forward to the weekend, as I told Whit on our walk home. (Did you know, we walk to school? A 15-minute pleasant walk each direction!)
The weather is finally supposed to clear this weekend. We are going to take our first Korean class on Saturday. And, even more exciting, we are going to buy our bikes!!
Well, that’s all for now.
Is that the bell? Push in your chairs. PUSH IN YOUR CHAIRS. Clean up your desk. I SAID CLEAN UP YOUR DESK. Now line up. PLEASE. LINE. UP. No, keep your drawing of your house (high-rise apartment) in your notebook. NO, KEEP IT IN YOUR NOTEBOOK.


  1. Jessica says:

    I would have them look at Web sites for major papers around the world. This way they’ll not only get different viewpoints, but different news depending on the country. You could also try to have them find the same news story in different papers and talk about why they may be different. I guess that’s just the 6-year-old teacher in me coming out! I forgot we used to play ‘school’ at home when we were little. You could have used that on your resume!Can’t wait to see pics of your bike!


  2. Angus says:

    < HREF="" REL="nofollow">Google News<> or < HREF="" REL="nofollow">Drudge<> would be good sites. Not sure how you are going to keep them away from stories about the senator, though.


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