Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A day in the life...

WARNING: This blog contains video and images of unedited adorable-ness which may not be suitable for those whose biological clocks are too tightly wound.

I thought, since Halloween is approaching and when it's over, so is the fun (haha), that I'd give you all a little glimpse into what I do in Kindergarten every day (for now).

First, we do Feelings. I ask each child how they are feeling today, and you've seen some of the silly responses. Then, we do the date, weather, and show-and-tell. This takes 30-40 minutes. Then they get a bathroom break and playtime.

Laura is always doing something creative - she's got an incredible mind:

Sally generally does whatever her friends are doing, but today she was trying to draw my camera exactly right:

And Andrew plays with the blocks:

During playtime I do homework check. Yes, 5-year-olds have homework. About three pages a night. After playtime, we work out of their books:

As a reward for being forced to sit still and do bookwork, they get 15 minutes in playgym. Playgym is awesome! It's got a trampoline, slide, tunnels, etc etc.

And so you can have an idea what playgym sounds like:

After playgym, it's back to their seats for more "don't act like a 5-year-old" time:

And now, they have to learn songs for Halloween. So shortly before lunch time we practice one:
First, a pic of the scary ghost masks they made -

Here's our song "Skin and Bones" (be sure to listen for the trademark Korean Whine from two children towards the end)

After lunch, we either do art, science, educational games, or math, depending on the day. Then we practice their other Halloween song before going home:

And there you have it. Kindergarten. It's a blast!

Love you all!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On display...

I teach children. Small children. Sometimes I forget just how young they are, because for the most part they are brilliant. Amazing. Little sponges who thirstily suck up any bit of knowledge I can provide. But they are children. And children don't have the same sense of boundaries as adults...

I've realized, in my kindergarten class, that my body is barely mine anymore. At any given point in a day, I've got children poking me, prodding me, hugging me, holding my hand, kissing me, tugging on me... and even, at times, grabbing my chest. The funniest was when they started beating on my butt and saying "Teacher, drum!" They were so proud of themselves. But this is childhood, they're just in it for the fun.

They're so honest too. Once, I was reading a story that gave instructions to find certain things: "Find something blue" or "Find something soft." Of course, at "Find something big" three or four of them pointed to my thighs and rear and said "Emily Teacher, this big!" HA!

The honesty doesn't stop in kindergarten. Yesterday, during an adjective-activity where my older elementary class had to write a story using "huge" and "heavy" I was informed that I was huge and heavy. But only my bottom half, not my top. They said it's because I'm American, and American's are fat because they eat too much meat and fat.

Sometimes they're not so nice. Today one of my elementary kids said "Emily Teacher is dung." Apparently he didn't realize that it was the same in English as it is in Korean. He was pretty surprised when he found himself out in the hallway.

My favorite, though, is Angela. For some reason she has fixated on my stomach. Not because she thinks it's big or huge or heavy (she's made that clear), but because it makes her laugh to say "Emily Teacher stomach." She uses it all the time. "How are you feeling today, Angela?" "I'm feeling.... {here she gets this mildly evil grin}...Emily Teacher's stomach!!!" Once she was hungry...for Emily Teacher's stomach. Whenever she has stickers to give me, they get stuck on my stomach. We're learning about toys now, and her favorite toy is Emily Teacher's stomach. It's hilarious, and only a little frightening :)

Love you all!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

First Halloween Art Project

The kids and I have finished our first decoration for Halloween - and it turned out awesome!!

That's our Ghostly Graveyard. Pretty cool, eh?

This is also my first posted photo from my new camera! Last weekend we went to the TechnoMart in Seoul. It's basically a gadget-head's Heaven. Each floor is dedicated to a different electronic something-or-other, and you can negotiate for better prices! I must say, Stacy and I make quite a team... We talked the price down, and got an extra battery and leather carrying case for my new green camera!

I also just heard that Billy Joel is coming to Korea... I'm gonna see the Piano Man in Seoul- How awesome is that?!?! (which is affordable now that it looks like I won't be doing any traveling over Christmas, unless anyone wants to meet me in Taiwan... any takers?)

Sorry it's been so long since I posted - it's just been kinda boring around here!

Love you all!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yes, I'm white.

Stacy (via her friend back home) pointed me to this very astute blog called "Stuff White People Like."

I've read all 111 posts, and am now fully convinced that yes, I am white. Very white. Even more white than I previously realized.

Please friends. Especially if you think you're special and none of it will apply to you, read this blog.

You're White.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Birthdays and Halloween and Aliens

We had another birthday today. You guys are probably getting sick of seeing birthday photos, but I'm like a proud momma when it comes to these kids, so here:

Laura, in all her birthday cuteness:

The "Cut the first slice with the teacher" tradition:

You'll notice I've gotten a haircut here, but still need to get some color action before the blonde highlights start at my ears

And of course, the silly group photo:

Pay attention to a couple of things going on in this photo;

First, the food. I'm happy to report we're back to huge birthday spreads, this one including fried chicken, melon-on-a-stick, the damned Capri Sun, rice cakes, rice balls, strawberry cake from Tous Les Jours, and of course, cookies and treat boxes with crayons, coloring books, and stickers for the kids to take home.

Second, my children are goofy. As if their faces weren't evidence enough, take a look at the whiteboard behind us. Every day, I ask their feelings. Under the "A" in happy you'll see I had students feeling Christmas, Halloween, Seal-Elephant, Double-U ("W"), and Kathleen said she was feeling Laura, so I had to try to replicate Laura's hairdo on a smileyface. I love these kids.

It was appropriate that Laura was feeling Halloween today, given that my favorite holiday is fast approaching. LCI has a big celebration every year, and we just recieved our assignments for H-DAY. I was one of the lucky 4 that will be responsible for the haunted house in the playgym (think McDonald's PlayPlace). Steve, Tyler, Brett and I have already been brainstorming how best to make sure we scare the pee out of these little monsters. My goal is that every child leave in tears... . muwahahahahahahhahaha!!!!

And finally - I recieved my Alien Registration Card today!!! I'm officially an Alien. I think these means I can get free college now, hahaha. And also, I have to set up my first Korean bank account, which apparently takes about an hour, so us newbies will be fighting over precious bank time during our lunch hours this week.

That's it for now. Love reading everyone's comments. It's amazing to see how many people read this blog - we've got 'em from as far north as Wisconsin (Hi Cindi!), covering the Midwest (Hi almost everyone else!), and clear down to Florida (Hi Uncle Audie and Jonas and Aunt Adrianna!)! Not to mention another teacher near my town here posted a comment about stumbling across my blog - so it's a networking tool now too!

Love you all!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Back to Muuido

We had to have one last beach weekend before fall came in full force, so we went back (for me) to Muuido - It was beautiful!

Here's the group, excited to get on the road!

You should know almost everyone in that picture - The Korean in the yellow is Tyler's girlfriend, Juri.

I love this picture because it looks like it's from a photo booth:

The crew at dinner on the beach:

We first ordered some sushi (but not like the sushi at home):

And I couldn't handle it. So we also got some samgyeopsal:

And Tyler found an eyeball in his soup:

And ate it.

Here is another interesting soup discovery:

And after all that fun, making the hot journey home on the ferry:

Of course, just going to the beach wasn't enough, so on Saturday we went to this really delicious Italian place in Gangnam. They had a wine buffet too, so for a minute I felt like an American again... at an Italian place... in Korea... :)

Afterwards, Stacy and I found a little bar and made some new Korean friends (who took us to the noraebang too - second time was just as fun!)

But the best part was the decoration in the bar:

Really - it's like Kansas is everywhere here!

Love you all!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Birthday Thursday!

Happy birthday Callie!!!!!!

I called her from the future to tell her, but I needed something more public :) In one of my advanced classes I was teaching them how to write a friendly letter - I always put an example on the board. And this time, I took a picture of that example to share with my sister:

(ps - the kids know about my dog now, and when it was their turn to write their letters, a couple wrote to Chachi, hahaha)

It was also Kathleen's birthday in my Kindergarten class. Her cake ended up being a big rice cake, and was pretty difficult to cut - notice the strain in our faces:

And no birthday is complete without a funny face picture of the whole class:

Last - Eileen has this little pencil box that turns into a keyboard - she spend half the morning singing (and "playing") Happy Birthday to Kathleen - SO CUTE! I'm just sad I only caught the last little bit:

Love you all!