I am an English teacher. Je neun yeong-eo seong-saeng-nim.
My kindergarten class was very impressed that I knew the Korean word for airplane this morning. "Bihengi" is the butchered Romanized version. They like to tell me new words in Korean, which I make them explain in English until we figure out what it is.
Last week, it was "dung beetle." "Teacher," they said, "it is bug, and it push--" complete with hand motions, and drawing on the board.
Today, it was crow. "Kamakwhi" is the closest I can come to an English spelling. I made a couple of rude cawing sounds and the kids said, "yes! That one!"
One of my elementary students, the one who likes to hide under the desk and who sometimes tucks a piece of candy into my hand (bribery or generosity, I'm not sure), walked out the door unfolding a pink piece of paper. He looked up at me and said, "Teacher, I have girlfriend many," and nodded seriously. I just bet.
My first day of the advanced speaking and writing classes was yesterday. After a morning of yelling over the top of ten screaming kindergarteners as they chase each other with colored pencils or chocolate corndogs, my classes of three and of six were like floating on an azure cloud of coolwhip. Why azure coolwhip, you ask? Because why the hell not.
So, poor things, we're working out of college textbooks. But I admire their determination. My class of three are all around ten years old. One wants to be a scientist, one a soccer player, and one a doctor.
In my class of six, they requested I read one of the practice paragraphs as fast as I possibly could. I think it was a test of my English speaking abilities. So I took a big breath and read all about some guy's first rock concert until I absolutely, positively could not expel another centimeter of air from my lungs. I finished to hearty applause. "Teacher, your face is all red!"
I adore them. I adore teaching. Mostly.
Oh yeah, and apparently I look like a high school girl today: