Monday, February 28, 2011

The Last Day of the Year

Yesterday was the last day of the school year. It was so hard knowing that this was the last time we will have each of our students. We have been teaching these kids for at least 7 months and we are very bonded to them. I have been teaching my second graders ever since I first arrived in Korea, July 2009. I remember what they were like as quiet, shy first graders. Now they can write essays and understand and remember details from stories. As of tomorrow, all of our classes will be new. My Kinder students will be 7-1 meaning that they are 7 years old (6 American) and in their first year of English. Fred's will be 7-2. My first graders are 8-2 and Fred's are 8-3. My second graders will be in their fifth year of learning English! They are the highest second grade class. Fred's second graders will be a mix of 2nd and 3rd year students. We will each also have one 3rd grade class and one 4th grade class. It is going to be weird going to school tomorrow and seeing our students with other teachers!

My Kinder class and I

My first graders and I

My second graders whom I have been teaching since July 2009

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Staff Party

This past Friday we had our End of the Year Staff Party. After work we all went to a galbi (Korean BBQ) restaurant for dinner. It was so fun to be with all of the foreign teachers and the Korean teachers. All of the supervisors and the owner came to dinner. After a lot of food, wine and speeches we all ended to our local bar, Batman. We played darts and chatted for a while before we all headed home. It was a very fun night but it made it real that many of my closest friends will now be leaving. I have been working with these people for a year or longer. It is going to be very weird to not have them in the office each day. We are losing Steve, Josh, Nathan, Yelena, Britney and Carla. The new teachers are Tristan, Melinda, Chad, Tom and Laura. Although the change of the new school year is exciting, it is hard to believe that the time to say goodbye is already here!

Me, The head director Lucy and the owner Melanie

Fred and Korean Nathan Teacher (we have two: Korean and non-Korean)

Ann, me and Michelle

Nari, Cindy and Lily

Many of the Korean staff members

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Young's Birthday

This past Tuesday we celebrated Young's birthday. It was a very exciting event however I was sad because this was my last party with my class before they get a new teacher. We all took a bunch of pictures, enjoyed a delicious cake, ate candies and cookies and opened presents. Young's mom was very excited to enjoy the party and spend time with our class. It is hard to believe that my time with these kids has come to an end. When I started teaching them last February some of them could not read or would not participate in class. Now they can all read and write paragraphs and they are very social and outgoing. I have loved teaching this class and it will be so hard to say goodbye to them on Monday even though they will still be at LCI! I am hoping for another great group of Kinder students! Time will tell...

Monday, February 21, 2011


Yesterday we had the graduation ceremony for all of our graduating seven year old Kinder students. Some of them have been at LCI for one year, others for two and a few have been at LCI since they were 5 (4 American). They were so proud to be moving onto first grade. We arrived at the community center for a quick reherasal before the big show. The stage was full of balloons and a very colorful backdrop. The entry way had a large balloon arch and a big LCI banner above the door. The show started at 2pm. Each class had prepared something special to perform. Yelena, Carla and Josh's classes sang songs and Steve, Nathan and Fred's classes gave speeches. Fred's class speeches were about the students favorie memories at LCI. The kids also sang a Korean song and an English song as an entire graduating class. After the songs and speeches each student received their Kinder diploma. They then took pictures with their classmates and the teachers. It was so fun to see all of the kids and parents excitement. All of the kids did very well during the performances. I sat in the front row and took video of each class. Even though I don't teach 7 year olds, it was fun to see my old Kinders graduating. When I first arrived in Korea in July 2009 my class was 6 years old. They are now 7 years old and graduating! I can't believe how fast time has gone by. It was fun to see my old students moms and catch up with them. It is so hard to believe that these students will now be in first grade. It was a very fun day but it was also a reminder that soon we will have new classes. I know that change is good but I am not ready to give up my Kinder students. I have grown to love them over the past year and it will be hard to see them with another teacher. However, I know that I will love my new class as well!

Fred and his class practicing

All of the graduating students

Fred and Hailey

Fred and Eric

Fred and Chloe

Fred with Kelly and Ann and their families

Jasmin and I

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Audrey's Birthday Party

On Friday we celebrated Audrey's birthday. She is a perfect student. She tries so hard, she is always focused and listening and she is SO cute! Her mom and older sister, Loann, came to LCI with treats for the party. We all got cupcakes with our names printed on them. Some of the students ate letters inorder to have their cupcakes say strange things: Johnson=John on Young=You. We also had strawberry cake, orange juice, candies and some fruit. It was a very fun Friday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Judy's Birthday

Yesterday we celebrated Judy-juice's birthday. She came to school in a beautiful red and black dress and proceeded to tell everyone that it was her birthday. She was more than a little excited. We all prepared for her mother and younger sister (whom I have named Ruby) to show up with the treats. Around 11am they came with bags full of cookies, candies, oranges, strawberries, cheese, chocolate milk and a delicious cake. We took a bunch of photos and enjoyed the day. Out of all of my parties so far, this is the one that I was most excited for. Judy is so outgoing, super cute and very interesting. She is also the smartest in class as she can read at least 2 levels above our books. She is truly a great student to teach.

Audrey, Judy and Juliana

Cheny, Judy and Young

Jacob, Judy and Johnson

My class

Judy and I

Blowing out the candles

Johnson and Young

Judy, Audrey and Juliana

Judy, her sister and their mom

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lunar New Year 2011

This past week we had a two day work week due to Lunar New Year. On Tuesday we all headed out for dinner and drinks after work. We went to this great hamburger place in Suji. After dinner we relaxed and headed home. On Wednesday we relaxed around Suji. We did not want to travel on Wednesday because it was the first day of the holiday and we thought that traffic would be bad. On Thursday morning we headed to the bus station at 7am and took a bus to Sokcho. Sokcho is a city on the north/eastern coast of Korea. It is one of the largets cities closest to the North Korean border. It is one of our favorite cities in Korea (we have been there four times). The bus ride took about 2 hours and 40 minutes. Our bus had to stop at three check points along the way to get sprayed with pesticides. There has been an outbreak of foot and mouth diseases in cows so the country is trying to stop it from spreading more. Anyway, we arrived and bought our return tickets for Friday because we were worried about them selling out. Next we jumped in a cab and headed to Seorak-san National Park. We went up the cable car and explored the top of the mountain. There are no barriers or bars so you have to be very careful when climbing around. There were a few points that we had to kneel behind a rock due to the strong winds. After climbing around we explored a temple in the Park then headed to our hotel. From there we went straight to Waterpia which is indoor/outdoor springs and hot tubes. Our hotel was located very close to Waterpia and had a shuttle bus which took about 2 minutes. After relaxing in the tubes for about 3 hours we left and went to dinner. We had chicken galbi which is cooked on a grill on your table. It had spicy chicken, rice cakes, mushrooms, oninos and cabbage. It was so good! After dinner we played cards then went to bed. On Friday we had lunch then headed back to Suji. The bus took about 40 minutes longer to get back due to traffic. We arrived at the bus terminal (7 subway stops away from our apt) and decided to stop at a Mexican restaurant on our way home. It was a quick trip but it was so nice to get out of Suji for a little bit.

Frozen Waterfall