This week, I have been participating in training for my new job. It involves sitting on a train for two hours (if I'm lucky enough to get a seat) just to get to the training center on the exact opposite side of Seoul from my locale (in reality: 22 miles away), mock-teaching a class of would-be teachers and receiving critiques, sitting on a train for another two hours to get home, and then completing hours of homework in preparation for the next day. All without being paid and without the guarantee of PASSING the training (thereby losing your potential job, being sent home, on your own dime, like the sad sack of crap you'll inevitably be made to feel like you are). Great deal, hey?
I'm lucky to have taught before, frankly. I'm leaps and bounds ahead of the other student-teachers, merely because I already know the routine. Not only do I know how to handle a class of ESL students, I know the un-taught things that matter the most: how you look (dress and full make-up/hair), being early every day, and a doe-eyed deference for the instructor mean more than any simulated teaching any day of the week. When the instructor criticizes my PERFECT simulation by telling me to do things I was already doing, I bow my head and say "yes, teacher," while the n00bs are still spluttering "but I DID that."
It's been so wonderful to return, despite this exercise in patience and insanity (I mean, how many days in a row can a person wake up at 6 am without being driven into full-tilt insanity? Never mind). My boss already set up my apartment, just one floor under the boyf's. It smelled all new and clean, not requiring the day-long scrub-down his required. I don't even mind having to go in on Sunday to set up my classroom without getting paid because this transition has been so easy (and because I know my boss isn't a foreigner-hating wretch out to actively ruin my time off).
I'm excited to start working, also. The access to technology in the classroom is insane! The televisions are smart TVs--touch screens preloaded with the entire lesson. Basically, lesson planning is all done, I just need to prepare. Doing this mock teaching has reminded me how I enjoy teaching and how excited I am to see these kids cute little fasces and help them to learn English!