Friday, June 17, 2016

Year 1 ROK 끝.

The end.

After putting those two words on the page, I wanted to leave it at that. My first year in Korea is over and I am currently on my way back to Canada. To say I am excited to be going home does not even staer to capture my emotion. It's been a good year, but it's been a long year and I am ready for a break at home. Tearful goodbyes were said with my friends as we prepared to go off on our next adventures. While we hope to see each other again, we know it might be a number of years before that happens again.

There is a sadness in my soul.

Still, on a positive note, I have learned a lot over the course of the school year. In the spirit of reflection here are a few highlights.

1. All of my students are learning English. At the start of the year, I wasn't sure what that would mean for teaching in the classroom. I went through French Immersion so I understand a bit, but as a student I wasn't really thinking about how I was learning. I was just there. Now I find myself trying to be mindful of how fast I'm speaking; how am I phrasing my sentences and questions; what vocabulary am I using? If I introduce new words, am I providing synonyms? Do I give them an opportunity to think or am I pushing things along too quickly.

2. Piggybacking off of that, I have learned so much about English. Funny, eh? But I feel that in reading my students' papers and helping them with grammar I have been forced to think about how English works. Before this I relied mostly on instinct. "That sounds right..." I would think. But then my students ask me why and I'm forced to analyze my own grammar. Both weird and cool.

3. While I have worked for a big company of sorts before, this is the first job that I've had where at points I had to collaborate with different departments and groups. I have learned a lot about working with people. I hope that I can say that I am a better listener and problem solver as a result.

4. Moving away from professional growth, I have learned that I am a stubborn hiker. Often times when I am out on the trail, I find that I push forward because I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I don't want to give up and so on I go. I've had a number of fun adventures and made some good friends as a result. Onward I go!

5. And five... I have learned that I like korean food. I was worried when I left Canada that I wouldn't like it, but besides eating more seafood than I've been used to, I have liked almost everything I tried.

I'm sure I could think of more things given time, but... the end.

A list created by the Teacher Dons during our Last week of what we'll miss and what we won't.

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