Wednesday, August 17

District Desperation

Everyone talks about the desperate shortage for math and science teachers. I figured it would be a piece of cake to get a job even if I didn't have a credential. Well, that was a bad assumption, I wasn't getting any interviews for "real" teaching jobs. Now that I've applied and am in a credential program and it's two weeks until school starts I've had three offers for interviews. Two of those are with school districts, Oakland's and San Francisco's. I know Oakland is still looking for 4 high school math teachers and "many" middles school math folks. SFUSD is hiring 6 high school teachers. So looks like by the end of this school year, it's highly likely that I will have both my credential in progress as well as a year of teaching under my belt.

And because of this, I will lead a very rough life this next year. Much preparation, because I don't actually have a syllabus made for what a school year of math will look like, and little sleep in preparing for both schools, the one I teach at and the one I attend. Also, since the semster starts Aug 30 this means no Burning Man for me. Which is tragic only because AJ and Adam old great friends are both flying in for their first visits ever to the playa and I will no longer be able to host them. Sad.

Sunday, August 14

Here I go, again on my own

Traveling down the only road I've ever known.

Alright, so I've traveled down many roads, when confronted with a choice I'll always take the one I haven't tried before. Seems like I keep going back to this going to school thing though. And I'm off again. First day of classes is Monday. Me taking the classes. Heading back to school to get my teaching credential. Hopefully I'll also manage to find a school to hire me while I'm getting my credential. I'm going to interview for a teaching job, but that's in the city and school is 12 miles north west of me, ie even further out of san francisco.

I know it will all work out in the end, I trust in this. But I'm a bit concerned at this point. I'm constantly questioning the decisions, spontaneous choices I make in life. Really, in the end, I want to travel, eat good food, learn new things. Share my knowledge.

I need to write more about Korea, especially the food and drinks I had. But I haven't had time nor desire to do so yet. Been spending all my time at this maching looking at different job postings and financial aid places.

Thursday, August 4

What to do, what to do?

I've been applying for all kinds of math teaching jobs. I've even had a few interviews, though none have led to a job. Seems as though every math teaching position requires a credential. Do I go back to school? Again? Do I spend the money (that I now don't have) again? Do I really want to be a teacher? In being here, teaching every day, 7 hours a day (of the same kids) I do love it. I wake up ready and energized everyday (though, honestly needing a beer or two by the end of the day on Thursday, but hell I made it to Thursday). I don't like teaching English though, this much is for sure. I want to be teaching math. I want my summers to travel. I should just go ahead and do it. Fill out my FAFSA and make sure that I can get government loans to do it. Start applying for math teaching scholarships. Ones that don't lock me into being in the United States so that when I have my credential I can go teach abroad. Wish me luck.

And check again with me in a week, maybe I'll have changed my mind.

Abortions Tickle

There was a girl wearing a shirt that pictured a 1950's looking cartoon of one woman whispering in another's ear. The caption reads "Abortions Tickle." Why do I write about this? An observation on Korean abuses of English? The dicotamy that exists in teaching English and how well does a person ever truly know a second language unless they are raised with it. All day long this girl was getting gasps of horror from the Western teachers, but how do we explain the intrinsicness of why this is so painfully wrong? Do we even bother to try?

Personally, I never actually saw the shirt. If I did though, I would have been hard pressed to think in simple enough English my thoughts conveying why I don't like her shirt.

This is a bit of a struggle I've found even in teaching ESL for a mere two weeks. Already I feel my vocabulary diminshing. I fight against it, I try my best not to "dumb myself down" in front of my kids. But it's hard, I lose sentences when I talk to them. I refer to them as "Emily Teacher's class." I'm giving them a vocab quiz of 15 words tomorrow. All of them we've learned through class room discussions. I'm trying to get them talking as much as possible as that's what I was told my job would be, improving their spoken English fluency. However, us teachers just learned that the parents were told their students would have learned 900 new words by the end of the 3 weeks. If you're keeping county that's 300 words/week or 60/day. Imagine trying to RETAIN 60 new words of a language a day. Um, yeah, right.

Monday, August 1

Teacher, are you a gangster?

I've had my favorite moment thus far in teaching Korean kids. Today I was asked if I'm a gangster! Apparently the majority of people with tattoos are also in the mafia here. It was great fun talking about it with my students. I have new students now, my kids left as their program was only one week and I took over a junior's level class for a teacher who had a family emergency and needed to leave. It works perfectly as he'll return the day I have to head back to Seoul for my flight home.