Tuesday, 04 May 2010

Is this how my next contract year will be?

Last week I asked what the vacation/test/whatever days are that I need to take in to account for my lesson planning. One of those days was the field trip today.

Yesterday I had to ask what the plans for the trip was because I still hadn’t heard anything.

The plan was that each grade would go somewhere and that I would stay at school. A bit amazed and for a few seconds I did not know what to say. I had to stay at school, with no students and no other teachers? Really? But I was always allowed to go before this?

I asked if I was allowed to go and was basically told “You WANT to go?” Apparently it didn’t seem possible that I might want to join one of the trips. Whatever!

I asked the around to see who is doing what and decided I who I would like to join. The 1st graders were going to the KBS studios. I can’t name a single Korean drama, almost no Korean films and I don’t have a TV or radio. Needless to say I had little to no interest in going there

The 2nd graders were going to some village dedicated to some Korean poet. I don’t like poetry in any language, especially not in a language I am not even a decent beginner in. Why on earth would I want to go there? I wouldn’t.

I wanted to go with the 3rd graders to Digital Plaza in Seoul. I like digital stuff. I am a part time geek, I am. This is where I want to be. Even if everything is in Korean and I am not allowed to touch anything, I would still like to be there.

Today I arrived at school went to my desk to do something while I waited for the students to start getting on the bus, when a teacher who essentially has nothing to do with me informs me that I need to go because the 1st graders are getting ready? How does HE know I’m going with them and not me, and when was this decided? First I have to stay at school alone and now I have to go somewhere that is only of interest to Korean women and men who want to get in to the business in some way? If I never had a choice, then fine, but I was given a choice and then it is made for me?

I flat out refused to go and said I would rather stay at school. I was not angry. Yes, I was upset, but mostly I was bitterly disappointed. Am I back in the boat where I am the last one to be considered, and then only when I actually remind people that I am?

Just before the 2nd graders left their English teacher phoned me and asked if I wanted to go along. Maybe it was because it was her asking because I went. It was most likely the most boring trip I ever in Korea and it did not help dispel my disappointment at all.

Also, a week and a half after almost having a fight over the dictionaries that I requested two months ago already, I decided to just buy them myself. They will be mine. If I find one page missing or crumpled, one page scratched on, one cover ripped to pieces, I will ban that student, or even the whole table from my class and they will not come back until I have a replacement. My money, my dictionaries, my rules.

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