Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This is my job?

Today was the last day of the school year for my students, which means that it wasn't really a day of school at all, but the kids just cleaned the school. Yes, this is the responsibility of the students in Korea, and it still amazes me to see them clean the school on a daily basis without complaining.

Anyway, while the students cleaned the school I was deskwarming, and around 11:30 my supervisor came over and told me that despite the fact that yesterday she told me I had to come back to school on Thursday, I now don't have to come back until Monday.  Hello, five day weekend!

So, this is what the month of January looks like for me:

January 1-3rd= no school
January-6th-15th=deskwarming (me sitting at my desk planning vacation, cruising facebook, reading, studying Korean, etc)
January 16th-29th=vacation (with a majority of those days in THAILAND!)
January 30-31st=Lunar New Year (no school)

So, to summarize, I am not teaching a single day in the month of January, but getting paid a regular month's salary.  

You might be wondering why I have to go to school if I'm not teaching.  Deskwarming is something that every EPIK teacher experiences, and even knows about when going into the job.  Our EPIK contracts specify a certain amount of hours and days that we need to work, so in order to fulfill our contracts, we have to go to school regardless of whether or not we're teaching.  After all, this is Korea, and that is our "duty".

Now, deskwarming can become EXTREMELY boring, but I can't quite bring myself to complain about getting paid to sit at my desk, especially since I know once I return to teaching in the States I will never have free time again.  One of the advantages of having teaching experience at home is that I know that even when this job IS really busy, it's never as busy as teaching at home.  It's put a lot of my experiences here in perspective.  

Additionally,  I am lucky because my school isn't as by the book as some other schools.  Where I get to leave early and have the rest of the week off, many of my friends have to be at school every day for regular school hours.

You might wonder what the students will be doing during the month of January.  To be honest, I'm not completely sure.  They have the rest of this week off (the ONLY vacation days they have), then they return to school next week to have classes. Despite the fact that it's not actually the school year, they keep having classes until March when the school year will officially begin again.  

So there you have it,my month of January in a glance.  I hope you all have a very happy NewYear! I will do a reflection on 2013 in my next post, but this has been a huge year and I can't quite wrap my head around it all yet.  


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