I had been told at the beginning of the new school year that I would be teaching an after-school class. After school for the children, not for me! The class would be from 3:40-4:30pm and was for gifted children.
“Only,” my co-teacher muttered in an undertone. “Maybe there are no gifted students at our school.”
I was a bit puzzled. Did that mean that I would be having a class or not? Would I have to sit in an empty classroom between 3:40 and 4:30 every Tuesday simply because the class was on the schedule? (Don’t laugh, I’ve done it before.) Or would I have a class full of somewhat bright children whose teachers and parents were forcing them to go? I wasn’t sure which one sounded worse.
I heard nothing about the class for a few weeks. I assumed (when will I learn not to do that?) that since there were no gifted students in our school, I had no class.
Last Friday, as I was getting ready to go home, one of my co-T’s told me that we would have class on Monday.
“Oh, and the principal and Vice Principals and parents are coming to watch the class on Monday,” she added, almost as an afterthought.
We decided to go out for pizza and plan a class for mystery “gifted” students who may or may not be able to speak English. The worst part was that the class was only going to be 10 minutes long. Everyone just wanted a sample of what we would be teaching.
I was inclined to fly by the seat of my pants. A 10 minute lesson? What on earth could we teach in 10 minutes? But my co-T was worried and so I helped her plan.
Good thing! Monday I arrived to discover that the English classroom had been scrubbed spotless and there was a banner over my whiteboard.
There was also a brochure.
I have no idea what it said. The only things in English were “English Advanced Class’ and my name.
Some children arrived (my “gifted” students I assumed) and quite a few parents. I began to feel a little nervous.
The principal arrived and we all jumped to our feet. He was followed by the two VPs and the lady I call #3. I’m not entirely sure what her exact job is; I only know she’s the third most important person in the school.
My co-T and I were introduced to the assembled hordes.
We bowed, they clapped and then we “taught”.
In the blink of an eye, it was over. There was more clapping, some handshaking and a few more bows. And then everyone went home, and I was left alone in my classroom with the banner.
Sometimes I feel it’s better for my mental health if I don’t question things in Korea too closely.