The First Day of School

School started yesterday.  The Korean school year starts in March so yesterday was the first day of the second semester.  I have a few new kids and one new co-T but generally, not much has changed.

The big excitement at school however was the arrival of a new principal.  It seemed a bit strange to me that the ex-principal had retired mid-year but apparently that’s normal in Korea.

I arrived yesterday morning feeling like I’d been run over by a combine harvester.  Twice.  I had arrived in Korea less than 12 hours before I needed to be at school.  30 hours of travelling combined with a severe lack of sleep and a bit of jet-lag added for good measure made Carrie-teacher a hot mess.  Still, it was the first day of school, so I put on a dress and tried to make myself presentable.

Everyone else in the staffroom looked like they were going to a wedding.  There were suits, ruffles and sequins as far as the eye could see.  Nobody had met the new principal but rumours had been flying.

“The new principal is very strict!” a co-worker told me worriedly.

Wasn’t a strict principal a good thing?  Who wanted an un-strict principal?  Or did that mean he was strict with the teachers?  It was all very unclear.

As our staff is so large, the cafeteria is the only room in the school big enough for staff meetings.  Unfortunately, the lunch ladies were making lunch.  We settled in our seats, trying to ignore the beeps of the rice cookers and the whack-whacks of something hard being chopped.

The new principal is an unprepossessing little man.  He seemed pleasant enough but the two VPs looked quite nervous.  He seemed a bit startled to see me.  He stood up and began speaking.  I’m sure whatever he said was inspirational but it was hard to hear over the lunch preparations.  To me, his talk sounded a bit like this:

“Thank you [chop chop chop] this school [whooooooosh] teachers work hard [chop chop chop chop chop] students [squish splash].”

After the principal’s speech, one of the VPs stood up and began talking about the new bathrooms.  I have absolutely no idea what he said.  The only word I understood was bathroom.

“Do you understand?” a co-T whispered about 10 minutes into the bathroom speech.

“It’s something about bathrooms…”

“Carrie-teacher! You are so clever!” she replied, delighted.

I didn’t have a chance to go check out the bathrooms.  I have no idea if the renovations are complete or not.  I will keep you posted.  Cross your fingers for “real” toilets! 😀


About Carrie K

Teacher, writer, traveller. Slightly neurotic. Overly talkative. Loving life. You can also follow me on Twitter: kimchigirl72
This entry was posted in Korea, Korean schools, Life, teaching in Korea, Travel, Ulsan, Uncategorized, Work and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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