If I only wrote seasonally it would account for my lack of blogging, I have somewhat broken my promise to write once every two weeks.
Things are changing a lot right now: I’m plagued by a monstrous Vice Principal who has made it her goal in life to ruin any sense of self-worth I have (thankfully I’m immune, not having much to begin with) I am also back in a relationship, and am very happy to have found myself in love again, not that I ever stopped.
The biggest thing that has changed is my desire to stay here. Quite frankly, I’ve lost it.
By “lost it” I don’t mean that I can now be found in the nearest Homeplus Store, shouting at the cereal, I just mean that I’ve lost any professional will to stay in Korea.
I will never slate Korea, or talk negatively about my time here. I have a massive amount of respect for the country, and the people. Sometimes you just have to accept when it is time to move on, and do so with dignity.
The main thing that has been holding me back has been my own lack of clarity regarding what I want to do next; the thought of staying here and teaching does not appeal, mainly because I’m totally unfulfilled in my job.
Some students are very attentive and kind, some are little brats who could probably do with a crash-course in basic manners and the rest just float in-between the two extremes. With an average of forty students a class, it is hard to tell.
The question that has haunted me since day one is this: am I a teacher?
Good friends that have stayed as long as I have are now gearing up for year three, and they are all vying for positions in Universities, a pretty good gig as far as holiday-time goes and a status-boost.
While I admire their aptitude for wanting to teach EFL in another country, I just don’t see myself continuing and still feeling that I’m moving my life forward in the direction that I want to be going.
It is with a strangely excited feeling that I announce: I’ve applied for a PGCE course back in the UK, stating in September 2012.
There are still loads of things to consider and overcome before I can even get on the course, I have to remember that I am competing against people who have had more experience than me and are living back in the UK at this second, able to observe lessons in a state-run school (something I am yet to do) and, of course, people who might just be better at interviews than I. I still have it all to do, and I know that it is going to be seriously hard work.
On another note, I feel good that I have found my purpose, for now. There is a sense of quiet satisfaction I have when I know that I’m committed to something, I felt it when I sent my documents to Korea back in 2009 and I’m feeling it again now, though I feel the stakes are much higher. I will be able to teach English Literature and Language to kids who at least understand me, and I will make some sort of difference in their lives as opposed to the burned-out, garbling human-textbook I am out here.
This being said, I’d like to think that I have an edge over some people out here who have perhaps not had to dig deep and rely on their own fortitude to get them through the day in a strange new country. Others who perhaps wouldn’t be able to control a room full of screeching kids who mostly don’t understand a word of English. I like to think that the hard lessons I’ve learned out here will stand me in good stead for when I have a class of my own, and that I’ll never be quite as frustrated as I am here.
There will be other things to tackle, I’m sure that I’ll find things to regard with disdain and take issue with. I just hope that I can always draw on the good things that I learned here, and never forget the tough life lessons that I learned while I was teaching in Korea.
For now, I am sitting at my desk and can hear the high-pitched babble of Korean 1st graders outside my door. They’re not my ideal audience, and I’m sure I’m not their ideal teacher. I can only do my job, for now, and hope that when it is over that I don’t miss it as much as I’m sure I will.
Now, if you need me I will be in Homeplus…