Science, Art and Math in English – S.A.M. I Am

Today was the last Saturday class for the semester for a new program called SAM (Science, Art and Math in English).  Recently, the BMCOE (Busan Metropolitan City Office of Education) ended regular Saturday classes for all schools.  Instead of Saturdays, they are actually shortening the Summer and Winter breaks from 6 weeks to 4 weeks.
As Korea takes education and their next generation very seriously, there was a concern for available, productive, educational activities for students.  Particularly those who may not have the financial means to go to a private academy.  So the BMCOE started SAM.  Each SAM semester consists of 10 Saturdays, 3 classes per Saturday.  They sent out requests for foreign teachers to sign up if they would like.

I signed up.  I was given math classes for an elementary school in my district (Yeoung-do).  This was quite a change for me.  My main assignment is with an all-girl’s middle school called Namdo (Namdo Girl’s Middle School).  The school where I am assigned for SAM is a co-ed elementary school.  Needless to say it is different.  Girls in both middle and elementary school are behaved by and large.  But the boys…good grief!  It’s both hilarious and frustrating at the same time.  I seem to have forgotten that the purpose of your friends growing up was to play video games with and practice karate movie moves on.  Nothing has changed and things are exactly the same in Korea.  It’s a challenge to get them to focus and their English abilities are almost zero for the younger ones.  It’s all good though – I learned a new perspective on managing students of different ages, found some new games for my own personal lesson catalog, and learned many things about teaching in Korea.

I have until October before the classes start up again for the semester.  Perfect timing as the summer is now here.  I’m really glad I took on the opportunity though.  Just another chance to learn, grow and love my new life.


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