Friday, February 11, 2011

Visa Number and Position

I woke up this morning to an email in my inbox from my new school. It listed my visa number and my new position at their school.

I am going to teach math to 1st graders. When I first read this I was a bit shocked, since I really wanted 4th grade and up. But I don't want to make a stink about it and so I will accept what has been given to me. I knew I wanted my next job to be a challenge, and well here it is. Thankfully, I know the class size will be 15 - 17 students. So at least I know management will not be too much of a worry.

When I went to the interview I was asked whether or not I could teach math. I jumped in with a great answer that I have always enjoyed learning math throughout college, and that it isn't always about the subject but how it is taught. I said things like I would make sure each kid is learning, having fun and excited to learn math. At that time I wasn't really thinking that I would actually end up teaching math, and now here I am facing that fact. I still believe in my words and really do want to teach it in a way that is fun and engaging for the students. Already with the things I have learned from studying my Multilevel teaching book I know I have already a basis to go by. Plus they give us the book and materials so it's not like I'll be teaching math from scratch.

However, I am scouring Amazon to look for basic math teaching books for 1st graders. Looking for something to get my mind on what lingo to use and methods that will make teaching it more effective. I have found some and they are already helping me get my mind in the area of how to teach math to kidlets.

Of course, a huge part of me wishes I had gotten a subject teaching 4th, 5th or 6th grade. Mostly because I am familiar with those grade levels. But then a part of me is excited for this challenge and has a feeling it might not be as scary as I think.

In the mean time, I have sent of my passport along with the necessary documents to the Korean consulate to get the visa stamp. Just one last step in this whole process, the last being picking up the passport and getting on the plane.

Because I just got the news of what grade and subject I will be teaching my mind is all in a dizzy. Hopefully, being excited and nervous is a good thing. I can't wait to get back to Korea and meet this challenge!


  1. I totally understand....basically another example of: "Be careful what you ask for"!

    Similar to one I just received from my Dissertation Chair briefly outlining an entirely different approach to my Dissertation than the one I've been working on for 3 yrs!
    Not funny or challenging! We have a ph appt tmw...maybe she & my professor came to that conclusion for another student?!!
    Will explain more details elsewhere or on ph. after I speak w/her & him tmw!

    Meanwhile....I'd ask for the math curriculum you're charged w/teaching to get a head-start handle on it all! 1st graders are still really sweet & you can have a lot of fun w/them! You should consult w/Lauren (Puja's friend, she's been teaching 1st & K for 5 years now, she undoubtedly has great tips, etc...)!


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  3. One name: Marilyn Burns.

    You must check out her books. ABOUT TEACHING MATHEMATICS is your first stop, but covers a wide range of grades (which is good for the future and because you'll get ideas no matter what grade you're in and you'll be able to push kids as needed).

    She also has some books of math lessons aimed at 1st grade, including one title that ties math and literature. (One of the titles used in that book is Biggest, Strongest, Fastest. Great! You get to teach math AND superlatives!) Get them NOW.

    You will not be disappointed.

  4. Bwhahahaha! That's Jamie's age kids... You'll be fine. If you need help ask me, I'm with first graders allll the time these days.

  5. I wonder what the difference between American 1st grade math and Korean 1st grade math is. My kids seem to be way more advanced in math than I was at their age. 4th graders calculating averages and 7th graders knowing geometry...

  6. My curriculum is American so I think I can't give a right answer.

  7. My nephew is doing algebra in first grade in his public school in Texas. Sadly, many of his homework assignments are missing vital information regarding those questions (I don't think his teacher is doing a good job proof reading the work beforehand or is being forced to use these shoddy materials by the district), and he is becoming more and more confused as he doesn't attend an extra math hagwon in the U.S. There is only so much time in the day to get the basics across at that age without extending students' class hours.

    Good luck!


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