Things I've Learned:
First graders do require a lot of energy, but you don't have to put on a show all the time. They like games and things for them to do that can keep their minds and hands busy. Teaching at a private elementary school has a lot of benefits when compared to my previous job. I have enjoyed the lack of coteaching and love being in control of my own classroom. However, I have not escaped the Korean workplace and still encounter many snafus related to this. I've learned that patience is the key and one can be strict with the students but not take it emotionally.
Also, I have seen that I can put a lot of hard work into something and feel like I am getting results. Even though I don't know for sure, because you never really can know, I still feel like I have done pretty good at my job and being in the Korean workplace. There were a few times when I screwed up on the whole Korean-ness of things but it seemed my hard work is shining over that and making it okay.
Where to go from here...
I am already working on my plans for the 2nd semester. I just want to get ahead so I can finesse my teaching style more and not really be concerned with material creation. I am really hoping this school will decide to keep me for the next year, but I have realized that sometimes things are still not in your control. In that case I am keeping in mind to keep my cool with my Korean counterparts.
Also, I wasn't too satisfied with my home life after work this semester. I tried my best to produce works of art. But I really wanted to practice Korean and go to the gym this year. So that is why JH has agreed to help me learn Korean by sending me weekly lessons of his creation, that he will teach and test me on. Also, I will be signing up at a local gym (given I like the looks of it) this weekend. I really want to be healthy and fit, along with starting to use Korean more.
Whatever, though! Because the first semester is over and despite that it was tiring at times, I feel I really learned a lot about myself as a teacher. I hope to share some of those lessons with you and what I did with my classes.
For those other folks out there with their semester's ending...congratulations!