Monday, February 4, 2013

Proud of My Work

Before I ever left for Korea I was working at an Insurance Company in San Francisco. My boss was this kooky old Japanese man who lived by a lot of morals and codes. Have you ever watched Mad Men? The office was kind of like that, and even had old type writers.

While he was training me to be an Insurance Agent he would now and then pass on knowledge. This one time he told me that when you do a job you should do it right. You should do such hard work that when it comes time for you to leave (for whatever reason) the company should be sorry to see you go. At that time I was fresh out of college and with a small work history behind me. I tried my best at that job, but know I could have left it better.

His wise words have carried with me in Korea. As you know I struggled at the first few jobs I had here, then I started to get momentum and understood what hard work means. It doesn't just mean showing up on time, doing paperwork and being there. It means going beyond the call of duty and probably working more than you should.

At the job I'm leaving now I know I am leaving behind hard work. My colleagues and supervisors might not be exactly telling me, "We wish you could stay" but I know I've left my mark. Although the Vice Principal did say she was sad to see me go.

However, I'm proud of my work at this job because of what I experienced today. I was organizing my desk and getting things ready for the new teacher. Throughout the year I kept binders of my work so to keep a record and just in case things came to this. I looked through my two full binders of "worksheets" and realized what great work it was. I made 90% of the worksheets by scratch. The binder of "lesson plans" weren't just short pages with an outline of what to do, but detailed and lengthy. In the storage spaces along the walls were spread out five large plastic bins full of materials, I also made from scratch. In addition, I bought blocks, cards and other hands-on stuff for the students. I'm leaving this all behind for the new teacher, and hope they use it.

When I walked into this school to teach 1st Grade math I was left with scant supplies and lesson plans. I started from scratch and built up a curriculum that I think is effective. However, I know that there is room for tweaking, but that's for the new teacher to deal with.

Leaving a job feeling satisfied and proud is a really good feeling. In the end, I don't really need a supervisor to tell me "good job" because I saw the results in my students and work. If you are an English teacher here in Korea I would encourage you to put in more than you have been. You might think it's not worth it because of the salary and quality of your institution, but it will develop yourself so much.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on this last Monday at work! (Official last day is next Thursday...next Monday is a holiday).

Goodbye desk~


Goodbye chalkboard ~

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