Whew, the previous seven-week session finally finished yesterday and none too soon, what with all the kids’ and other classes. Lots of overtime, so I’m not griping too much. Still, most of us foreign teachers have a very welcome eleven day break until the spring semester begins.

Usually, the spring semester begins on March 1st, but that date is also a holiday in Korea, Independence Movement Day, when Korea announced, in 1919, its independence from the imperial Japanese occupation of the peninsula. So, classes begin on March 2nd this year.

My scheduled classes, along with the other teachers’ classes, have been cut drastically. No more large amounts of overtime, unfortunately. Although I might gripe about how much work I have to do, when overtime payment rolls around (later this week), I’m pretty satisfied. Anyway, the Language Center has hired three new teachers, two ladies from the U.S. and one guy from Ireland. We usually have 6 instructors; now, we have nine. Fewer hours for everyone. One of the new teachers, by the way, was a graduate student at the University of Montana. She got her Master’s degree in Forestry there, and she and I have been emailing each other quite a bit, so I look forward to meeting her in person. Small world, eh?

The reason for the new teachers is that an older program has been revamped. We had some special classes for English students the last couple of years, the classes in which we took field trips, about which you can read in this post. The classes used to be held at 8 and 9 a.m., Monday through Thursday, and students had to attend them for both the spring and fall semesters. So, what could the students possibly have against such a wonderful schedule? The early hours, of course; some of them dropped out. So the Powers-That-Be decided to change the time and reduce the attendance requirement. Now, classes will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, but students only have to attend for one semester. More hours per week will be taught, so there is the need for more teachers.

I was chosen to be one of the teachers, so I’ll be working those 3 hours per day, Monday through Thursday, and I’ll be teaching regular freshman English classes 3 days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. That’s a pretty nice schedule, 21 contact hours per week, but, as I said, fewer hours than I’m used to and less overtime. However, I’ll be getting a bit extra pay per month, since my boss asked me to be the coordinator of the special classes. And, we’ll still get the field trips, which I really like.

Anyway, here’s to my first day of vacation. More (days) later.