Another year, another workshop! Yesterday was the 2016 Spring Poly Workshop held at Songdo Convensia in Incheon. All I remember about this place was that the buffet was awesome. After 4 alarms, I came to Poly (thank God for living 3 minutes away from work) and waited for the bus to come. I snatched up one of the single seats because no one is trying to have conversations on an early Saturday morning bus ride. The ride took a little bit over an hour on good traffic. When we arrived, we were quickly shuffled into the campus picture line where Mrs. Hahm and Mr. Gorin were waiting. It was hilarious. Upon spotting me, the first thing Mr. Gorin did was check to see if my hair was still purple hahaha 😀 Sadly, it is no longer purple… just a sad sketchy shade of brown 🙁
The first workshop I attended was called “ECP6 Language Arts.” IT WAS AWESOME. I tend to never say stuff like this about workshops because they all tend to glide over concepts and give the big picture. However, this particular workshop, led by a guy from HQ named Trevor, was fantastic from start to finish. The first part of his workshop was information-based and was presented as a game of Jeopardy. It presented all the technical information regarding Language Arts for ECP6. The latter half of the workshop was advice-based and offered a lot of great tips for teaching. I freaking love practical advice and demonstrations. Overall, I was extremely impressed and I look forward to applying a lot of what I learned starting next week.
Next up was my favorite part of the Poly workshops… LUNCH BUFFET! They moved the food outside of the lunch room this time, which I thought was a good idea. It was more organized and the food was split into three sections so it didn’t run out as quick. Instead of being ladylike and putting down our stuff first, Martha and I dashed into a line and made ourselves a plate haha. I didn’t do so bad and had a total of 3 plates. Not as pro as Mr. Kim’s buffet skills, but I am improving with every conference. They presented some Best Teacher awards at lunch as well. They called the winning teachers to the stage and all I could think was: “Damn, those teachers are missing out on valuable buffet time.”
After lunch, I attended the ECP6 Overview workshop with the other ECP6 teachers at my campus. It was presented by Brandon and somewhat helpful. It was meant to give us a big picture of how all the classes in the ECP6 program worked together. From what I learned, Language Arts, Creative Expression, and Action Time are supposed to intertwine theme-wise. He kept stressing that these classes were not meant to be a workbook-based class… Well, then why are there so many random pages to complete??? The workshop was well-presented, although, it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know.
Next, I went to the Elementary Language Arts workshop presented by Terry. All I can say is… I WAS SO SLEEPY! Damn you delicious buffet! Man, the workshop was great with all the animations in his powerpoint. But, it was so hard focusing since I was literally drifting in and out of sleep. Again, this workshop presented a good idea of what the goal of Language Arts is. I can see what I have to try and work towards. But, I also have to be realistic and get the workbook pages done.
The easiest workshop was next. It’s called Bridging the Gap. You pretty sit next to your co-teacher and “get to know each other.” My co-teacher Irene and I already work very well together so there was really nothing to talk about. They had us fill out this detailed questionnaire about ourselves. Damn Poly, are you trying to find me a husband or something?? Irene and I pretty much agree that our goal is to help our students develop and grow as humans. English will naturally follow as they learn to become independent, cooperative, and respectful little humans.
The final workshop for the day was called “Learning to Read, Reading to Learn.” There were a lot of interesting statistics presented about how students begin by learning how to read the text and then reading the text to learn new information. The information was really interesting, but there were no solutions offered as to what we could do to increase our chances of meeting these quotas. But still, interesting information.
After finishing all the workshops, we met in the lobby for the infamous workshop photo. My campus had the genius idea of meeting near the exit so we could bust out of there ASAP. This time around, the photo was super quick and we were out of there in about 5 minutes. The bus ride back to Seongbuk was pretty long due to evening traffic. I drifted in and out of sleep as we watched a Spanish pirated version of Star Wars – The Force Awakens.
Upon returning to Seongbuk, a few of us to decided that dinner and beers were necessary. We headed to 유가네 닭갈비 in Sungshin for dinner. My table which consisted of Martha and Andrew really got down with the meal. We ordered 3 portions of meat, 2 portions of cheese 떡, 1 portion of udong, and 1 portion of ramyeon. I mean, there really is no other to do this. After dinner, we decided to grab some more beers at a place called Beer Mart. Trevor said it was a happening place. Well, it was not hahaha.
Overall, this workshop wasn’t too bad. I did learn a lot about the ECP6 Language Arts program. ECP6 is my main concern right now. Elementary is elementary. I have enough teaching experience there to figure things out on my own. ECP6 is still a whole new world to me. I am learning to be more patient and understanding with each class. It does help that my kids are very cute.