Let’s say that again. I’m gonna be in Busan!
After all the confusion, drama, and ups and downs with renewing, I not only know where I’ll be next year, but I got my first choice! I’m going to be teaching at Yeongdo Girls High School, on a sort of island in south Busan.
Not only will I be in what I think is the best city in Korea, my placement is very close to my grandparents’ house, right over by the Gamcheon cultural village. I can’t wait. :) Although I originally wanted so badly to stay at my school, a series of events have made me ready for a fresh start.
I’ve been blessed to have really great coworkers – there are no coteachers who sleep or do other work in my class. My principal, who will also be leaving the school and retiring after this semester, has also been nothing but kind to me. In our last conversation, he said, “I think you’re thinking of me as your boss.” Um…yeah, of course I am. “But I want you to think of me as your big brother.” But then we talked about age and he toyed with the idea of trying to be like a father instead. So many teachers at my school want me to to think of them as big brothers. It’s not just my school, is it?
But what I’ll miss the most about my school are my students. In the middle of my renewing confusion, one student heard I would be leaving and confronted me. “Are you leaving?”
“No,” I lied, because it wasn’t certain and a couple weeks later I was actually told I could stay.
“Good!” he replied, “because when I heard that, my heart stopped.”
What can you say to that?
Of course, this time around, when it became certain that I wasn’t staying, he was again the first to find out. But the fact that I would be in Busan, 1-2 hours away, took away the edge.
“Oh,” he replied in response to hearing my placement, “then I don’t have to be sad!”
But I’ll still be sad. I’ll miss my after school class students and my overachievers who made me privy to school secrets, and the students who probably have only said 6 words to me: “I’m fine thank you, and you?”
Gimhae Jeil High School, best of luck.