Today was the first day teaching on the new premises. It's a new building, literally next door to the one we used to work in. New building, new classes, new students, new Manager and the first day of the new session. Things were a little difficult for both teachers and students but these things will get ironed out as they go on. Here are my first impressions.
I know it's Winter but the new building is damned cold. Cold classrooms, cold teachers room and freezing stairs. I think everyone will be bringing at least one extra layer of clothing tomorrow. I know one co-worker wore gloves and most of the Koreans wore coats up to and inside the classroom. This is probably one of those buildings that are cold in Winter but boiling hot in Summer. After work we were greeted by yet more snow. Four times I think this Winter and it's probably going to stick so it's not going to be warming up at work any time soon.
It's a new building and it shows. Parts haven't been finished and dust is prevalent on the stairs. Classrooms and most of the rooms on the two floors we occupy are finished and look good but others parts don't including the lift. These are minor details though and do not affect the job.
Yes there is dust in some places but the rooms that we prepare in, use the computer in and teach in are a lot superior to those we used before. For a start they are clean, with no graffiti on the walls. It feels good to teach in a fresh environment. How long will it last? I've lectured all my students on how they must not write on the walls. A small downer is that all the whiteboards, desks and chairs are from the other building so they have the dirt, markings and probably chewing gum that students 'love'. Also the clocks in my two classrooms don't work.
A lot of people were unprepared today which is mostly due to the move. Not everything was where it should be and some teachers were lacking a lot of the materials. I came in a little earlier than normal and was lucky that today's classes involved very little preparation. Also with two new teachers starting today the staffroom was more chaotic than usual. I got lost twice in the building and kids were walking around a lot looking for classrooms. A few of my students hadn't done the homework too which didn't help either.
The teachers room has been split into two. By that I mean that the higher level teachers have a room on the 5th floor and everyone else is on the 4th. Our room is smaller than before but with less people feels better and has more space. However, one teacher heard a rumour that this will change soon and everyone will again be in the same room. I cannot see how this will work, it is simply not big enough.
For me, classes went fairly normally just at a slower pace. I like the new building but it really is very cold and the Korean female teachers seem to really hate this aspect. Everyone was glad the day was coming to a close and then just before the last class we all got 'a letter' from the company owner...