Heeeeyyy, been a while, huh?
Or, as my students would say, "Long time no see! Nice to meet you again!"
(For some reason, they avoid saying 'Nice to see you again' no matter how many times I explain it.)
Anyway, it's been so long that the (few) who regularly check this blog have probably wondered if I'd jumped ship on Korea or something. But no, I haven't pulled a Midnight Run. The reality is that, because it was my first Christmas away from home, I made sure to stay busy. I prepared not only for a Christmas Cookie Gathering at my place, but for my brother's visit. He'd arrived in Korea the weekend before Christmas, and I wanted to show him Seoul. Then, just before New Year's, we hopped on a plane to Japan for some snow. (A trip I'll share more about in another post.)
Between Seoul and Japan I had a week of lessons to teach. To be fair--I'd breezed through them. Even if I had to teach Christmas Eve/the day after Christmas, I just played Holiday themed English speaking games with my students for weeks on end. (They had finished their final exams sometime at the end of November, and my co-teachers wanted me to do more cultural lessons anyway.) By the start of New Year's Weekend, I packed my bags and rounded off my brother's Korea trip with my favorite hike in Busan.
Though I'm sure you're wondering how the planning of that all went--after all, I haven't talked about EPIK vacation dates yet.
EPIK Vacation Days
I'll tell you from now, full disclaimer and everything...
...your vacation dates depend entirely on your city, contract, school, and co-teacher. Yeah--even your co-teacher.
For Busan, this year's winter break came the weekend before New Year's and ends around January 28th. Students come back for about a week on the 28th, we all have four days off for Lunar New Year in February, and then a half a week of graduation. Mid-way through February, the school year officially comes to an end and students have time off again before starting the new school year around the beginning of March.
Some time in all this--when students aren't in school--you can take your vacation. Contractually, you're given 9-10 days off (though there are rumors of this increasing) and it's up to you whether you take one large holiday or sporadic days off. At my school, all teachers are required to be at work for most of February so as to plan the new school year. Because of this stipulation, I had to take my vacation days in January.
Thanks to my co-teacher, I managed to plan my vacation for exactly when I wanted. I get along well with my co-teachers (I think). As a result, they're more than happy to help me out if I ask. Some people aren't so lucky--maybe there's construction at their school(s) causing complications, maybe they absolutely must have camp on certain, specific dates, maybe the co-teacher from hell has a vendetta and inputs you paperwork wrong.
This is what I meant by your vacation dates as conditional and/or contingent upon city, contract, school, and co-teacher.
EPIK Winter Camp and DeskWarming
Non-Teaching New Year's Resolutions
So I bet you're all expecting my first New Year's Resolution to be something about regularly posting, right? Weekly updates and an Instagram photo every Tuesday and Thursday, right?
Well you're wrong because I know myself, and that wouldn't last very long at all. Usually, I reflect on last year's resolutions and create new ones on Tumblr, but hey--I'll share 'em here.
Anyway, that's the end of this spiel, and I hope you found some of the content helpful! If you've got any resolutions you'd like to share, I'd love to hear 'em! Send them over either through the comments, or on my Instagram!
Pedagogy and Reflection
We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience