A Week in the Life of Jen Teacher

As I was going through my textbooks at home tonight, planning how to present each one to the parents during our meetings this week, I realized I never really blog about the teaching process or my day-to-day life as a teacher. So here goes… this might be a little boring!

Every day I get to school at 9:30 and have half an hour for planning. Kindergarten lasts from 10:00-2:20. At 10:00 I have “Royal” class for two 40 minute periods, with a ten minute break between for snack.

There are only five students in Royal class but it’s still my most difficult class. There are four boys and one poor sweet girl. The boys are very hyper and easily distracted so the class is sometimes hard to manage. It has gotten better over the past week so here’s hoping.

Paul, Ada, Matthew, Tony, and Alex at the August birthday party

There are three textbooks I am currently using with Royal: Scholastic Success with Tests Reading Workbook, Very Easy Reading 3, and Building Reading Comprehension. These are all on about a second grade American level so you can imagine how smart these kids are.

kindergarten textbooks

On Thursday we have “I Love English” where we go to the “gym” (a large room at school) and listen to/watch a storybook on the big screen. We usually also go on YouTube and practice whatever song we’re singing for that month’s birthday party (August was “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles).

Friday is Fun Science day! It is hilarious because I usually really suck at the science activities/experiments and have to get help from my coworker Bobby before I can even figure out what I’m doing. Last week we made kaleidoscopes which was my favorite lesson yet. We have also made yo-yos, put together puzzles of the human digestion system, made a periscope, and done lots of experiments with magnets.

So… after Royal class I have a ten minute break and then “Future” class for 40 minutes (my Korean coteacher Lois and I switch classes at this time).

There are nine students in Future (five boys and four girls) but I prefer teaching them as they are more advanced in their English and also better behaved! We also do Scholastic Success with Tests Reading Workbook and Fun Science. In addition, I use the textbooks Easy Reading 2 and 100 Words Kids Need to Read by 2nd Grade.

Matt, Jamie, Sarah, and Ellie at the August birthday party




Jessica and Daniel eating lunch

At 12:20 is lunchtime. The students all have the same metal lunch trays with five compartments for: rice, soup, kimchi, some kind of other weird pickled vegetable, and meat, tofu, or eggs. If I like what we’re having for lunch (which means it’s bibimbap, curry, spicy pork, or chicken nuggets – a rare treat for this American!) I stay and eat with them. I try to bring my lunch since I usually don’t like it but at least once a week I go out for lunch to my favorite pretzel place or Paris Baguette.

At 1:10 I have Future class for 70 minutes. This is a long class so I always prepare extra worksheets and activities to go along with the lesson, and we usually end up playing Hangman, Broken Telephone, or Bubblegum for the last few minutes before I walk them to the bus at 2:20. (Also on MWF I have a break from Future class because they have art, P.E., and music class on those days.)

In the afternoon my schedule differs depending on the day of the week. On MWF I have four 40 minute class periods. The first period has changed several times over the past few months. I had a writing class with two upper level elementary students and a phonics class with five lower level kindergarten students (the 4-year-olds). Starting this week I will be doing a phonics class with a new 4-year-old kindergarten student. The other three MWF after school periods are all elementary school students.

Second period: Super Kids with four students. This is the lowest level class I teach and it is really difficult to communicate with them. But I have noticed lots of improvement over the past three months, so that is extremely encouraging.

Violet is too cute

Third period: Treasures with only one student! I really like her and we have fun together. That is my favorite elementary school class.

Rena and Jen Teacher

Fourth period: Treasures with three students. One of those students started out being my least favorite student and has slowly become one of my favorites, after we had several classes with just me and her and “bonded” over a mutual love for Twilight… ha ha. Plus she always gives me presents. 🙂

So I get off work at 5:40 on MWF. On TR I get out at 4:00 which is super sweet. On Tuesday I have “Time for Kids” with two students. I also really like this class because I love the magazine and I think the articles are all really interesting and informative. This month we have learned about MLK Jr., Pakistan, and Heaven Lake (on the border of North Korea and China).

Lucy La La


On Thursday, I teach “Spell & Write” to the four boys from Royal class… this is my least favorite class of all time. Both TR classes are 80 minutes long with a 10 minute break in the middle.

So… if you made it all the way through the end of this post I commend you. And you now know a little bit more about the life of Jen Teacher!

-Jen Pace


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