Well, I have a good reason. A really good reason. I resigned from my teaching job in Texas to follow a dream I've had for the past 10 years. I am teaching English in Daejeon, Korea. I have wanted to teach overseas for a long time, and I just decided to do it. I am absolutely loving it, and I don't regret it at all.
I actually started another blog that details my whole experience, and I share my pictures, stories, and experiences on it. I'd love for you to check it out! elephanthat.blogspot.com
I am teaching at Daejeon Public School for the Blind. I have taught for 15 years, but I have never taught blind students. This is a new experience for me. My students are either completely blind or have low vision. Most of my students have intellectual disabilities as well, so I am learning to embrace Pre-K and Kinder activities, songs, books, and chants.
I hope to create some fun activities for them in the classroom. We've been singing a lot of songs, which they love. I bought some musical instruments from the store here in Daejeon, and it is so much fun to watch them. I also bought some magnetic letters and a magnetic board to practice learning the alphabet and beginning phonics. I have never taught kindergarten, so this is totally new to me. I have worked in day care for years and Backyard Bible Clubs and Vacation Bible School, so at least I have worked with younger kiddos. I have been searching and searching the internet for songs, videos, picture books, poems, chants, rhymes....basically anything that can help me.
Here are some great videos that I found to practice the alphabet and the alphabet sounds. I have the students move their chairs right up to the screen so they can see the letters and hear the sounds.
On this first video, we play it through once so we can listen and sing. Then I play it again, stopping at each letter and have the students find the magnetic letter that it goes to and repeat the chant for that letter. They are getting really good at the letters and the sounds. Sometimes, students in Korea have difficulty sounding out certain letters, and this video is helping.
Since I'm in Korea, I do not have "home court advantage". I can't run right out to Wal-Mart and pick up supplies. I can't go to Half Price Books to build up my classroom library and buy books. So you know what I did? I went on YouTube and found picture books being read aloud. I never knew they did this! Did you? Well, when I found it, it just made my day. I now have playlists on my YouTube channel: picture books, Dr Seuss, phonics, nursery rhymes, ABCs, music videos, etc. I am a happy girl in Korea!
Here are a couple of my favorites so far. I just discovered this a couple of days ago, so I haven't had a chance to show all the books:
Here are a couple of awesome phonics videos that I found for sight words. I will be adding these in to my plans this next week. What's awesome is that this particular YouTube channel has tons of videos for sight words. http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1jhiDqp-jIYR07Ini8Jamw Score!
Last but not least are my nursery rhymes. I have two girls in my high school class that I just adore. They both have low vision and intellectual disabilities, but they are always happy to come to class and see me. They often walk in and immediately ask if we can sing and dance. My co-teacher had originally planned for me to work with them only one day a week, but the girls loved my singing so much that I now get the privilege of working with them three days a week. I quickly discovered that they already knew several songs, so I used that and then expanded on it. They LOVE to do the motions to any song and use the musical instruments. I found this channel on YouTube where the colors are vivid, and the characters are super cute. The channel is called Little Baby Bum.
Here are our favorite nursery rhymes:
And their absolute favorite....which gets the "Saturday Night Fever" moves from one of the girls...
I am learning so much teaching and living in Korea. If you have ever thought about it, do it! If you have any questions about teaching in Korea, I'd be more than happy to answer them!