Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A little acceptance goes a long way.

This week has been very productive for the blog because I'm able to sit for hours at my desk.

Why, you ask? More deskwarming?

Perhaps you could call it that, but in truth my teachers are all incredibly busy with the end-of-the-school-year paperwork that they don't really have time for anything else. In all the hustle of the morning, something rather interesting happened:
Co-teacher [to me]: Laura, the Vice Principal just called the office. He wants to see you now.

Me: Should I go with a co-teacher?

Co-teacher: No, I asked him that but he said you can just go alone.

At this point I was on the border between dumbfounded and terrified because the Vice Principal speaks no more than 3 English phrases to me.
Now, before I continue, for those of you who aren't familiar with the Korean public school heirarchy, let me draw another quick analogy. If school were a game of chess, the Principal would be the King, but Vice Principal plays their role of Queen very well.

Oh, and all the teachers are pawns.

The point I'm trying to get across is this: in terms of power, the Principal definitely has the final say, but the Vice Principal does most of the footwork, and is basically in control of the teachers' daily working lives. So I was fairly intimidated that he wanted to see me without the protection of my co-teachers.

Walking to the main office, I repeated the word for 'Vice Principal' (교감선생님, or gyo-gam-seong-saeng-nim) about 1240985 times. When I got there, I found him in the middle of a meeting with a young woman so I waited skittishly outside the door (it was apparent to me at this point that I'm culturally becoming more Korean than I originally thought). When he told me to come in, I realized what was going on.

I sat down with this young woman who is applying for an open English teaching position at my school. The Vice Principal thought it would be a good idea to have me talk to her to test her English. It felt very strange to be the one asking interview questions (and especially to give the feedback to the Vice Principal in front of the interviewee!), but when all was said and done I left the office beaming.

Even if it was second nature to use my English, at least someone I normally bribe with cookies and immense bowing thought I would be just the girl for the job, and trusted my judgement for something other than making coffee.
Share |

No comments:

Post a Comment