With my renewal underway, I decided to write out why I decided to stay another year.
I would be lying if I said there weren't financial motives in my renewal- I get a raise, a renewal bonus and an extra week of vacation time. All of this makes for a really good incentive to renew.
But it's more than that. The amount of effort, money, time and psyching myself up it took to move my entire life across the world, to me, is worth more than 1 year here. It's gone so fast that I feel like I just got here, so I feel like another year here would be worth it, since this one went so fast, and it took so much to get here.
And it's more than just how fast it's gone. It's my students. They still greet me enthusiastically in the hallways (especially my adorable 4th graders, and even my sixth graders that won't respond to me in class shout down the hallway to say hello to me if they see me!), and I'm finally starting to learn some of their names. I can feel how much better I've gotten as a teacher in the last 9 months, and I think that to leave now would be a waste. I'm so much more comfortable with the kids and the lesson planning now than when I got here, and I feel like I can only grow and improve (especially when I teach some of the chapters again next semester, since we're using the same books). I know which students need extra attention and which ones can help me out in a bind. I'm so much more comfortable with everything now.
Bottom line, I'm getting better at this job, it's a great job (I have health insurance, a nice apartment and a good paycheck), I'm enjoying Seoul, I love my students, my Korean is slooooowly getting better, I love my office, my school and my friends, and I'm getting some good incentives to say.
And probably, most importantly, CESCA IS MOVING TO KOREA, which is the biggest motivation in my life to stay!
My open class went well, and, aside from a few nitpicky things about my lesson plan but not the actual lesson, I got a really good score and the observers enjoyed it!
Looks like I'm here for another year! I can't wait to see what new adventures it brings!