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  • hnyalea
  • Newgookin

    • 1

    • March 07, 2023, 02:38:54 pm
    • South Korea
Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« on: March 07, 2023, 03:08:44 pm »
Hey everyone,

I just started my first public elementary school teaching job through EPIK this week. I have never taught before in any capacity. Ever since I started, I have been feeling extremely low. My school seems okay, and my co-teachers are nice enough, but this job is so much more directionless and vague and open-ended than I anticipated. My co-teachers are also much less proficient in English than I anticipated, and it's hard to communicate with them to figure out how classes will go, which makes it hard to plan what I want to do. This causes me a lot of anxiety, as I really don't do well with ambiguity in that sense.

In addition, and what's perhaps weighing most heavily on me, is that despite having some friends here in Korea, I still feel so extremely isolated and am missing my family absolutely terribly. I miss my mom so very much. It seems I can't stop crying - I barely managed to pull myself together before the students came in for class today. My aunt passed away unexpectedly just weeks before I came here, and I never got to talk to her about how I was going to Korea. She only knew I was because my dad had told her and apparently she was telling all her coworkers about it too... but just thinking that she's gone now, and now I'm actually here, and I'll never get to speak to her about my experience here or get any texts from her throughout each day is extremely heartbreaking for me. And somehow I feel like being here on my own with those thoughts is exacerbating my grief now. Losing my aunt also makes me extremely anxious to be away from my family and miss out on precious time with them.

In addition, my sister is getting married in November (on a Saturday), and I really wanted to be able to go back home for her wedding, but I donít know if my school will allow me the following Monday off so I could do that (there would be no time for me to make it back for classes Monday because of the time jump).

The language barrier is tough, too. At school, since I'm the only foreigner, I don't feel I'll be able to make any friends here, and even speaking with my co-teachers, I have this sense they want to get away / finish our conversation ASAP somehow because they're not comfortable speaking a long time in English. Which again, makes me anxious to go to them even for work-related questions. It's so different from my last work environment back home, where my coworkers and I talked all the time and got along amazingly, and I never hesitated to ask for help if I needed it.

I thought this would be a great adventure, and I've been abroad before and experienced culture shock that I overcame, so I thought I'd be okay here too and get through any hardships... but being in Korea is a whole different beast. This feeling I have is on a completely different level. I thought that I knew I wanted to do this, but I don't know anymore. Teaching is not a passion of mine, but it seemed like a good opportunity that would allow me to make money while living in Korea. I didn't realize I would feel this way until everything started. And I know that it's said many people feel like this in the beginning, and it's worth sticking out... but my mental health seems so in the gutter right now that I don't know how I'm going to do it.

It's only the first week, and I haven't even opened a Korean bank account yet, so my school hasn't given me the entrance allowance or settlement allowance yet even. If I were to leave now, I wouldn't even need to worry about paying it back since I never got it. But I also don't want to leave my school in the lurch without a NET... and I don't want to go home and regret it or feel awful for doing so. I feel so unsure and stuck. I honestly don't know what to do. I just need advice. I just wish I could know it's going to be okay, and that I'm going to feel okay eventually.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2023, 03:30:31 pm by hnyalea »


Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2023, 04:19:47 pm »
...
The language barrier is tough, too. At school, since I'm the only foreigner, I don't feel I'll be able to make any friends here, and even speaking with my co-teachers, I have this sense they want to get away / finish our conversation ASAP somehow because they're not comfortable speaking a long time in English. Which again, makes me anxious to go to them even for work-related questions. It's so different from my last work environment back home, where my coworkers and I talked all the time and got along amazingly, and I never hesitated to ask for help if I needed it.
...

I'm not a teacher, so I can't really give you any advice, but as someone who works at a company in Korea, I can tell you that this part isn't unique to hagwons, and it also isn't due to any language barrier. It's just a part of Korean work culture. In simple terms, Korean work culture is as toxic as it gets. And my company isn't even bad. There are some where the office atmosphere is outright hostile. I know someone who works somewhere where they don't even greet each other in the morning. I know someone else who was verbally abused military style on a daily basis until they quit.

Re: language barrier & foreigner issue. I speak fluent Korean, I only talk to coworkers in Korean, yet I'm not close to any of my coworkers. The feeling seems to be: "I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to do my work and mine alone." So, you won't get much in the way of help, and even if you offer help, you'll rarely have anyone ask you for it.

Now, you may think that's a me problem, but they're as indifferent and antisocial with each other as well.

I raised the issue numerous times, and the thing is, on an individual basis, my coworkers expressed the same frustration that I feel, but at the same time, they don't seem to want it to change.

Tl;dr I wouldn't hold my breath for making any real Korean friends during your time in Korea. Especially not coworkers.


Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2023, 04:54:08 pm »
So sorry that life in Korea is causing you so much unhappiness. It must truly suck to be feeling how you are feeling at the moment. I haven't been in your exact situation, but I do empathize with you having experienced living and working here, and the situations and challenges Korea can throw up. Hang tight and things may just naturally get better but if you are not enjoying work, it makes it harder to settle in.
Do what you have to do. If you still feel the same way in a month, just give notice and bail. Don't waste a year of your life on misery.
 


  • theman3285
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1084

    • June 16, 2017, 09:01:06 am
Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2023, 05:45:21 pm »
If the expat lifestyle has taught me anything it's that it's perfectly normal to feel like a teary mess when uprooting to somewhere new. You think you're missing your mom, etc., but really it's a lack of control over your new environment that's unsettling you. Push through, and I guarantee you'll look back on this post in a few months and wonder what all the fuss was about.


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

    • 3995

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2023, 09:52:31 pm »
Of course you miss your mom!  And lots of stuff back home--you've been abroad before and felt the same, right?  You dealt with it then, you can deal with it now, too!  Draw on your inner strength!

You already have some friends here, which is more than many could say when they arrived--use them!  Did you make contacts at EPIK orientation?--use them!  Find a coffee shop you like, settle in for an hour of FB or FT with folks back home on the free wifi (get outside your little apatuh)!  I know that really helped me when I was fresh off the boat.  You don't say where you are, but I bet there is an FB group for expats (probably even fellow teachers) there.  Use them, too!

As far as the job, it is nice to have someone in your corner at work, though it may take a little time to find them.  You feel adrift in the workspace, but there are a couple of sites that can help you navigate the tasks and materials you need to teach English to students here.  Try t e a c h k o r e a , kr and k o r s h a r e ,org .  (Don't give them a dime here.) 

You've undertaken a massive change to your life--you had some reason to do it, so don't let what is likely a temporary set of feelings undermine your momentum!  I say "temporary" advisedly: a week is practically no time at all.  If, as others have said, if you still don't have your sealegs a month or two from now, then it's fair to consider going home--life is too short to be miserable!  But a couple of weeks is too short to decide!  Give yourself a chance!

Good luck!

PS: Your sister's wedding is a write-off, and you knew that when you took the job.  Just make sure someone can FT or Zoom it with you!
« Last Edit: March 07, 2023, 09:57:43 pm by Mr C »


  • Augustiner
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1169

    • December 06, 2021, 01:18:06 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2023, 09:06:17 am »
You say you've been abroad before, but have you lived abroad?  I recall when I got here the first time thinking "What the hell have I done?"  I thought a year would be such a long time and overall felt pretty unsettled.  But there was also a sense of adventure and excitement at the same time.  That helped to balance things out and after getting over the jet lag I adjusted pretty quickly and never hit the infamous three month wall. I always used to still have dreams about stumbling across a supermarket from back home in the basement of some building in my town but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  If you're only feeling negative feelings and regret after a couple more weeks I would consider packing it in.  It's no judgement on you but some people simply can't do a year abroad in a culture that will have your head spinning when you first get dropped in.  None of what you described appears to be out of the ordinary so Korea may just not be for you.  I would give it a couple more weeks as you don't want to throw in the towel too quickly, but if you're still feeling this way come April I'd move on. 



  • sesameoil
  • Waygookin

    • 19

    • March 03, 2021, 03:28:59 pm
    • Daejeon
Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2023, 09:43:23 am »
Honestly, you don't want to make close friends with your coworkers here, but I've been drinking with my coworkers here a number of times. Some have even tried to set me up on dates with their friends. Your number 1 key to making meaningful connections here is learning Korean. It helps if you're you're not a picky eater and have an interest in k-culture beyond pop culture (think learning about independence and democracy movements or traditional foods and liquors). But for now don't go in expecting high-quality conversations in English, keep it to simple, stupid, and fun topics. People will warm up to you if you have a good personality.


Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2023, 11:14:30 am »
A few things
From the experience of others, I've seen the highest rate of success and enjoyment in people who came over here with the goal of making one good Korean friend vs. trying to be friends with everyone. And they didn't force it, they just did their thing and it happened.

Don't worry about not being friends with all of your coworkers. Understand them- Would you want to be friends with everyone, including the weird old male teacher or the old married lady? Probably not. And it's natural for them to feel the same way and not be close to you. Now, that doesn't mean you can't be friendly, and that certainly can be possible. Rome wasn't built in a day and friendships aren't always built in a week, especially with jobs where there's lots of turnover. Consider that other people already have groups of friends, routines and plans, and so they won't suddenly put those on hold. For now. But warm up over a few weeks and suddenly that Korean co-worker who you thought was just nice, but not really a friend, suddenly works up the courage to ask if you want to go see a baseball game after work because he noticed you checking the score on your phone and next thing you know, you two are having the time of your life.

Also, consider the experience of all the international/new kids/exchange students back home. Maybe you made friends with all of them when they came to your class? Or maybe you just kind of let them find their own way? It's going to be the same thing only you're the exchange student. Now we're that exchange student. One thing a lot of immigrants do is join religious organizations or clubs, if there's any that appeal to you, consider those and looking up if there are any.

If you're a nice, positive, respectful person you WILL make friends. Even in smaller towns (assuming there's at least SOME level of young people, if you're in a really rural area, you're probably going to have to travel). Someone here posted about not being able to make friends and this being the case at every place you work. Maybe in some uber-competitive white collar environment or a rural school where everyone commutes, but in most cases you should be able, after a time, to maybe work to the level of at least "go out of dinner together from time-to-time".

Finally, and this is unfortunate, one thing that can be affecting things is that there are still some conservative social norms regarding people. Outside of a group setting, if you are seen alone with a person of the opposite gender, you will be assumed to be "dating". There might be some hesitation based on those things. It can sometimes be easier to join a group of 2 or 3 than just one one one.

That and remember, it's the beginning of the semester, it's hectic and everyone is flooded with paperwork and things they have to get done. Usually at a public school, everyone waits until the big welcome dinner to really start to make friends. It should be happening soon. Ask your coteacher about it. AND GO. But, be prepared to DRINK (and be sure you can hold your drink). Do be friendly, but DON'T dominate conversation or try to make yourself the center of attention. A really good way is to always drink when asked, but generally say quiet and wait for a moment when you can say something funny or nice, everyone will appreciate it, and then go back to listening. It is Asia.


  • Augustiner
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1169

    • December 06, 2021, 01:18:06 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2023, 12:03:07 pm »
A few things
From the experience of others, I've seen the highest rate of success and enjoyment in people who came over here with the goal of making one good Korean friend vs. trying to be friends with everyone. And they didn't force it, they just did their thing and it happened.

Don't worry about not being friends with all of your coworkers. Understand them- Would you want to be friends with everyone, including the weird old male teacher or the old married lady? Probably not. And it's natural for them to feel the same way and not be close to you. Now, that doesn't mean you can't be friendly, and that certainly can be possible. Rome wasn't built in a day and friendships aren't always built in a week, especially with jobs where there's lots of turnover. Consider that other people already have groups of friends, routines and plans, and so they won't suddenly put those on hold. For now. But warm up over a few weeks and suddenly that Korean co-worker who you thought was just nice, but not really a friend, suddenly works up the courage to ask if you want to go see a baseball game after work because he noticed you checking the score on your phone and next thing you know, you two are having the time of your life.

Also, consider the experience of all the international/new kids/exchange students back home. Maybe you made friends with all of them when they came to your class? Or maybe you just kind of let them find their own way? It's going to be the same thing only you're the exchange student. Now we're that exchange student. One thing a lot of immigrants do is join religious organizations or clubs, if there's any that appeal to you, consider those and looking up if there are any.

If you're a nice, positive, respectful person you WILL make friends. Even in smaller towns (assuming there's at least SOME level of young people, if you're in a really rural area, you're probably going to have to travel). Someone here posted about not being able to make friends and this being the case at every place you work. Maybe in some uber-competitive white collar environment or a rural school where everyone commutes, but in most cases you should be able, after a time, to maybe work to the level of at least "go out of dinner together from time-to-time".

Finally, and this is unfortunate, one thing that can be affecting things is that there are still some conservative social norms regarding people. Outside of a group setting, if you are seen alone with a person of the opposite gender, you will be assumed to be "dating". There might be some hesitation based on those things. It can sometimes be easier to join a group of 2 or 3 than just one one one.

That and remember, it's the beginning of the semester, it's hectic and everyone is flooded with paperwork and things they have to get done. Usually at a public school, everyone waits until the big welcome dinner to really start to make friends. It should be happening soon. Ask your coteacher about it. AND GO. But, be prepared to DRINK (and be sure you can hold your drink). Do be friendly, but DON'T dominate conversation or try to make yourself the center of attention. A really good way is to always drink when asked, but generally say quiet and wait for a moment when you can say something funny or nice, everyone will appreciate it, and then go back to listening. It is Asia.

If all of your posts were this hilariously idiotic and useless I would never need to put you on ignore.  Perhaps you should recommend they join a local canoeing club as you did in a previous post where someone was looking to get out of a funk.  I enviously watch the canoeists glide gracefully down my local river but I'm spoiled for choice around here and can't decide which club to join.

And the Asian stereotypes was a nice touch.  Usually you go ballistic when someone else makes an observation on here about local behaviour but you jumped right in with the weird old male teacher and the OLD married woman that every school seems to have on staff.  Damn old people.  And what about those drunken hwesiks that all schools have.  Well, all schools except the past two I have worked at that have never had any that were in the evening or had alcohol. 

Stop trying to HELP this person.  They have enough problems right now. 


  • Bakeacake
  • Expert Waygook

    • 880

    • July 12, 2010, 01:35:40 pm
    • Pohang South Korea
Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2023, 01:11:45 pm »
honestly, some people cant deal with independence from their families.  If you you are homesick so soon, and constantly calling home and needing to be near your family, you should probably go home.  Chalk it up to a learning experience about yourself. You need to be close to home. Teaching overseas isn't the right fit for you.


Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2023, 01:51:28 pm »
If all of your posts were this hilariously idiotic and useless I would never need to put you on ignore.  Perhaps you should recommend they join a local canoeing club as you did in a previous post where someone was looking to get out of a funk.  I enviously watch the canoeists glide gracefully down my local river but I'm spoiled for choice around here and can't decide which club to join.

And the Asian stereotypes was a nice touch.  Usually you go ballistic when someone else makes an observation on here about local behaviour but you jumped right in with the weird old male teacher and the OLD married woman that every school seems to have on staff.  Damn old people.  And what about those drunken hwesiks that all schools have.  Well, all schools except the past two I have worked at that have never had any that were in the evening or had alcohol. 

Stop trying to HELP this person.  They have enough problems right now. 
Well, I don't know if they do or don't do any welcome dinners anymore, but if it's in a more rural area, they might. Anyways, something to consider. Maybe they can have one and after, it might not be so lonely.

Anyways, I'm sorry, I don't know why you're so angry over the advice I offered. I think joining a club or a church can help. For example, back home a lot of the Korean international students either joined KISA (Korean International Students Association) or attended a Korean church as a way to make friends and to overcome loneliness. Others would join campus clubs or stuff like that. Maybe OP can do something like that.

Sorry that such advice bothers you. I can't really understand why.

Quote
And the Asian stereotypes was a nice touch.  Usually you go ballistic when someone else makes an observation on here about local behaviour but you jumped right in with the weird old male teacher and the OLD married woman that every school seems to have on staff.  Damn old people.  And what about those drunken hwesiks that all schools have.
I never said anything about Asians until the end and that was only in reference to how to engage in conversation, that trying to be the center of attention as a newbie is a pretty big faux pas. I don't know why you read race into "weird old teacher", but if you think "weird old male teacher"= Asian stereotype, then I'm sorry that's what you think. I think most schools around the world have at least one weird old male teacher on staff.

Anyways, OP, I'm sorry that this ended up like this. I can't speak to feeling estrangement, because I didn't. But I can share about the experience of all the Korean students I knew back home and the stress they felt. Who knows, maybe some of your coteachers did an exchange program themselves?

That being said, if it isn't working out or it doesn't work out, that doesn't mean something is wrong with you. Some things just don't fit. We all have them. Anyways, even though he is upset with me, I think Augustiner gave some good advice earlier- Give it some time, but at some point if it isn't working out, it isn't working out and it's okay to go find something else. The important thing is to stay positive. If you do leave, don't leave feeling you failed, leave feeling you're going to find something new and exciting.


  • 745sticky
  • The Legend

    • 2596

    • March 26, 2020, 01:52:57 pm
    • Korea
Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2023, 03:23:08 pm »
The language barrier is tough, too. At school, since I'm the only foreigner, I don't feel I'll be able to make any friends here, and even speaking with my co-teachers, I have this sense they want to get away / finish our conversation ASAP somehow because they're not comfortable speaking a long time in English. Which again, makes me anxious to go to them even for work-related questions. It's so different from my last work environment back home, where my coworkers and I talked all the time and got along amazingly, and I never hesitated to ask for help if I needed it.

unfortunately, this is simply going to be the case. if you want that friendly sort of conversation with your co-teachers it's something you'll really have to work at, bringing snacks and things like that helps. i've worked at a bunch of places, and a lot of jobs even in the states don't really have the bff environment. most people just want to get their work over with and go home.


Stop trying to HELP this person.  They have enough problems right now.

in JVC's defense this was a comparatively tame post for him, or at least i didn't see it as that egregious


  • Billy Herrington
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1481

    • June 30, 2022, 12:02:07 am
    • China
    more
Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2023, 05:24:06 pm »
Anyways, I'm sorry, I don't know why you're so angry over the advice I offered. I think joining a club or a church can help. For example, back home a lot of the Korean international students either joined KISA (Korean International Students Association) or attended a Korean church as a way to make friends and to overcome loneliness. Others would join campus clubs or stuff like that. Maybe OP can do something like that.

Maybe the OP can join a cycling club.


Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2023, 09:27:44 pm »
@OP: I can't really add much to what some of the others have already said outside of saying that you've got to create your own little island here. What you're feeling is normal, but it does get easier if you give yourself the chance to explore all of the different niches. You may not ever feel entirely comfortable in Korea, and that's okay and also totally normal. Some places will gel while others just won't, that's part of expat life, so don't feel bad about it. If this is seriously affecting your mental health, then do what you have to do, no regrets. But if you're just having feelings of homesickness and unease due to what you feel is a lack of direction and/or support, give yourself the time and grace to adjust first. Look for different ways of fulfilling the wants and needs that you feel aren't being met atm, reach out to more people and groups for get togethers for different activities, maybe even see if others in your area are interested in meeting up for some lesson planning and brainstorming. For all of the reasons already mentioned plus others that weren't, your work life here probably won't ever fit your ideal, but you can still make it work and at least come to appreciate the experience, even if it's definitely not for you in the end.

For your classes, settle on a pattern. Don't worry about what you think your coteachers or school expect or want from you. If they're not providing you with the initial feedback to get started, they probably don't know what to expect or want from you, either, so do what makes sense and works for you. If you don't know what that is, look at what other teachers have posted on here and other ESL websites (Mr. C has listed a few) for your school's textbooks. K O R S H A R E even has pics of current official textbooks to make it easier to find what your own school is using. Follow a lesson plan and materials that someone has posted for that particular chapter. Over time, you'll figure out what works for you and what doesn't. There are lots of active users who'll also provide advice and feedback for each lesson. There's even an open chat on K O R S H A R E, too.

in JVC's defense this was a comparatively tame post for him, or at least i didn't see it as that egregious

The difference between shit being left in an unflushed toilet vs. being smeared all over the seat and walls.

One is not as bad as the other, but shit is still involved.

His post was tacky and condescending. In August's defense, all he did was flush that toilet.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2023, 10:08:19 pm by Chinguetti »


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 6114

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Just started, but already feeling like I want to go home
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2023, 08:13:18 am »
Hey everyone,

I just started my first public elementary school teaching job through EPIK this week. I have never taught before in any capacity. Ever since I started, I have been feeling extremely low. My school seems okay, and my co-teachers are nice enough, but this job is so much more directionless and vague and open-ended than I anticipated. My co-teachers are also much less proficient in English than I anticipated, and it's hard to communicate with them to figure out how classes will go, which makes it hard to plan what I want to do. This causes me a lot of anxiety, as I really don't do well with ambiguity in that sense.

In addition, and what's perhaps weighing most heavily on me, is that despite having some friends here in Korea, I still feel so extremely isolated and am missing my family absolutely terribly. I miss my mom so very much. It seems I can't stop crying - I barely managed to pull myself together before the students came in for class today. My aunt passed away unexpectedly just weeks before I came here, and I never got to talk to her about how I was going to Korea. She only knew I was because my dad had told her and apparently she was telling all her coworkers about it too... but just thinking that she's gone now, and now I'm actually here, and I'll never get to speak to her about my experience here or get any texts from her throughout each day is extremely heartbreaking for me. And somehow I feel like being here on my own with those thoughts is exacerbating my grief now. Losing my aunt also makes me extremely anxious to be away from my family and miss out on precious time with them.

In addition, my sister is getting married in November (on a Saturday), and I really wanted to be able to go back home for her wedding, but I donít know if my school will allow me the following Monday off so I could do that (there would be no time for me to make it back for classes Monday because of the time jump).

The language barrier is tough, too. At school, since I'm the only foreigner, I don't feel I'll be able to make any friends here, and even speaking with my co-teachers, I have this sense they want to get away / finish our conversation ASAP somehow because they're not comfortable speaking a long time in English. Which again, makes me anxious to go to them even for work-related questions. It's so different from my last work environment back home, where my coworkers and I talked all the time and got along amazingly, and I never hesitated to ask for help if I needed it.

I thought this would be a great adventure, and I've been abroad before and experienced culture shock that I overcame, so I thought I'd be okay here too and get through any hardships... but being in Korea is a whole different beast. This feeling I have is on a completely different level. I thought that I knew I wanted to do this, but I don't know anymore. Teaching is not a passion of mine, but it seemed like a good opportunity that would allow me to make money while living in Korea. I didn't realize I would feel this way until everything started. And I know that it's said many people feel like this in the beginning, and it's worth sticking out... but my mental health seems so in the gutter right now that I don't know how I'm going to do it.

It's only the first week, and I haven't even opened a Korean bank account yet, so my school hasn't given me the entrance allowance or settlement allowance yet even. If I were to leave now, I wouldn't even need to worry about paying it back since I never got it. But I also don't want to leave my school in the lurch without a NET... and I don't want to go home and regret it or feel awful for doing so. I feel so unsure and stuck. I honestly don't know what to do. I just need advice. I just wish I could know it's going to be okay, and that I'm going to feel okay eventually.

You either adapt or you don't.  But you won't know your first two weeks.  You can download ppt games online for your classes.  You are the only foreigner and that is true.  Even those of us here for a long time can get that feeling especially if we go to a new school or all new teachers and administrators change at once.  Say hi to the kids and let them flip over seeing a foreigner.  At least that part is cool sometimes.  You really won't know until you have been here for 6 months.  If you still feel this way come September, then give 30 or 60 days notice and go home.  Or stay and do the year and then go home. 

As for schools your main school is suppose to take care of your business, translating, open a bank account, get a phone, etc.  If your coteacher doesn't help you, get a little pushy if need be.  That's their job.  Unless they assign someone from the education office to do this for you. 
Happy Teachers Day to New Orleans.