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Proud of My Work

Before I ever left for Korea I was working at an Insurance Company in San Francisco. My boss was this kooky old Japanese man who lived by a lot of morals and codes. Have you ever watched Mad Men? The office was kind of like that, and even had old type writers.

While he was training me to be an Insurance Agent he would now and then pass on knowledge. This one time he told me that when you do a job you should do it right. You should do such hard work that when it comes time for you to leave (for whatever reason) the company should be sorry to see you go. At that time I was fresh out of college and with a small work history behind me. I tried my best at that job, but know I could have left it better.

A Day of Professional Development: KOTESOL International Conference 2012


On October 20th and 21st Sookmyung Women's University held the 20th KOTESOL International Conference. During this time teacher's and ESOL enthusiasts gathered to see presentations ranging from topics such as mobile language learning to gaining more participation from students. Yet most importantly it felt like a time to celebrate the profession of teaching English as a second or foreign language.

I for one enjoyed the presentations I attended and especially found the conference well organized and entertaining.

First Time Teacher's in Korea: Some helpful points

Last weekend I randomly met up with a newcomer to Korea. He has been here about half a year and teaching down in Jinhae, which is near Busan. During our visit he expressed to me some difficulties getting use to teaching in Korea. Certainly some of the points he made were exactly how I felt when I first started teaching, and I couldn't help but see how far I have come. Recently he posted this on his Facebook:

Seoul Cambridge Day XII


On a lovely early Fall day I headed to Sookmyung Women's University in the Yongsan area. This campus is quite lovely and set atop a hill near a park. If you ever get the time I would suggest exploring this area as there are many restaurants, cafes and dessert shops nearby.

I came for the event Seoul Cambridge Day XII, as suggested by the KOTESOL organization. This event brought together teacher's and professionals to hear lectures on Cambridge materials and teaching methods.

Seoul KOTESOL Chapter Meeting

I have decided to take teaching English a bit more seriously, and in that process realized it might be a good idea to join the KOTESOL group. About two or three years ago I attended their international conference they hold each year in the Fall. Although I showed up at the last half of it, I remember it felt great to be around folks who are interested in teaching English.

Yesterday, I attended the Seoul chapter of the group and enjoyed their monthly meeting nearby Sookmyung University. It was a hot and sultry afternoon when I arrived, and due to a busy morning had skipped lunch. But I grabbed a snack and joined folks in the cool air-conditioned room. There I was greeted by Stafford from the Chosun Bimbo, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting at other events. I also was greeted to some other nice folks who are part of the group.

Milestones

Today I completed my second time of open classes at my current school. When I went through this last year I was way more nervous. I really wanted to make a good impression last year, and so rolled out high energy and a lot of activities. This year, I was still a little nervous but seemed to calmly get through it.

On the Business of Being a Team Leader

It's been almost two months into my second year at my school, and I figured it is time to talk about being a Team Leader. This title makes me in charge of three other foreign Native English teachers in my department (2nd grade). It also means that I am in the intermediary between the English crew and the Korean homeroom teachers. When I was first given this duty I was stricken with fear that I couldn't do it, and would find myself stressed out too much. Today I am going to expose how being a Team Leader has developed for me and give insights into what's been happening so far.

First Team Leader Meeting

My mind is in a swirl and I am home cooking tofu stir-fry. But about an hour ago I learned about what it will be like being a team leader next term and the duties that are going to come my way. The school basically wants to overhaul the English Department. Make it more standardized, meaning tests and homework should have a set grading system. It all makes sense, with it showing that we should be more unified and organized. The main goal is to boost the English Department's reputation. For years now, as it has been observed, the attitude was "Here you go, you can figure it out." A very easy going attitude that showed the Korean teachers we were likely lazy and can't be motivated.

Video as a Tool For English Education in Korea

I noticed something the other day while teaching my winter camp classes, and that is Korean kids love Youtube just as much as kids back home. Of course, this should come as no surprise as Korea is a very wired country. But I think seeing videos in the classroom has been a part of their lives since they started school. I for one have used a multitude of math-song videos and for fun, played those cutesy and catchy ones that get their attention.

An excellent evolution has occurred with the use of video in the classroom, and that is teachers making educational videos with their students. The forum waygook.org has already shown areas where teachers are integrating a video-creating lesson into their classes. Also, you catch teacher made videos on youtube with some that are awesome and others quite simple. Here for you are an example of teachers taking the video camera in the classroom and making it a fun tool for English education.


Winter Camp 2012 Wraps Up

Wow! Camp has come and gone in what feels like the blink of an eye. However, I can say I'm pleased with that reality. Camp this time around (compared to last summer) was a bit easier. I think it is because I had the higher level class, although at times they started to test me.

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