inspiration

No Room to Grow

While talking with one of my brightest students about her high school and college and job plans, her hopes and dreams, I told her to just find the thing that makes her happy, and try to do that as a job. She looked a me for a moment, a look of confusion on her face before saying:

"I don't have that."

In our whole conversation about job goals, I never once heard any hint of what she would enjoy doing. I know what her dad wants her to do, what her teachers want her to do, and she certainly knows which jobs are most difficult to get and which pay the most. But apparently there's nothing she loves to do.

This makes me really sad.

I know it's rather old hat to complain about the harshness of the Korean school system, but I'm going to jump right in regardless. These are the things I witness on a daily basis. This is the stuff I talk with my students about. I don't know how to fix it, but I can at least give a view from the inside.

The First Sunrise of 2016

Yangyang, Gangwon-do, South Korea —

sunrise-700

 


Korean Students Write the Darndest Things

Part of my job as a high school English teacher in South Korea involved giving out, and then correcting, weekly creative writing assignments. It quickly became one of my favorite parts of the experience, as it allowed my students to apply the language with more freedom and personality. It also helped me to get to know them in a more private way. From unintentionally funny remarks, to profound realizations, their writing was a joy to read.

Below is a small collection of some of my favorite excerpts. I’ve also taken the liberty of underscoring their messages with related images. Perhaps this could have been made into some sort of class project… Enjoy!


Blackout Poetry (Part 1)

This week I did a lesson on blackout poetry with my intermediate level high school students! Normally the project is done with texts from newspapers, magazines or novels, but I was worried about the vocabulary being too broad/out of reach. I wanted my students to focus on having fun, being creative, and playing with the language, rather than looking up/learning new words. So instead, I typed up a batch of their weekly English essays, omitted the names, and returned them for use with this assignment! Not only did this assure that the vocabulary was appropriate, it also made the assignment more personal and interesting!


Release

When you open your heart and you open your mindflat,550x550,075,f

You might be surprised what you will find

People more willing to say yes than no

A thousand doors to where you want to go

 

Strange new places, unfamiliar faces

Sprinkled with only the slightest traces

Of home, of the past

Try to make the moment last

 

Because after you blink

There’s no time to think

Of what you would’ve changed

Left out or rearranged

 

The present is fleeting

It’s here and it’s gone

Breathe in, the night is greeting

You, breathe out and it’s dawn

 

Don’t look back, no regrets


RTBC Day Seven: My Co-Teacher

Reflective Teacher Blog Challenge – Day Seven: Who is your most inspirational colleague? Why?

Me and my co-teacher!

Me and my co-teacher!


From the Mouths of Students

Teaching is hard.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but it's true. A good portion of my students on any given day don't give a crap about learning English. When I first started teaching, I really let that get to me. I sincerely care about these kids, I want them to learn, so every student who talked or napped through my class was like a personal wound. Right in the feelings.

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney died today. He was 74. By no means a young man, but in this day and age it cannot be denied that one of the world’s greatest poets has left us early, and this is to say nothing of the feelings I can barely imagine his family and friends are suffering under as we speak.

I was once in the same room as him. That is the best that I can say of my personal relationship with him. It was in UCD and he was presenting on a reworked version of the Antigone, where he spoke about the challenge of translation and representing the Ancient Greek classic in the twenty first century. To tell the truth, I can’t recall if we went up and introduced ourselves or not. He struck me as I did not expect someone of his significance to strike me; down to earth, honest, and light hearted, with a deep and warm voice from which words seemed like they were happiest coming from.


Kaizen Korea Documentary Teaser

A Humble Attempt at Thank You in 500 Words or Less

What started out as an idea for some 30 second blip has morphed into something utterly beyond ANY of our wildest expectations…. and this is just the 2 minute preview.


VIDEO: How To Cut a Mango

It's been quite a long time since I've done a YouTube video. I haven't really been inspired to get in front of the camera all winter. But since Spring decided to show up, I have been finding myself rather inspired for multiple projects. I find inspiration everywhere it seems... So why not make a video.

Last weekend I was shopping at our local grocery store, and I found some mangoes on clearance! Yes! In Korea, we have clearance sections in the produce section!!! It's pretty great, I must say.


Needless to say, that shopping trip inspired me to do a "how to" video on cutting mangoes.


Syndicate content
 

Koreabridge - RSS Feeds 
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group

Koreabridge - Googe+ Group