teachers

How 20% of the School Day Got Me 100% Success

Presenting Their ProjectsThe leaders at Google believe that people are happier and more productive when they spend 20% of their time at work on a personal project, something that interests them, gets them fired up and invites the creative juices to flow. So, for part of Winter Camp 2015, I gave my students the opportunity to do just that! For two weeks they worked one hour each day on an independent project of their choice, and finished by presenting to their classmates. The only catch was that they had to use English in SOME WAY. From creative music videos to a detailed analysis of different educational systems arond the world, they produced some amazing work!


Wait for Me Until I Become You

Recently I’ve been giving my students mini essay assignments each week on various topics to improve their persuasive and creative writing. Below is the work of one of my strongest students. I asked him to write a letter to his future self in the year 2020. Check it out! It’s pretty great!

future

Dear myself in the future,

Hello, myself. I’m yourself. Precisely, I’m yourself in the past. I heard you’re 23 years old. Though you are older than me, I will not treat you politely. I have many questions. Most of all, what is your college? Seoul University? Really? You did a good job. And, did you go the army? Where? Katusa? Oh, I think you’re very good at English.


5 ESL Games for All Levels and Ages

As an ESL teacher working with middle school, high school, and adult students, I am always on the lookout for games that are fun and appropriate for a variety of skill levels and ages. Below is a collection of games that I’ve found to meet those standards! If you have any ideas of your own, questions, or feedback, feel free to leave them in the comment section!

1. Dots

IMG_1884Materials: Paper with pre-drawn dot grid, pens/pencils, dice


The only thing to fear is change itself…. Wait…

It was only temporary…but…last week, in the immortal words of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, my new Korean life got totally flip-turned-upside-down. Now-I’d-like-to-take-a-minute, just-sit-right-there-and-I’ll-tell-you-how-I….how my…forget it. How things changed.

Long story short, part of my Winter Camp involved me teaching at an elementary school reading camp for a few days before going back to teach at my regular middle/high school. Sidenote for those not in-the-know: a winter camp is a  two-three week period between regular semesters where kids come to school anyway to study more. The camps vary in theme and content, sometimes being determined by the school and other times by the Native English teachers. Generally speaking they’re supposed to be lighter and more “fun,” but in the end the kids are still there to study and learn English.


Tough TEFL Love


Food for Thought

This New York Times article, Toward Better Teachers, is a brief, well-balanced, thoughtful piece on some of the complexities and challenges of teaching. I most strongly agree with Bruni’s final point that, although teachers deserve greater support, compensation, and respect for their work, they also owe the people from whom they’re demanding those things a “discussion about education that fully acknowledges the existence of too many underperformers in their ranks.”

What do you think?


RTBC Day Eleven: The teacher becomes the student

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Eleven: What is your favorite part of the school day? Why?


RTBC Day Nine: Flying Solo

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Nine: Write about one of your biggest accomplishments in your teaching that no one knows about (or may not care).

Part of being an English teacher in the EPIK program means working with a co-teacher in the classroom. However, this past week I was faced with the challenge/opportunity of teaching not one, but TWO classes all on my own! And get this: the students and I both survived, and maybe even thrived!

In the minutes before these classes, part of me was absolutely terrified to stand alone in front of a room full of students who barely understood a word I said. I dreaded the process of presenting vocabulary and explaining activities without my co-teacher being there to come to my rescue. And I almost had to sit down at the thought of how I would discipline the students if trouble came along.


RTBC Day Four: What I love about teaching

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Four: What do you love about teaching?

In the classroom, the teacher has to be able to roll with the punches of the day, and should always be open to responding to the students and circumstances in front of them. By taking advantage of an impromptu teaching moment, however small, new connections with the material can be made where previously there were none.


RTBC Day One: Teaching Goals

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day One: Write your goals for the school year. Be as specific or abstract as you’d like to be!

In no particular order:


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