teaching English

my little dragons

With the floods finally over, we have been able to move back to Nonthaburi and school has finally resumed. I am teaching Kindergartners and am so far (mostly) loving it! My kids are at the perfect age where they don't cry or poop their pants anymore, but are still pretty cute (especially when I compare them to my older Korean children) and are learning so much everyday.

wrong side of the road...

It's my fourth day at my new school, Little Dragon's International School and I am exhausted. It was a long day at the zoo yesterday, I have been teaching a class all week for a sick teacher and it is the most intensive training possible. I have been quite busy and therefore slacking on writing, about Thailand and about my travels, and I have a lot on my mind to share!

A few things I have noticed about Thailand thus far (I will share pictures and stories from our trip soon, I promise!)

- I am living in the suburbs of Bangkok, I had no idea there were rich spoiled suburban children here too. But boy is there. And I am their teacher.

NEW!!! The expense of failure

As the sun comes up on the horizon, its bright warming fingers reach out over Korea. Across the nation, the sound of cars, lorries and buses that restricted the natural silence and stillness of the previous night prevails into morning. The punters from the evening line the streets, piling into taxis to ferry them home or straight to work. Other droopy-eyed proletarians wipe sleep from their eyes as they drag themselves into their workplace. The elderly, alert and active, converge and power-walk together in circles. It’s the birth of a new day and the death of another.

Koreans take great pride in their country, their history, their ‘pure’ Korean blood, their culture, the patriarchal society, and – what is most admired by westerners – their industrial and economic growth.


Question from a reader: must-knows before coming to Korea?

A reader writes in:

Hi Chris! I love your blog and have learned so much about various experiences in Korea. I am leaving on Friday to Seoul for a week of training and then living in [city redacted] which is nearby Seoul. Just wondering if you have any must knows that you could share with me, as I am clearly becoming nervous as time comes. Thanks so much!

[S.P.]

Coming to Korea remains a scary thing. Despite the abundance of information, it’s hard to cut through the out-dated and biased info to find the useful nuggets.


it is what it is.

The time has come, I can't believe it, this year has flown by! Feels like I was just packing my bags having no idea what to expect of the country and life I was heading to. And here I go again, embarking on yet another adventure, with no idea what the future holds for me. Quite literally, I have no real travel itinerary (this is in my opinion, the only way to travel!) except I have until October to get from Hanoi, Vietnam to Thailand where I will find a job teaching English, in a town still undetermined. Possibly the craziest or bravest thing I have done up to this point in my life (and I have done a lot of crazy shit.)

Question from a reader: school gives bad references?

A reader writes in:

I’m having a problem. I’m trying to find a new job in [city redacted], but no hagwon owner will hire me without speaking to my previous school about why I left early. (They stopped paying me on time and I gave them notice and left 2 months before my contract was up. It was an amicable separation.) However, it seems that [hagwon name redacted] is giving me a bad reputation or something, because once I give the recruiter info on my school, I don’t hear back from the recruiter. And, I figure I can’t exactly lie and say I’ve never been to Korea, because they will see that I’ve been there before once I try to apply for a second visa.

Thanks for any advice!

[Anonymous]


Question from a reader: diagnosed with depression

A reader I’ll keep anonymous writes in:

My name is [redacted] I’m a returned Peace Corps Volunteer living here in [city redacted]. I came across your blog on a Google search for information about teaching English in Korea. I currently have to friends who are past PCV’s teaching with EPIK in Korea.


Question from a reader: a teacher’s schedule?

A reader writes in:

Hi Chris:

I stumbled across your blog and I’ve found it to be of great use to
me, as I am going to be heading to Seoul in approximately two months
to teach English. Although I have done quite a bit of research on my
own, I have been unable to find information on how much time I’m going
to have to spend outside of the classroom preparing lessons and
grading papers.

I went to school to be a Spanish teacher and when I did my student
teaching, it was a life-consuming process. I’d be curious to know your
experience with the overall workload of an ESL teacher in Korea.

[D.D.]

D.D.,


mean teacher

Who would have thought, as much of a pain in the ass as I was to my teachers in school, that I would turn into that strict teacher who doesn't put up with your bullshit and kicks you out of class! (The fact that I have to kick a 4th grader out of class in the first place is an entirely different story.) I never thought it would be me, I figured I would be the 'cool teacher' that everyone liked. While I am cool and fun and most my kids like me (probably just because I have blonde hair though) there are times when I find myself totally frustrated with a student and I lose that cool for a minute, just a minute, until the somber looking kid nods and pays attention again. Yes, I have made a couple students cry, (in my defense it is usually not my fault, they are just way too sensitive and have cried even when I am being nice) but that is rare and I am not a monster, I feel terrible about it afterwards.

Teaching: 8 games to play with your English-language-learning students

This blog focuses on travel and life in Korea – but for many wonderful readers, teaching English takes up a pretty significant amount of time. Hope these help you in your classes!

 


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