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teaching in Korea

Fresh air with the kiddos: Field trip to the Korea National Arboretum

Some wonderful Fall foliage pics here to share with you as I talk about my final field trip for this semester. The kiddos were sent to the Korea National Arboretum up in Pocheon, which is slightly north of Seoul.

Our day was blessed with little cloud cover, warm air and wonderful colors along the way.

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.

When a student leaves

It came without notice today, one of our students is leaving the school. What makes this more special than other times is that this students was let's say a star. But not in a great and brilliant shining way, more like he was the constant trouble maker. Indeed, last year he would use his physical self to hurt other students without much regret. This year he used words and threats more, which I guess was an improvement. But despite him being a bully, rude and just hard to manage I actually became fond of this kid. I think what happened was finding a way to manage him in class and also be his friend at the same time. Also when he was behaving well and giving constructive output in the class I enjoyed his participation.

School Market Day


Fall is here with clear blue skies and cool breezes, and I am reminded that a whole year has gone by. Around this season schools like to hold festive markets where the students come out and buy stuff. Usually the stuff for sale is donated by parent volunteers. This week my school had their School Market, and I joined in with the students haggling for things such as pencils and toys. It really was a lot of fun.

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:

Chuseok Traditions, Hagwon Style

Recently, I wrote a post about all of the wonderful reasons to love autumn in Korea.  Not listed in the post but very much included in my reasons for loving the season is that of ChuseokChuseok is a Korean holiday that celebrates the autumn harvest and is held around the autumn equinox based on the lunar calendar.  It is usually three days long and is one of the few times of the year that Koreans take time off of work and visit their hometowns to share an autumn feast with their families in celebration of the harvest.  Chuseok is also a time to remember ancestors through various ceremonies. 

Yook-sam building teacher! (field trip)


 It's been a while since my school went on a field trip and so we finally went on one last week. Our destination was the infamous 63 Building in Yeoido. This was my second time venturing to the building, as I visited it a while back with me ex.

As for this field trip I wouldn't say it was the best, as the building really only offers so much. However, the kids seemed to have a good time. Immediately we went to the top and enjoyed the view.

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.

Backpack Full of School Supplies

It never ceased to amaze me how abruptly summer vacation came to an end as a kid. The magical, care-free days of summer seemed to cease overnight, without the slightest warning of abandonment. It was always a depressing time for me, knowing that there would be no more trips to the beaches of Florida or endless afternoons spent watching Nickelodeon. But, the end of summer did mean one good thing: new school supplies. For the strangest reason, that annual trip to K-Mart for new supplies filled my little heart with such content. Looking back on it, I wonder why I ever felt that way about notebooks and erasers, but I'm glad to now see that I wasn't the only one who gets excited over new pencils.

How to work and teach with tonsillitis

I'm actually doing much better now with all my symptoms practically gone. But it took some time and I didn't get off work that much when I was feeling like crap. Instead I trucked through my class loads and stuck it out. Working when sick in Korea is a given and you pretty much have to do it or you will look like a sorry person to your Korean colleagues. Here for you is how I got through teaching with tonsillitis and generally feeling horrible.

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