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teaching in Korea

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.

My Accounts of Typhoon Bolaven

The windows are rattling and the cats are sleeping soundly in the house of Joy. Typhoon Bolaven (태풍 볼라벤) has been blowing its hardest over South Korea since last night and bringing with it hysteria. However, as much as it is kind of silly watching Korean people get all up in arms about this severe weather, safety is usually a good idea. I recall a few years ago when windows blew out in the last typhoon while people were standing near them enjoying the typhoon scenery.


First Week Back - Second Semester

The first week of the Fall semester has flown by, and was all right. I started things off by giving one of our homeroom teacher's a gift for her baby. It was a nice soft blanket I found at a baby store. She was very surprised to get it from me. This is her first baby and I thought I would give her a gift to celebrate such an occasion. Later on in the week she came up to me in the lunch room and told me that her son slept very well with the blanket I gave her.

We got our level testing done and unfortunately not much was changed in one class that needed it. However, the rest of the groups seem to be doing all right. A handful of students dropped out of my school, a few of which I was happy and sad to see go. There are some empty spots and I'm sure they will fill them up quick.

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.

Thunder

Last night there was a mighty lightning and thunder storm. Although I mostly heard the thunder, since I sleep with an eye-mask on, it sure did a good job of rattling me. However, I like these types of extreme weather. It's something I missed when I moved to California from Florida, and is one of the reasons why I look forward to summer in Korea.

However, the humidity is here and the cicadas are buzzing away. My school doesn't allow the air conditioner on till 9:30 and then I can't keep it on if there are no kids in my room. Thankfully, my room is attached by door to one of the Korean homerooms. This guy doesn't mind breaking the rules and keeping the aircon running after hours. So I open that door and feel a nice cool breeze waft in.

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