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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?


Lessons For The Teacher- What We Learnt To Expect When Teaching In Korea

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We came to Korea to be teachers, to help children to learn. Turns out that working as an English teacher in Korea has taught us a lot of things too: lessons in leading, discipline, understanding and eternal patience (ok, still working on that last one…). And, we’ve learnt that school in Korea is completely different than in England; would you ask about a teacher’s relationship status in the UK? Most probably not. In Korea? It’s one of the first questions you’re asked (and repeatedly asked again, and again, and again).


RTBC Day Twelve: Looking Ahead

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Twelve: How do you envision your teaching changing over the next 5 years?

At the moment, I have no idea if I’ll still be teaching in Korea five years from now. Heck, I have no idea if I’ll still be teaching in Korea one year from now. But if I do end up staying for awhile, I’d like to experience these changes as an educator:


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 Ten: 5-4-3-2-1

Reflective Teaching Blog Day Ten: Share five random facts about yourself. Share four things from your bucket list. Share three things you hope for this year, as a person or an educator. Share two things that have made you laugh or cry as an educator. Share one thing you wish more people knew about you.

Five random facts:


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 Eight: What’s in your wallet?

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Eight: What’s in your desk drawer and what can you infer from it?

Ok, you got me. This post isn’t about my wallet. Here’s what you’d find in my desk drawer(s) if you were to open it(them) at the moment:

 

Unused binder clips – Tells you I don’t like clipping things together, apparently.

Keys – Tells you I find the contents of my desk to be very precious, or at least worth locking away each night.

Tooth brush and tooth paste – Tells you Koreans take dental hygene very seriously (they brush their teeth after EVERY meal).

Tax exemption forms – Tells you I’m trying to keep Uncle Sam’s share of my earnings in South Korea for myself.

Plastic plates – These actually go with two suction cup/sticky balls I’ve used in class. Tells you I like to play games in class!


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!


In Ulsan (Cups Song – South KoREMIX)

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: my most advanced first year high school students singing a revised version of the Cup Song from Pitch Perfect! Enjoy!


RTBC Day Six: Teaching Mentors

Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Six: What does a good mentor do? Explain.

Regardless of what field you’re working in, everyone should have a mentor. And it doesn’t matter where you are in the span of your work life either. Whether you’re at the beginning or the end of your career, you’re never too old to benefit from the wisdom and experience of someone else!


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