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One More Post on Education

So,  I’ve been rolling this last one around in my head for a long time, and I’m still not sure I can say exactly what I need to in a concise manner, but I’m sure as heck gonna try.

There have been  a lot of ideas proposed about how to fix education, and most of the creators of these ideas don’t bother to get real, meaningful feedback from teachers.  (NB:  When politicians say they’ve asked us about these things, they usually mean that they told us about what they had already decided or that they solicited feedback from retired teachers or folks who haven’t been in the classroom since spiral perms were cute.)

Korea: Not Finnished Yet

Yet one of the most significant things Sahlberg said passed practically unnoticed. “Oh,” he mentioned at one point, “and there are no private schools in Finland.”

Our first week in Canada

Here is a brief look at our first week in Penetang, Ontario.  I am on my mother’s computer and don’t want to take too much time on it so a lot of this post will be terse to the point of being cryptic.  I am writing this post more for my memory than for international scrutiny.

Just before coming to Canada, I had one last hike on a small, local mountain and finished the hike in my T-shirt. The day before leaving, The Little Guy (TLG) and I rode our bikes to Eulsookdo.
last mountain


Sledding, Kinda


Last week for our January Field Trip, we went sledding.  Or, more accurately we went to an amusement park and where we slid down a slightly snowy/icy hill twice.  I was too busy wrangling kids, making sure no one was lost,  and having fun with our limited sledding that I took maybe a total of 3 photos.  So all of the pictures are from my school. Also I love that Clara is in mid-yawn in this picture.


Teacher Guidebook for Queer Korean Students

The Great Phone Debate: Smartphone Edition

If you’ve ever spent any time at all in charge of a classroom, you know the phone issue is a wildfire that rages unchecked throughout American public schools.  Many American teenagers view possession of a cell phone as a necessity; some, I’m sure, would move to make constant telecommunication our Declaration of Independence’s fourth inalienable right.  During ten years in the North Carolina public school system, I confiscated hundreds of phones that were out in the hallways, in use during class time, even, sadly, out and on during state and Advanced Placement tests.  It’s a neverending conflict, and I have yet to meet a savvy public school teacher who hasn’t fought this battle day in and out with students.

My Kids are…

…a little crazy, and I wouldn’t want them any other way.   The other day after a ten-minute break between Elementary classes, I come in to see this on my white board.  It’s the cover of the book we’re currently reading and it’s really great.

I know I couldn’t draw that well in 2nd grade, or probably even now.  Especially with teaching Kindergarten, I tend to focus on the refined art of coloring.

I liked it so much that I made sure my little ones didn’t erase it.  And apart from an accidental smudge or two, it stayed relatively intact, which is kind of a miracle.


At the university I teach the students to speak and write.

The conversation classes are the ESL equivalent of a factory line: the students face each other in two rows and drill common grammar forms into each other’s heads, switching places when they finish, the student at the front moving to the back and the rest of the students in the row moving down, while the students in the opposite row stay still. A large projection screen displays the sentence forms that the students have to practice, and alternating pictures ensure that the conversation always stays fresh.

When You Teach Kindergarten…

… you talk about a lot of weird things, and here is a taste courtesy of my crazy and loveable little monsters.

1. I asked my kids the other day what my Halloween costume should be.                                                      Some of the answers include:
a giraffe, a marker, Ironman, a table, a window (can you tell they were just looking around the classroom?)and my favorite- A TOOTHBURSH. Part of me wants to try to make a toothbrush headpiece to really surprise them.  I would not be the first according to the Internet.


[Twenty-One] Advice on Teaching and other Education Jobs in Korea

Dear readers,

I hope this blog entry finds you well. I cannot believe how long it has been since I last posted on Chomsongdae!

It has been just over 4 months since I have permanently moved to Korea after years of going back and forth. Adjusting to life in Korea after living in Canada for over 10 years was definitely not easy. You won't be able to imagine all the adventures, challenges, and also fun that I have had here.

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