school life

Let it Snow in Busan

It doesn't snow nearly as much in Busan as in Seoul.  Busan is further south and also located right on the coast which always keeps temperatures slightly higher.

But today I was startled by the shrills and squeals of 450 middle school girls because it snowed.  It only lasted for about an hour but it was cause for a near melt down in the school.  Students were billowing outside to run around as the flakes came down and even teachers were snapping photos because it's a rare thing in Busan.  At one point flakes the size of potato chips were coming down which even surprised me - a native New Hampshire-ite.

Teacherport Award for the Red Dragon Diaries

I am so surprised and sincerely flattered that my blog was recognized in a recent review of teaching abroad blogs., an international English teaching recruitment agency, reviewed a number of blogs dealing with life as an ESL'er from many different countries.  For some miraculous reason, they felt mine deserved to be one of the winners.  I didn't realize it was even being reviewed!  Nonetheless, it's a great feeling to know people enjoy reading my posts.

Winter is Here

Winter has officially come to Soongshin Elementary. The kiddos had a snowball fight at lunch today.

Speaking of lunch, Special Food Wednesdays continue to be the highlight of my week. Today I saved these bad boys to eat alone in my classroom so my happy awkward noises wouldn't disturb the other teachers. On my way to my classroom one of the sixth graders asked if he could have one. Back off, punk.

The Skinny on Gaining Weight in Korea

I was asked on my Youtube channel about whether or not I had gained weight since coming to Korea.  The user mentioned noticing that some Youtubers lost weight only to gain it back when returning home.  Here is their original question to me:

The Archaic Modern Computers of Korean Schools


Teaching MATH in English When I'm Sick

Ten Saturdays per semester I am part of a new EPIK program called SAM (Science, Art, and Math in English).  It's a very new program since the removal of standard Saturday classes in Korea.  For SAM, I happen to work with elementary school kids so it's a bit of a change for me - I teach all girl's middle school regularly.  This is only the second semester since inception, so the Office of Education has been making visits to each school to check on progress.

Being Sick in Korea is Brutal

Being sick in Korea is actually one of the highlights of this endeavor.  Why?  Because whatever I normally got sick with back home seems to be amplified here.  I heard about this before coming and I will never forget that first morning when I woke up with the most severe sore throat and sinus infection I've ever had.  The pain was so sharp and intense I honestly couldn't believe it.

English Class Video with Award Winning Teacher

Candice - #1 in Busan
Every teacher has to endure having one of their classes reviewed by a supervisor from the Office of Education in your province. They come and watch one of your classes, and then sit with the English department of your school for an open discussion about the pros and cons of the class.

Crazy Dancing School Festival...a Day Off

Korean Students Playing Mercy in MY Class!

English is just not at the top of the priority list for most Korean students.  Understandably so, most have no plans on leaving Korea and feel they will never have a need for it.  So, at times they look at ESL class as a place to talk, text, comb each other's hair, mercy.  The other day, these two were in their own little world with what seemed to be a new game to them.  They were off on the side trying to break each other's wrists and I caught them.  What a great candid camera opportunity.  They had no idea I was filming them.  They didn't even know I was standing there.

If it wasn't for my coteacher...!

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