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The Double Whammy

This past week marked my third full month living in South Korea, and nearly-third full month of teaching middle and high school ESL. Up until now, pretty much all of my blogging efforts have gone toward recounting the many wonderful, new and exciting things that I’ve seen and done. I’ve hiked some killer mountains and stood in awe of glorious views. I’ve biked to the beach and back, soaking up the sun in the Korean countryside. I’ve been to several festivals, gone


Beautiful Fall Leaves in Gyeongsangnam-do!


Her Midnight Run, My Empathy

My best friend’s replacement pulled an infamous “midnight run” last weekend.

Midnight_Run

Her escape wasn’t discovered until, presumably, she was on a plane bound for her home in Australia. Our only indication of this, a presumably-hastily-written email to her recruiter. A “mea culpa” of sorts. Oops.

If we were to write an obituary for her Korean death, it could read: You were only 23, with so much left to see, so much left to do. Or: what was your name again?

She was here such a short time that perhaps only one photo, taken during my friend’s goodbye dinner, is the only evidence this girl ever set foot in this country. Well, that and her suitcase, which she left in the apartment, as well as some ramyeon wrappers and empty soda bottles.


Weekly Quote Collection 2: Questionable Advice

While teaching advice, we had a few gems.



Problem: I don't have any friends.


Suggestions:

"You should make boyfriend!"

"Well, how can I meet him?"

"PC bang!"

Okay kids. I'll just hang around the PC bangs until I meet my Prince Charming.



Problem: I'm going to meet SHINee.


"You should bring your soul."

"You shouldn't say ugly. You should say handsome!"

These ones I actually quite liked. How could I not bring my soul if I were to meet SHINee?



The other thing I'm teaching this week is "which do you prefer" and after one day it's already been great.


"Which do you prefer, eating or sleeping?"

"I prefer eating, because my mouth wants."

Then I asked the same student again: "Which do you prefer, singing or dancing?"

"I prefer singing, because...my mouth wants."

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?


I Won't Share My Oreos

As you get older, birthdays get...complicated. It used to be so easy. Cake and candles, invite your friends over, a pile of presents, rinse, repeat. But now that I'm older, it's more of an annoying obligation that anything else at times. It feels as if I'm expected to have a party, expected to go out, when often all I want to do is stay home with a pizza.

Weekly Quote Collection: Shaking my Sausage

My students are constantly saying either hilarious or amazing things, so I'm going to start posting highlights here on a weekly basis. This week was...quite the week.

During a 1st year class:

"Teacher! I'm shaking my sausage every day!"

"Me too teacher! I'm very long sausage!"

Someone had taught them the term "johnson" as well, so there were plenty such jokes as well. Another boy came up to me to ask "Teacher, what is 'Johnson'?" I managed to choke out, while trying to hide my laughter "It's...a boy has..."

"Ah, okay okay. Thank you teacher."

I accidentally wore burgundy tights and a red coat and an orangey scarf today, so the comments about my color choices were common. The best, though, happened during my last class of the day today.

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 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:


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