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Student Profile #3: Owen

It's Student Profile Time-aka let's talk about my kiddos.

I only managed to do two student profiles on two very special kids at DaeGyo, but with only five kids in my Kindergarten class and five in my afternoon class of 2nd graders it won't be hard to cover all my kids, if not  almost all of the kiddos at school. 

First up is my little Kindergarten space cadet: Owen.  Owen is probably my sweetest boy and just such a cutie.  All of my kids have outstanding English, and they all have strengths in different areas- Owen is a great speller and a connoisseur of Jollaman.

Why is life amazing?







Like giving a lecture about Saudi Arabi relations & Korea, then meeting a Korean man that lived there for 20 years concidentally in the subway during my lunch break.

He was kind.

He was enthusiastic, and perhaps lonely.

And it was so nice to talk with him.


Came home from an extra long day to this email…

Happy Birthday to March

This past Friday we celebrated the Birthday of the youngest student at Worwick, Phillip.

Apparently since we're such a small school, once a month we celebrate those who have Birthday's that month with Birthday Cake and Juice Boxes and a little more indulgent lunch, and a nice little photo op.  I know Phillip also got a few gifts from the other students (or more likely from the other students' parents).

Happy White Day!

Today, March 14th in Korea is "White Day" (it's also Pi Day, which I'm really bummed that went almost the whole day without realizing it- and missed both times to celebrate 3/14 at 1:59 and 26 seconds).  White Day is the male counterpart of Valentine's Day - which is where women give chocolate to the  man in their life and then a month later, the men reciprocate. 

I wasn't really expecting anything to come out of this day other than chocolate to be on sale tomorrow, but as usual, I was wrong.

First, our principal who is both laid back and no-nonsense bought a basket of goodies for all the teachers in the office (which are all girls except one outnumbered guy).  It was nice and filled with candied nuts and little cookies and some gummy candies and hung out in the staff office to be grazed on all day.

Mi barrio

Welcome to Kindergarten

Tomorrow rounds out my first week teaching at Worwick and I will say in some ways it's very different from DaeGyo, but in others it's as if nothing has changed.

This time around the class sizes are one of the biggest differences.  This year my largest class is a whopping 5 kids.  Their parents call constantly to critique everything from my handwriting to the types of assignments I give (and yes I am expected to give even my kindergarteners real homework).

Schiele Experiment

I have photoshop again! And this time I am really into experimenting. I have made some new cards to release at Super Sketch in Seoul. And I have updates coming to my blog, and website. I also sent in a proposal for an iphone cover design!

Year of the Dragon

Year of the Dragon -2012! 

not fair...

I remember being a kid and asking my mom on Mother's day, why there was no childrens day? It doesn't seem fair that Mothers and Father's get a day all for themselves, especially since, it seemed to me at that age, that they got whatever they wanted all the time! Her answer was always the same, "everyday is Children's Day." I however, disagreed.

Now looking back, I see that it was pretty sweet being a kid, no responsibilities, you can run around and play all the time - but wait, I teach 5 year old kids and their life isn't all peaches; they have so much pressure on them to learn many important things, everyone tells them what to do (including me!) and they are always getting into trouble, they can never just be kids and do what they want to do. Being a kid sucks sometime since children grow up so fast these days and start studying and working very hard, very young.

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my little dragons

With the floods finally over, we have been able to move back to Nonthaburi and school has finally resumed. I am teaching Kindergartners and am so far (mostly) loving it! My kids are at the perfect age where they don't cry or poop their pants anymore, but are still pretty cute (especially when I compare them to my older Korean children) and are learning so much everyday.

2011 ~ A Year in the Life of ~ ME!

A decade ago, I would write a Christmas “newsletter” of sorts, to my friends/family/loved ones in order to give them an update on me and wish them holiday cheer. With the astronomical advances in technology, even an email seems out dated. Thus, I have decided to make a VLOG.

What’s a “vlog” you ask?

A VLOG is a Video Blog. I am not really a vlogger (n. a person who communicates through vlogs; video rants, or mostly makes up their blogs with videos) but decided to make a video commemorating my year. I am learning some new video editing software that I bought— in the interim while I hold out hopes of getting a MACbook.

Of course, I will link the video, but for those of you who still like to READ~ here are the highlights:

Korea vs. Thailand

Recently did a guest interview with Jason from Life After Cubes (a great blog by two Americans currently in South Korea, check it out!) about the differences between teaching English in South Korea (where I taught last year) and Thailand, where I am currently teaching. (Well kind of, the floods gave me two months of paid "vacation" right after I was hired but I finally get back to school on the 26th of this month, who ever thought you could tire of doing nothing? I am SOOO ready to get back to work!)

Check out the interview that Jason did (and kindly edited, my writing has really been hurting with all this time off!) and decide whether teaching in Seoul or Bangkok is for you!

American Food




One of my favorite parts of traveling to the states.
Also happy that I only visit for 2 weeks. I fear any longer I would be a much larger version of myself.

Ultimate Hanbok Fashion

Korea's fall harvest holiday is Chuseok (추석), and it's come and gone twice now since Shane and I arrived on the peninsula. Based on the lunar calendar, Chuseok 2011 happened mid-September. Though we didn't celebrate (saving the feast for Thanksgiving, North American style), we did get to enjoy a fashion show. Our kindergarten students dressed up in their finest  traditional hanbok (한복) and strutted their stuff through the auditorium. Most of these kids would later don their hanbok again later that weekend for traditional bowing ceremonies to their grandparents.

Something that has been talked to death... Suicide

If you haven't read this already please give this a read. ANY feedback appreciated

Yoga & Children

This is my 8th session at JY Books. I have taught Art 1-4, and for the challenge of creating a new curriculum I started teaching Yoga & Art. My resources came from Musical Yoga Adventures, ABC Yoga for Kids, and some wonderful friends who are also teaching yoga in their hagwons.

In 11 weeks, we alternate between yoga and art.

Summer to Fall

Starting September 6th, I will be working Tuesday through Saturday. We are trying this out to bring student numbers up and hopefully rescue our hagwon from closing down. Our company, JY Books has plenty of money and runs as a publishing company, however every session that we have less than 300 students we are costing the company money rather than gaining. Hagwons are a funny thing. Bringing a strong business focus to an educational setting.  Mostly focused on the foreigner teachers and using that to bring in the students.

With this change, I am teaching some new classes. Art & Yoga will be taught three times a week. We will alternate between Art & Yoga each week. I am super psyched about this! Also teaching from American textbooks for a higher level English Language Learner.


We play, imagine, and recycle – Noridan

About Noridan

We had a holiday on a hot Monday a few weeks back. I took to the streets with my  bicycle and rode to PNU. At a certain point I was able to get on the newly renovated river trail. It is now filled with ducks, plants, and community art.  The ride was wonderful, and upon arrival the group Noridan was practicing and tweaking things for their big performance. Check out their videos on youtube. Incredible group!

Q & A

One of my more advance classes is a group of 3. Ages 6-7 now. When they started with me they were 5! We dig deep sometimes in the English language. They ask me once to explain what real means.

So last week we practiced talking in the format of questions and answers. I let them ask me questions. Which I thought would be silly and things like who is your favorite Transformer, but they were on point with their questions.


Don’t Play with Guns

Dance Stanford Class

Nothing gets my five year old students more revved up for the day, out of control hyper, than a little song and dance time.

Our previous supervisor handed out CDs labeled "Pop Songs" to us teachers,  under the auspice of making our lessons more fun for the elementary school students. I'm convinced that is was actually so the Korean teachers could teach the kindergarten students cute dance routines.

Goodbye Girls

Se-jin & Yu-jin are heading to Canada.

There parents really want them to experience living abroad for a year.

They are full of humor and happiness and I think Vancouver will be quite lucky to have them.

a cultural gratitude

Korean’s are very gracious.

Always insisting on being helpful, and always expressing their thankfulness for actions shown.

As I study Spanish, and begin to study the cultures I will encounter in South America, I realize how this is applicable as well. In the Spanish language there are many degrees of gratitude.

What about American culture?

I grew up in the South. You were reprimanded quite quickly if you did not use your please & thank yous. But this was taught by my parents as well. Always express to those that help you, compliment you, or add to you in any way that you appreciate what they have done.

Gratitude exceeds just saying thank you.

Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto @ Busan KOTESOL 2011

Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto
@ 2011 Spring Busan KOTESOL Conference 
Pusan University of Foreign Studies
June 4, 2011

Presentation: Little Tech for Big Result

Presentation Slides

Little Tech for Big Results (Pusan)

Online Resources Mentioned

Voice Thread:
Student projects on Voice Thread:


Student projects on Glogster:

Student projects on Fotobabble:

Student projects on Toondoo:

Favorite Word - The Write-n-ator (from PBSKidsGo):

Student projects on Xtranormal:
(Download "State" version to make movies without Internet connection:

Morgue File (copyright free photos):

Rocco's Day (power point picture book) on YouTube:

Six Word Stories (post on my blog):

Barbara's & Teaching Village Wiki

Free Let's Go Resources

Barbara speaking with fellow webhead, Jeff Lebow

Topics discussed include
Using Tech with YELL's (Young English Language Learners), Webheads in Action, professional devleopment, Twitter, commercial publishing in an era of open content and collaboration, and what lies ahead...

Links Mentioned
Darren Elliott's Interview with Barbara (2009)

Webheads:   ELTChat Facebook Page

Pecha Kucha Presentation (2010)
"Bubbles: Everything I learned about teaching I learned underwater"

Let's Go Series

Alan Schwartz of @ Kotesol 2011

See video


Alan Schwartz of English @
KOTESOL's 2011 National Conference
KAIST University
Daejeon, Korea
May 14, 2011


Only a few people in the world, my closest confidants, know this fact I am about to publicly declare. It is not something I am proud of and it is a downfall I must work on daily. I can handle a lot of gross things, disgusting bathrooms, cleaning out the cat box, hearing from my mother about how I was conceived.  But there is one thing I just can't deal with.

Socks. Yup, those nasty things on your feet.

Skirtroversy in Korea

From Busan Haps

Short-skirted students are a common sight in Japan, but a new thing for Korea. As the skirts get shorter, governments look for innovative ways to accommodate the trend. Rarely before has 'innovative' been the appropriate word. They are seeking to redress the situation without asking students to re-dress.

GANGWON-DO, South Korea -- As kids, one of the first lessons we learn is to take on a problem at its source. And, more often than not, if you can get to the root of what’s ailing you, then you can remedy it and all of its repercussions.

Or, so we were told.

In response to the ever shortening skirts worn to school by Korean middle and high school students, the local assembly in Gangwon province will put the cart before the horse. Or, in this case, the board before the students.

Rather than forcing female students to lengthen their uniform skirts, they have instead proposed spending around $700,000 installing boards in front of some 50,000 desks to block any hint of a view of student's legs in the classrooms.

To be sure, it’s a confusing remedy. Does this say more about student’s skirt length or the school board’s worry of the wondering eyes of district teachers?

To the governments credit, they are employing this unusual redress without asking students to re-dress. This all in the name of avoiding an infringement on the ever expanding freedoms that Koreans are enjoying for the first time since the country’s founding in 1948.


there are lots of theories about teaching styles for boys vs. girls

boys= trouble

more often than not they are tactile learners

requiring some sort of tangible aspect to their learning

visual- spatial learners

Meet Steven

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