Tag Archive: Teaching in South Korea

Feb 19

Saying Goodbye to Korea After 2 Years

I’ve never been good at goodbyes. How can anyone be good at them, really? One goodbye never makes the next easier. What I struggle with most in saying farewell is how much emotion to put into it. Some people break down sobbing, or at least tear up and give that long, emotional gaze to show …

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Jan 30

Deskwarming: The World’s Most Dangerous Job

Mine remover. Firefighter. Lion tamer. Nuclear bomb builder. While those jobs all sound dangerous, nothing compares to the world’s most perilous job taking place right here in Korea. And I don’t mean being Kim Jong Un’s hair stylist. What could possibly be more life threatening, more harrowing, more death defying even than wrestling alligators and …

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Nov 14

Superstitions on Korean Suneung Test Day

The entire country of Korea came to a halt this morning. Businesses opened late, flights were grounded, high schools closed for the day, and people were encouraged to stay off the roads. Rows of flags lined the streets and emergency personnel stood ready to assist. If you think it sounds like the start of a war …

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Nov 10

Sh*t My Students Write: Part 3

It’s time for another installment of Sh*t My Students Write!  Last week I had my students write acrostic poems (choose a word and write it vertically, then write a word or sentence horizontally for each letter). Despite the fact that most of my students can barely string a sentence together, they came up with some …

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Nov 04

The Penis Pinata and other ways I fail at teaching

I am not a certified teacher. I took a weekend course, someone gave me an official-looking piece of paper, and the next thing I knew I was standing in front of a classroom of 30 students who didn’t speak my language, under the pretense that I would somehow educate them.   It’s been interesting, to …

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Apr 02

What I Wish I’d Known When I Was a Student, Now That I’m a Teacher

It’s Friday afternoon. The first week of spring has brought with it sunshine and warm weather, and a gentle breeze ruffles the classroom window shades. Children’s laughter and shouts drift up to me, but I’m more focused on the hushed voice murmuring in the corner. He stands in the library section of my classroom, clutching …

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Mar 24

Green Beer and Colored Paint: A Festive Weekend in Busan

“Let me get this straight,” my friend said skeptically into the phone. “You live in Korea, but this weekend you’re celebrating an Irish holiday and going to an Indian festival?” Well, when she put it like that I realized it did sound a little funny…   The homogeneity of Korea doesn’t usually lend itself to …

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Mar 09

Why I Stayed at the School That Makes Me Cry, But I’m Glad

I may have bit off a little more than I can chew. Last week the kids in Korea started their new school year and it was a hectic week, indeed. Along with a new term I also started a side job, had meetings and events for the two nonprofit organizations I’m a part of in …

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Dec 30

2013 In Review: One Wild Year

It’s incredible how quickly a year can pass. And the older I get the faster it seems to go. What’s up with that?! Yesterday I told of my “most ridiculous moments in 2013” because, let’s be honest, my life can be a bit strange at times. But I also wanted to do a more typical …

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Dec 19

Sh*t My Students Write: Part 2

A few days ago I posted about my urge to run away but instead making the decision to stay in Korea for another year. Thank you to everyone who messaged me with words of support and encouragement. I didn’t mean to sound quite so emo; even though things are a little rough right now, I …

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Dec 17

The Tale of a Wannabe Runaway

Have you ever wanted to run away? I think we all have at some point.   When I was young I sometimes gave my parents that stereotypical childish threat of packing my suitcase and leaving. They, of course, never believed me so one night I grabbed a backpack and snuck out. I made it as …

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May 08

Sh*t My Students Write

Kids say the darndest things; that’s a constant across cultures. But add a foreign language to the mix and the often twisted humor of Korean children, and they can cook up some really bizarre comments. I’ll save the funny things my kids say in class for another post, but for now I’ll share a few …

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