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Category: Teaching in Korea

Goodbye Wangsan Middle School

Goodbye Wangsan Middle School

Bittersweet goodbyes.

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Wangsan Middle School is my smallest school with 20 students. I only go to the school once a week to teach classes and I don’t always see my students every week. There was a two month hiatus after my coteacher was in an accident and a substitute teacher took his place.  I had learned to recognize most of my students names but unfortunately with the absence of not going I forgot almost all of them. Though if I have a list of names I am more likely to pinpoint the right name to the right student.

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A Year Ago Today…

A Year Ago Today…

A year ago today I boarded a plane at JFK Airport and met new EPIK friends in San Francisco before boarding our plane to Incheon International Airport in South Korea. Thinking back on the past year it is interesting to see how far I have come and how much my life has changed. A year ago, I went through orientation and upon completion was ushered by bus to a city in my province. I remember meeting my co-teacher the first day and  the car ride back to where I was going to live was awkward but friendly.  Fast forward to now and I can say that my co-teacher, 라미, has been my biggest supporter.

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Implementing thought provoking lessons

Implementing thought provoking lessons

I like to challenge my students. I like to make them think outside the box. When I teach alone this definitely fails on me. However, when I am able to teach with my co-teacher the meaning isn’t lost in context and I can talk about interesting subjects. I think the students can get to know more about me through these types of lessons.

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Goodbye Okgye Elementary Grade 6-2

Goodbye Okgye Elementary Grade 6-2

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To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from students when I decide to leave. I received two lovely posters from my Grade 4 class.  ( I will upload photos of it later once I remember where I tucked it away.) But nothing left an impression on me thus far like the letters  I received from my Grade 6 Class 2 students. They all wrote me letters, most of them in Korean. I am so thankful that I can read them and enjoy their compliments. I’m even more surprised to know they enjoyed my class and had fun. As a first year teacher with no experience and no help it is such a high praise. I received 14 letters from my class and I plan to translate all of them so I can share with family and friends.  For now though I will just share the ones that have some English in them to share with those who follow my blog.

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Teacher, your family is just like a drama!

Teacher, your family is just like a drama!

The perks of being a teacher is trying to find interesting lessons for your uninterested students. One morning my co-teacher says to me, can you think of something to do for our first class? I had a mini panic attack and went flicking away through facebook snatching photos of family members and making a mini power point where I explained relationships and how my family looks like.

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Teacher game!

Teacher game!

I’m not known as the teacher that plays games. Although many ESL teachers play lots of games and incorporate them into the curriculum, I’m not one of them. I don’t like powerpoint games because I don’t like how everyone has to stare at the screen to be involved, which there are bound to be students who will not do anything but sit and talk to other students. Besides the fact, I have no idea how to work a lot of the powerpoint games. I’m not that saavy with powerpoint so it is more of a headache than a help to me. I like old fashioned games where you have to interact with another person and actually speak to each other. So I finally decided we will play snakes and ladders. 

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Learning to be a Teacher

Learning to be a Teacher

Teaching is a job that has moments of joy and fury. The moments of joy far out weigh the moments of fury. 
This is my first year as a teacher and guess what? I’m not perfect. I’m probably not even a great teacher yet, however that is not the point. The point of being a teacher is that you are meant to grow.
What have I learned in the last four months of teaching?

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Week Ending on 4/28 Update

Week Ending on 4/28 Update

A recap of the week after my last post. I received a lot of feedback and I myself learned that it is a process. Thinking back on when I started teaching at the elementary school and had help I realize I was expected to teach right away. I had no idea what the kids names were and I had no way of managing the class . Each home room teacher that came had their own rules or classroom chants and I went along with them. Two weeks later 3 out of the 5 home room teachers stopped coming to the English room with their classes.  Which left me with no rules, no management, and no name chart. Had I known things would end up this way, I would have implemented rules on day one. So now I am left fumbling along and trying to pick up the ball after dropping it. Yes, I dropped it. Being a new teacher this is part of the learning curve.

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