Being an English teacher for Chungdahm does not mean that you are restricted to a itinerary everyday like most people think. There is flexibility within your classroom by being able to incorporate other fun things into the everyday schedule. One special class that I had with my amazing Memory Tera students who are extremely young in age is allowing the to participate in a bucket list check off for me.
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
"Oh, listen to this. It was so funny today in class because..." While teaching English in Korea, some version of that phrase will probably become a common refrain in your conversations with family and friends. Living abroad will give you ample opportunities to collect funny anecdotes -- the lost in translation moments alone will be countless. But for me, it's always the stories that come from my classroom that are the best. Children are strange, unpredictable, wonderful little humans, and Korean kids are no exception.
The Korean education system doesn't always lend itself to fun times. I mean, that's largely true of most schools in the world, to varying degrees, but it's on a whole different level here. My students are constantly telling me horror stories of their public school classes: class is so boring, the teachers are like robots, the teachers always yell at them, etc. So how can you, their English academy teacher, make it a little bit better? It's actually pretty simple...
Discipline, classroom management, herding chickens- however you want to look at it, maintaining control of your classroom can be a daunting task. Oh sure, there are those classes that you could swear have been hit with a tranquilizer dart and you long for any interaction whatsoever (talkin' to you, 7pm Birdie!), and others who roll along just beautifully because of good classroom karma. But sometimes, whether it's just one student or the entire gang, a sweet verbal reminder (or twelve) doesn't get the job done, and you need something a smidge more effective. What's a teacher to do? Take the advice of this girl! Teaching middle school for eight years in every school setting imaginable hasn't made me an expert, but darned if I haven't discovered some key points about discipline along the way through multiple epic failures. Learn from my pain! I sure did.
I wrote last week about finding a summer-ish oasis hidden on a side street in my Korean city. Writing that post made me ponder a few other remedies that have helped me cope with winter in Korea. Because, like I've said before, I'm not a fan of you, winter. I didn't even really realize I was in a winter funk until a week or so ago when I was walking to work and caught a whiff of that Spring smell. I think it's made of one part melting snow and two parts bright sunshine. Oh, and there were birds singing, I swear. Although snow did fall a few days later, this morning commute added a bounce to my step and placed not-too-distant and pleasant visions of biking along the Han River and wearing cute skirts in my head. So, if you're like me and need that final push to blast through the rest of Winter into Spring, here are 10 things I am doing or plan to do asap: