Tag Archives: teaching english

Spring time in Seoul – 20 months later

26 Mar

OMG. I have been in Seoul for 20 months how nutty is that?

I completely forgot about you blog, I suck I know. I started my masters in September and since then time management has been a pain. Not to mention the endoscopy in November. 2 months of soberdom. Also, the fact that I have a Korean boyfriend doesn’t help. It will technically be a year since we met at the end of April. WTF.

How is that possible? Anyways Koreans and especially conservative Koreans are soooooooo much different than western guys. They are emotional, sensitive, sweet, nice, thoughtful. Their is a negative side though, they are not as manly, funny, cool, witty, lack sarcasm (probably the language barrier) and overall not as fun. Some Korean men are crazy funny cool dont get me wrong. Just my boyfriend happens to be the sweet, sensitive type. I like it though, it calms me, grounds me and makes me more in touch with my emotional side which did not really exist before him.

My new job I started in August is going ok, I have an amazing Korean co-worker named Becca who I would die without. She helps me, understands me, and isn’t afraid to say no. She works her ass off. If it weren’t for her, I would hate my school. Everyone else is meh. They’re nice but the lack of interaction and language barrier doesn’t really help. ALSO, the new news with my school, uhm they got caught having an English program in the morning which technically they aren’t because they are a government-sponsored Korean kindergarten. UH-OH. bad news. especially for me I might have to change schools again! My last school which I also loved closed their doors which is why i moved in the first place.

UGH. Not the best March ever. March is terrible in the teaching English world. I hope if I move to the sister school, I will at least get to take Becca with me. I am not to fond of their teachers.

Besides that, work, health haahha uhm still working out. got a kettle bell, makes me work out at home when in reality I should be gyming it everyday.

School is chill, I have my flow and schedule going so it’s not bad. I read after work or at work, I do my assignments at home, not to shabby.

OHHHH I am saving for Europe in the fall. Excited but realizing I will go alone. Why are people so scared to travel, move abroad, explore, get out of their comfort zone. I still believe travelling for a week during christmas holiday is fun but it doesn’t compare to uprooting your life and moving to a brand new country. What are people so scared about? It’s amazing.

What else is new…

Oh I need a new digital camera so hopefully I can start posting some good pics on here.

I have made a few new friends recently too, thanks to Holly meeting Suhong on a hike. His wife Juli, so sweet. Vanessa, a crazy amazing canadian who I can talk to about anything and lives in the same area as me, score! I just hope we keep in contact.

I have met a few other people but I guess people aren’t on the same wavelength or am I too judgmental? Maybe a bit of both? I really need to stop but Korea is brainwashing me a bit, I mean they are extremely judgemental people! How you dress, how you look, your hair, clothes, your EYES. hahah ughhh ok I will try to stop.

I think that is it for now. I will try to remember you blog. 🙂

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Life at a hagwon

1 Nov

Hagwon is Korean for a private school. Some teachers work at hagwons while others work at public schools. The hours are different, the pay is different, and the vacation time is also different.

At my hagwon, their is fourteen women including myself, and two males. The first male is the only other English teacher along with myself and he is also from the United States. The second male is the Principal. Every morning, the Principal sits with all of the Korean women teachers and talks (lectures) them on how they need to improve, and what needs to change. Luckily, I don’t have to come into work until an hour after the Korean teachers, and when I do, the meeting is over.

When I speak to the Korean teachers who I am pretty good friends with, all I hear is horror stories and how incredibly stressed out they are because of the Principal. Needless to say, my encounter with the Principal is usually just a hi and how are you? and sometimes he’ll say you need to learn Korean now, and I just laugh, but secretly I know more Korean than he thinks and I plan to keep it that way.

Throughout the day, the English teachers rotate from class to class and teach multiple subjects to multiple age groups, and the Principal sits in his office all day long. Oh, his corner office is as big as a classroom, while myself and four other teachers share an office about the size of his. Great isnt it?

The occassional five minutes the Principal does decide to leave his office, he creeps around the school going from class to class, monitoring the teaching going on for about 2 minutes and then moves onto the  next classroom. I never know when he’s going to pop his head in, but when he does for some reason, I’m always yelling at the kids! He rarely notices my tender moments with the children but that’s because the majority of the time, I am trying to be the “serious” teacher.

Besides the creepy, old Principal, everything else about teaching in Seoul is better than I could have dreamed. Great hours, great pay, all of the Korean teachers are sweet, friendly, and truly care about me. Spoiling me with food, gifts, and smiles, we all help each other out on a daily basis.

Not only have I created great relationships with the Korean teachers but also the Korean parents, every morning, myself and the other English teachers stand in the front where the children switch from outdoor to indoor shoes and greet the parents. We give the traditional Korean bow to each parent, say good morning, and usually get some type of compliment, “he/she loves you,” “he/she thinks you’re beautiful,” he/she likes your class,” and to further show their appreciation they bring gifts on a weekly basis. Today, one parent brought everyone krispy kreme doughnuts, a few days ago, they brought pizza.

Overall, teaching in Korea is well worth the trip, so for those of you contemplating teaching, don’t think, just do it.  After all, you get to travel, work, meet new people, learn a new culture and language, and get outside that comfort zone you’re stuck in! What’s not to love?