It’s always a mistake when I get cocky and write in pen in my lesson plan book. Although it’s gotten a little easier over the years, pacing a lesson is one of the most challenging things for teachers. You have unexpected delays, events, differing abilities among students and difficulty in the material taught.
I needed a break from the election madness and decided that a blog about Korean snack foods would be fun. I believe anyone who ends up living and teaching in Korea will find something to enjoy in Korean snack food. It’s definitely a big part of the whole experience living abroad.
Experiencing day to day life and working in South Korea allowed me to see aspects of school life that are so very different from schools in the U.S. Besides the more obvious differences like food, the language, the customs and the holidays, there were the details of daily school culture that differed greatly.
After teaching in South Korea for three years, two of the most common questions I get tend to be: “why did you leave(?),” and “do you want to go back (?)” While I plan to address the first question (which is rather personal) in a future blog post, the second question is an interesting one. I find it interesting that people seem to read my mind and see right through me.
(Editor's Note - Regardless of who you vote for, if you are American, please vote in the upcoming election. I will select one person at random who shares or likes or comments on this article who will receive some free ESL101 swag (T-shirt and stickers) - so share, like, tweet, post, etc...I just got my ballot today - karma!
I was recruited back in 2009 during what some consider a ‘golden age’ of teaching English; the joke was: if you had a pulse and a college degree you could land a teaching job in Korea. While I hope that this was a bit of an exaggeration, sometimes it seemed true.
A fellow foreign teacher I had just met at my new school in South Korea told me a story of his first night in Korea. After getting off the plane in Seoul, taking a bus for over five hours, he met a few of his new male Korean colleagues for the first time and in two hours time found himself more drunk than he’d ever been in his life.
One of the best things about living in a foreign country is eating the traditional food and really embracing the culture. I consider myself a ‘foodie,’ and was delighted to try a new cuisine when I first moved to South Korea in 2009. Back in Oregon, I loved eating spicy Mexican food and often found myself eating hot pepper jellies at a local café in my hometown.
Picture this: You’re a first time English teacher in South Korea. Maybe it’s the first time you’ve lived abroad, maybe not. Either way, it’s a huge leap of faith to get a teaching job at an unknown school in an unknown place and leave your friends, family and everything you know to become an ESL teacher in South Korea.