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I know that the months leading up to my departure for Korea were filled with a thousand worries and questions. I was lucky in that I knew someone who was already a teacher in Korea. I could direct many questions to her, but still there is nothing like actually being here.

If I'm not mistaken, today marks three months exactly that I have been living and teaching in South Korea. Thus far, it has been one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences of my life.

This past week was short. We found out Monday morning that there is a competition between the government schools in Ayutthaya. The school was going to close Tuesday for the competition and the administration required a teacher to read words for a spelling bee. Aarron was asked to read. I was told to come but in the end I just sat and waited for Aarron outside of a classroom for a couple hours.

The first couple of weeks, the wife had us teachers stop what we were doing to clean the school. Yep, clean the school. Window washing (facing classroom walls are all glass, vacuum, wipe the tables, etc). I bit my tongue. But we are teachers, not cleaners! This is the first time I have been asked to clean the school! See, these owners will try & get all they can out of you.

Touching down at Incheon International Airport, I begin another year of teaching English as a Second Language in South Korea.

The school has officially been open a week and a half. The first week I was here was more of a 'breaking the students in gently' week. So far, it is OK..

A lot of people from back home ask me, "So what exactly do you do there?" I thought that it was about time that I put together a thorough answer to that question.

The first day started with a huge assembly on the school's front lawn. The children were all lined up and grouped by class. All the children wear uniforms. They sang what I think was the national anthem as two children brought the flag to full mast. A colleague brought Aarron and me to the front and gave us a microphone to introduce ourselves to all the children.

Today marks one week since we arrived in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Ayutthaya is a small city about 70km north of Bangkok.

In many ways, Cullen Thomas’s description of going to South Korea to teach English and explore Asia sounds familiar to many U.S. college graduates who find themselves doing exactly what he did in 1993. Of course, as Thomas and I discussed, the ESL market in South Korea was remarkably different in the early 90s, namely because it was less competitive and wages were higher than they are today.


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