teaching in Korea

School Field Trip: Back to the Children's Grand Park


On the Business of Being a Team Leader

It's been almost two months into my second year at my school, and I figured it is time to talk about being a Team Leader. This title makes me in charge of three other foreign Native English teachers in my department (2nd grade). It also means that I am in the intermediary between the English crew and the Korean homeroom teachers. When I was first given this duty I was stricken with fear that I couldn't do it, and would find myself stressed out too much. Today I am going to expose how being a Team Leader has developed for me and give insights into what's been happening so far.

Only in the Classroom


Losing Friends: the nature of working in Korea

If you come to Korea to make new friends, seek new adventures, save money and travel, you have definitely made the right decision. Korea provides all that. One thing to consider, that you may not bargain for, is that your new friends will be saying “see ya later” in a short time. That is, if you plan to stay beyond your first contract year.


Back to Work

Yesterday was a full day of learning what it will be like to be the team leader of the 2nd grade, at my school. It wasn't too bad, but of course started out with a hiccup. I arrived about 30 minutes early to rearrange the desks, and got this done. Then as I was heading back from a quick peek into a new teacher meeting there were students sitting in my room. I wasn't sure why, and after standing there for a while and seeing the parents outside I realized they were new students. They needed the level test and that is what they were waiting for.

Kindergarten Goodbye

Last weekend, my students graduated kindergarten–a two-hour ceremony that featured caps and gowns, song and dance acts, and a re-imagined version of The Blind Men and the Elephant, for which I constructed a miniature elephant from cardboard, felt, and packing tape–the same tape I used to seal up the three boxes I shipped home to Canada.

This week, while I begin my travels through India, my students will begin Grade 1 and the start of a long road through Korea’s education system: days in public school, afternoons in hagwons, and evenings spent studying, often until they sleep.


Looking Over My Work While Away

I managed to have some free time today to look over my upcoming work for next semester. I recall how before the semester ended, a few weeks ago, my mind was blown by the team leader stuff coming my way.

I figured I needed to give myself some time and then I can approach it with a clearer mind. Looking at it today I definitely feel better about the new duties. Mostly I see I will need to be that person in the middle who communicates and negotiates requests. There are some major duties to take care of, but I think there will be time to understand it all.

Mostly I just hope I will have enough time to set up my new room, including rearranging the teacher's desks and putting away all my materials. That first day back is a full schedule of orientation meetings and greeting new students. I kind of wish they would give us more time to set up.

First Team Leader Meeting

My mind is in a swirl and I am home cooking tofu stir-fry. But about an hour ago I learned about what it will be like being a team leader next term and the duties that are going to come my way. The school basically wants to overhaul the English Department. Make it more standardized, meaning tests and homework should have a set grading system. It all makes sense, with it showing that we should be more unified and organized. The main goal is to boost the English Department's reputation. For years now, as it has been observed, the attitude was "Here you go, you can figure it out." A very easy going attitude that showed the Korean teachers we were likely lazy and can't be motivated.

The Last Week

I made it! The last week of my first year at S* school is coming to it's end. I am amazed I made it this far considering how difficult it was at the beginning. Also I am impressed at how much my students have advanced and grown. Now I get to see them continue to grow in the 2nd grade.

Extending or Renewing Your Visa Experience 2012

I had the fun and pleasure today of making it to the Anguk Immigration Office to renew / extend my visa. Since I am staying at my school it was necessary for me to go to immigration and get this done on my own.

The documents I needed were pretty basic, compared to getting a new visa. This time all I needed was a copy of my contract, school's registration, passport..alien card...and other ones. Hehe you can check the immigration website.

Out of exit 6 you go up to the SK Hub building and take the stairs to the 2nd floor. Find your way to the big room with all the chairs and people sitting in them. Find the ticket machine and press the green button hard enough to make a ticket come out.

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