Tag Archives: teaching english in korea

Dedicated to my SMOE friends

Think about this for a second:  there are 258 of us planted in every corner of Seoul, all doing the same thing:  teaching English in public schools.  We’re like a formidable army, and we’ve got our bases covered.  I’m continually mesmerized and inspired by this thought, and it’s what keeps me going when things get tough in my neck of the woods.  Because i know there’s someone in this city who’s going through the same things i am.

Other than the bland food and lectures, i think i enjoyed our orientation way more than i should have.  I learned something new during my time there:  i get along better with a slightly older crowd.  I disliked the majority of the people at my university, except those in a graduate level course i took in my last semester.  I’m one of the youngest in our bunch, and before i got to orientation, i was a bit concerned that i wouldn’t be able to talk to you guys, but what do you know, i’ve never had an easier time talking to people.

So i’m taking this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to those of you who have either made me smile or laugh (or both!) at KHU and continue to do so now.  I knew the journey would be difficult, but what i didn’t know was that i’d have so many wonderful people with me on it.

Good luck to you all, and remember that i’m smack dab in the middle of Seoul (Yongsan-gu) if you ever need me.

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“I want to be an unforgettable teacher.”

It’s official:  i’m going to be a Guest English Teacher at a public school in Seoul starting September.  All i can say is, i am beyond excited.  I even watched Master of Study to learn about public schools in Seoul and the Korean educational system and culture in general.  It moved my heart and inspired me to be the best teacher i can be—“an unforgettable teacher.”  At first, i thought that was a rather self-centered, ego-inflated way of looking at things.  But then i realized that teachers who really care can’t help but want their students to care in return.  Teachers are human, too.

My main reason for going is to take a year or two “off” from where i am right now and focus on myself.  I want to be free from all restrictions (or as much as i can manage abroad, away from home) and just do anything my heart desires.  I probably shouldn’t have picked Seoul because i know even more people there who will bother me and take away my time, but i wanted to go someplace familiar and where i spoke the language fluently.

By time “off,” i certainly don’t mean that i won’t be taking my time there seriously.  There are two projects that i will have to take very seriously, the first one being obvious:  my job.  It has always been my dream to teach, and though i don’t think of ESL education in particular as a long-term endeavor for me, i do enjoy parsing and teaching language and believe that knowing English is an important asset.  However, i am hoping that i’ll be able to teach my students more than just the English language.  I hope to allow them to discover a lifelong joy of learning–and in themselves, self-worth–and i’m sure i’ll have a lot to learn from them as well.

My second project will be to familiarize myself with as many of the great philosophers and their works as possible.  I plan on going to grad school for Philosophy in a few years, and i feel that i am not quite up to par as those with a B.A. in the subject.  And so, i’ve begun collecting books to bring with me to Seoul to study in my free time.  Please leave suggestions if you have any, especially for ancient philosophy.

I’ll be leaving August 9th.

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