18 Cute Things My Students Do

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April 2010: Field trip to the Children’s Museum with 2nd graders

Teaching at an elementary school in Korea sure accumulates plenty of interesting stories. Since both of the schools I’ve worked at are in the rural part of town, the students are a bit more innocent and childlike compared to most ‘city kids’ in urban areas. Although you can find cute kids in any sort of region you work in, I have a soft spot for my kiddos because a lot of them come from broken families and do not have the financial means to attend hagwons, so I’m the only source of English learning they have access to. There are days where my heart goes out to them, then there are days where I want to pull my hair out. However, for now I’d like to focus on the rare cute things my students have done or said over the years. I’m sure many of you teachers out there will have much more to add on! Continue reading

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Summer Nostalgia

After today’s Summer English Camp lessons were over and the kids went home, I walked over to a nearby Paris Baguette to buy lunch, passing a few of my non-camp students playing in their neighborhood. And suddenly, I was hit with a pang of nostalgia as I watched them accidentally hit a baseball too far and have it land on a nearby car, then start fighting over who’s going to get it. It reminded me of how I used to do just that with my friends when I was little. And incredibly, these kids weren’t hunched over their smartphones or  glued to an iPad playing the latest mobile game, which is a rare sight these days. (I’m such a grandma.)

I miss how “summer vacation” used to mean running outside to meet your friends as fast as your legs could carry you after hanging up the house phone, crashing bikes, holding competitions to see who can roll down the hill the fastest, finally mastering your first 360 twirl on your fancy new rollerblades, climbing trees and not knowing how to get back down, doing cartwheels barefoot in the grass until you’re too dizzy to go on, diving into the deep end and fishing out your friend’s goggles from the bottom of the swimming pool, fighting over who’s turn it is to be the mom when playing “house”, racing over to the ice cream truck to buy a Mickey Mouse popsicle with lopsided, melting eyeballs (but we didn’t care, it was the most delicious thing in the world at that moment)… and the worst part of the day was saying bye to go home for dinnertime before your mom threatens to open a can of whoop-ass for being late again.
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Classroom Bulletin Boards, Part I

c1I made this bulletin board at the beginning of the school year which starts in March here. I signed on with this new school in September 2013, which means I came right in the middle of the school year. I liked the English classroom in the beginning because at my former school we didn’t even have a separate English room – I had to lug all my books and teaching materials from classroom to classroom according to my schedule. Anyway, after working here for six months, I decided to finally take down the old bulletin boards and re-do them completely. Continue reading

My New Classroom

Has it only been two weeks since I started working again? I am so exhausted! The last time I had to get up at 6AM every Mon~Fri was for high school. I am so not a morning person. The upside is, my coworkers are generally all very friendly and welcoming. AND this school has their own English classroom stocked full of all sorts of teaching resources and materials.

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Transitioning Back to Teacher Mode

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My three months of freedom has officially come to its inevitable end. This lovely cake was a surprise my fiance brought home on Sunday night to wish me good luck and congratulate me on starting the new job. It was perfect because I’ve been craving chocolate cake like crazy since cutting out processed foods from my diet! He knew not to get me an entire cake – I would’ve demolished that whole thing in one sitting. Continue reading