The Best (Almost Free) Thing I Brought to Korea

It’s fair to say I grossly over-packed for Korea.  I can hardly blame myself.  With little idea of where I would live, where I would work, and what resources I could easily access, I felt compelled to pack for life a big city, a remote island village, and every place in between.  Moreover, my height … Continue reading The Best (Almost Free) Thing I Brought to Korea

My First Temple Stay

 I felt supremely grateful for the timing of the Chuseok holiday. Between classroom difficulties (one student accused of cheating during a game yelled at my co-teacher and his classmates), lesson difficulties (A lesson bombed due to insufficient English speaking and excessive ease), and other serious interpersonal student problems beyond the scope of my class, I … Continue reading My First Temple Stay

Quick Tips for New Native Teachers

Many new native English teachers recently arrived in Korea.  Welcome.  It feels like yesterday that I myself exited Incheon Airport, knees shaking with excitement and uncertainty. One year later, I can reflect on some actions and mindsets the contributed to a smooth transition into Korean life. To be fair, I’ve only lived here for one … Continue reading Quick Tips for New Native Teachers

Fighting Evening Fatigue

While researching ESL opportunities in Korea, I knew that public school was the path for me. In short, ESL hopefuls have two main options in Korean educational institution - public school (EPIK, JLP, etc.) and private academies (학원 (hagwon)).   Public schools offer daytime working hours (9:00-5:00), more vacation days, and often fewer teaching hours … Continue reading Fighting Evening Fatigue

Ian Goes to Middle School Camp

In late July, the Jeollanamdo Summer English Camp provided one of my most enjoyable weeks of teaching. But those buttery-fluttery feelings did not emerge on Day 1. As I offloaded my clothing into a double-dorm barely larger than a walk-in closet, Anxiety-Brain chirped with first-day nervous energy. “You’ve never taught middle school students before.” “The … Continue reading Ian Goes to Middle School Camp