I concluded my speaking tests at October's end. For one week I asked nearly 450 students the same questions. “What is this number?” “What is a difficulty you have overcome?” “What if you had 1,000,000 won?” Some students provided pure comedy. Ian: I am in your home. What must I do? Student 1: You must … Continue reading The Challenge of Subjective Grading
One year ago, a torrent of thoughts flooded my mind. “I’m teaching high school? What? I didn’t know these jobs existed!? “I don’t teach from a textbook? Oh my god! What will I teach?” “I can teach whatever I want? No! Give me direction, damn it!” When I arrived at Namak High School, I had … Continue reading The Joys of Lesson Planning
Is willpower a finite resource? Those familiar with Roy Baumeister's research would likely agree. They would advise people to eat breakfast and prioritize difficult tasks in the morning when willpower reserves are high. Others like Jocko Willink would object, positing that spending willpower creates an upward spiral of momentum. In other words, self-control begets more … Continue reading Is Willpower a Finite Resource?
The best blessing of working in a high school is the daily interactions with my students. Many can hold great conversations. Other times, hilarity and absurdity reign supreme. Note: I don't give my students English names, but I changed their names for the sake of anonymity (and because it's fun). Two students work on a … Continue reading My Students Say the Darndest Things II
One powerful application of self-control is managing mindless automatic habits. We must expend cognitive effort to either break down bad habits or build up good ones. Self-regulation can help us stop doing what we shouldn’t (like smoking or wolfing down junk food) and to start doing things we should (exercising regularly or responding calmly to … Continue reading The Power of a Plan
I remember back in July of 2017 when countless hours of applying, interviewing, and waiting finally bore fruit. Those six months felt akin to six years. Then I received an email. EPIK placed me in the Jeonnam Province. At the time I was sitting in London's Gatwick Airport awaiting a transfer flight to Edinburgh. My … Continue reading 100 Blog Posts
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