Teaching In Korea: Award Ceremony/ 6 Month Review pt. 2

Here’s Pt 2. of my 6 month review of Korean Schools. Put in award format it’s stolen straight from the Bill Simmons “is it cliche’ yet or can I get away with it one more time” playbook…yes, parentheses get addictive very quickly.

If you want to see Pt 1. just scroll down.

(also, South Park and Arrested Development quotes in this one…Dave, this ones all you)

The “Just bare with me while I bitch about today, but if you want to skip this section it’s totally understandable” award:

Well, it’s only my first day teaching during this new school year and I’ve already given up quitting smoking and have decided to slam a couple cans of Cass to forget what a craptastic wash of a day this was. You know what really bothers me about all this? Yesterday, when I was going over my lessons with some of my co-teachers they seemed really excited about the things I had planned. Then comes today, and I’m told that what I’m doing is too hard for the kids.

Really? Coming up with English names is difficult? I gave them a list of names that they could choose from.

I suppose this could be indicative of some of the problems facing Korea’s English Education program. In theory the students are held to an enormously high standard by the Universities that give enrollment tests. However, when put into practice the public schools have rather low standards. I have two class periods to teach the students the sentence “Hello, I’m (their name).” I try to make up my own lessons with a larger focus.

But, as I said earlier, coming up with names was too difficult for them. If today has taught me anything it’s that I should never give the English Education program the benefit of the doubt. The students need me to hand feed them English and the subject teachers need me to take half of their lessons.

I’m getting bitter. Moving on.

The “At least the teachers are kind of hot” award for things that seem like they would completely undermine your authroity:

Um…maybe it’s just my skewed view on things but it sure as hell seems like that 24 year old teacher is flirting with her 5th grade student. Yes, I know he’s very mature for his age but putting your arms around him and taking camera phone pictures sure seems like it’s crossing boundaries in any culture.

“He’s hooking up with his teacher? But she’s hot?”

Wait a second for it


The “I really can’t believe this isn’t an issue yet, and I hope it completely blows up sometime for my own amusement award.”

For teachers using their cell phones during school.

In all fairness, I haven’t seen any teacher calling anybody, but this doesn’t stop them from picking up a call from somebody else. Even when it’s incredibly inconvenient.

Once a teacher picked up her phone while I was teaching. This is what I did (dramatized).

Actually, I didn’t say a word…but I sure as hell stared at her really hard.

The “How many 8 year olds could you take on” Award:

Goes to this brave teacher.

Notice how I did not try to help her at all…if these were zombies I would leave her(and you if it came to it) for dead.

The “I get to have a stick that I can hit kids with if they act up but I’m not allowed to yell at them or else they feel embarrassed?” award:

Goes to that exact situation mentioned above.

The “We don’t cuddle like we used to” award:

Goes to all those teachers who wonder why I don’t talk to them during lunch.

Well, I know enough Korean to ask how your food tastes and you know enough English to answer “delicious” and really, that’s it. The novelty has worn off.

The “Ha ha, actually I do know more Korean then I let on” award:

Goes to me. I could talk to the teachers how their day was yesterday, and for a while I did. You know what I discovered?

Even in Korea teachers are pretty boring people. You took your kids to their private lessons yesterday then made dinner for your husband!?!?!?!?! Chinja!? Kuraeyo!?

I pretty much save all my Korean for classroom functions and to impress my students/girls at the bar.

I wasn’t sure about if you had a lesson today. “We might as well put that on the family crest:”

If ONE MORE PERSON explains to me that the reason I wasn’t told I did not have to teach classes today, or I have to teach extra classes today, or that the mystery meat at the cafeteria was yak penis, or any other piece of relatively important information with a phrase that begins with the words “I wasn’t sure about…” THEN I WILL SPEND THE REST OF THE YEAR quietly putting up with it like the little scared girl I have been acting like all year long.

At least I have a blog to bitch with and make me feel better


1 Comment

Filed under Culture, Education, Narratives

One response to “Teaching In Korea: Award Ceremony/ 6 Month Review pt. 2

  1. John Wilkins

    Dude, you sound like you hate it over there, why don’t you just go back to the US and chill there?

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