10 Things I Love About Teaching in Korea

  1. Being around Kids. I forgot how lovely it is to be around kids again. I try to feed off their energy and their excitement because it's just so sweet to see. Just letting them go outside to play or figuring out a game that works on their English and lets them jump around is so much fun. Even the days when I've gotten poor sleep or I'm feeling a little ill, I can't help but laugh when I'm around them!
  2. My Schools. I know I'm going to be switching schools come March, but I just want to take a moment to say how much I love the schools I've been at. I actually have four schools in a week, the same one Tuesday and Thursday, and three different ones more in the countryside. They've been absolutely lovely, and, again, the kids make me laugh. Even the one school I thought wouldn't miss as much, I found myself getting all gushy over leaving when my last day came. I think it was the fact that my sixth graders, who I had had the most trouble engaging, wound up warming up to me, even to the point of one of them latching onto my arm when we were doing a baking activity. I mean, how does your heart not melt all over the place?!
  3. Winter Camps. I really like them! Not only do I get to create the lesson plan from scratch, I literally work three hours a day. I know at other schools they have to desk warm after the camp is over, but my education office allows us to go home. I go in a 9, I leave around 12, and I have the rest of the day free. Which means I feel like I'm on holiday from about Christmas until March.
  4. My Education Office. Shout out to Namwon Education Office for being so amazing. Whether its our training trips to Jeonju Hanok Village or having us leave early on Wednesdays so we can attend a Korean language and culture class or even setting us up with our sweet housing situation, it's been absolutely lovely. I feel like I'm spoiled.
  5. My Co-Teachers. It's a weird set-up. I have a main co-teacher at each of my schools with one main-main co-teacher (the one who picked me up and got me settled), but because I teach elementary, all the homeroom teachers are kind of my co-teachers as well. All of them have been awesome. Again even one of my co-teachers who I thought didn't like me, was the one who invited me along to the school activity.
  6. My Housing Arrangement. Seriously I have the best housing arrangement. My building is called a villa, and it's comprised of all the foreign teachers who are paid by NOE. It's a stand alone building, and it's more like a little dorm home than anything else. My actual apartment is a bedroom, a main room, my bathroom, and an extra room. It's kind of huge. I literally have a guest room for visitors.
  7. My Lesson Planning. I actually really like lesson planning. I think it's because it forces me to look at how to teach a language, and in return it lets me focus on how I can learn languages better. I'm still trying to improve my Korean as well as maintain and improve my Spanish (any exchange partners out there, llamame, por favor!), and lesson planning definitely helps. Also looking up ways to reinforce the days of the week to fourth graders is fun in itself.  
  8. Desk Warming. I don't know about you, but I'm about 100 times more productive at a desk situation than sitting on my couch. Writing posts, organizing my life, list making, actually reading my Pinterest boards... I like desk warming. You're getting paid to sit at a computer to literally do whatever you want. You can online shop, and no one will bat an eye.
  9. My Location. Namwon is the city of love, need I say more?
  10. The people I'm with. I really love the expat community within Namwon, and the Koreans I've been able to meet. Heck, even the taxi drivers are adorable 95% of the time. 
Any of you feeling particular fondness for where you live? At the beginning of this year, I thought I'd teach wherever I was placed in the countryside for a year, and then if I wanted to say, I'd move to Seoul, but now I'm contemplating staying here an extra year...

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