Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea

Grandmother Teacher

April13

Class 2.5 is nuts. They always are to some degree, but it was raining today which means they can’t go running around outside which just sort of adds to the insanity. Today in class we practiced speaking and recognizing large numbers. After finishing up the lesson I gave a lecture on why knowing your numbers in English is important.

“Okay class, understand?”
“YES SIR!”
“What?! I’m not a SIR. Do I look like a man?”
“No, sorry. Sorry. Um… what do we say for woman?”
“You can just say ‘yes teacher.’ We sometimes say ‘ma’am’, but we really only use that for 아줌마.”
“You are an 아줌마.”
“WHAT? No I’m not!”
“No. You are an 아저씨.”
“No I’m not! Do I look like an 아저씨?”
“Okay fine, 할머니.”
“chhhh, guys, really?”

Then after class I chatted with some students as I was packing up my things, and upon turning around I saw that a student had snuck up behind me and had written on the chalkboard “grandmother” with an arrow pointing to me.

“I AM NOT A GRANDMA! Seriously, how old do you all think I am?”
“Eighty. No wait. Nine-hundred-and-ninety-million-nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine-thousand-nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine years old.”

Well. They learned their numbers at least.

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안녕하세요! My name is Emily and when I started this blog I had received a 2010 – 2011 F*lbright grant to teach English in South Korea.  I then decided to apply to renew my grant, so I am now staying in Korea until July 2012. This blog is not an official F*lbright Program blog, and the views expressed are my own and not those of the F*lbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.

I graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a degree in Philosophy Pre-Law and Classical Civilizations, and found myself 3 months later teaching English at SGHS. The town that I taught in, SG, is a small town of 12,000 people, an “읍” (eup) rather than a “시” (shi – city), and though it was sometimes hard teaching in such a small town I really enjoyed the unique experience of being the first foreign teacher SGHS had ever had. I lived in the largest part of the county which is significantly bigger (40,000 people) than the town the school is situated in, but is also considered rural by Korean standards.

During my second grant period (2011-2012) I decided to change schools and I currently teach at CPHS which is located in an even smaller town than previously, in Jeollanamdo.

This blog is meant to serve as a reflection not only of being a Native English Speaking teacher in Korea, but also of living as a foreigner in rural Korea.



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