Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea


Second day of school, first day of teaching.

There are three different schedules floating around – one on the board, one in my hands, and one that all the English teachers have that specifically goes over my schedule for first grade because it’s THAT complicated. The second grade schedule is laid out rather nicely, in that it shows all of the subjects (영 – Young: English) with the teacher’s family name (영오 – Young Oh: English with Oh Teacher). Mine breaking from that pattern is 영E, which makes it really easy to spot.

On the FIRST grade schedule they write ALL the English classes as “영” and so no one has any idea which class they’re teaching without cross referencing the one or two schedules in their hands. Keep in mind that this is the schedule just for this week, it’s not actually a permanent schedule yet.

I was heartened to note that I wasn’t the only one staring at the board this morning in abject despair – I was joined by at least four other teachers. Ten minutes ago I heard the teacher in charge of temporary scheduling say my name, say something about my second grade classes, and then hang up and leave the room. As second grade classes were the only thing that seemed set in stone, I’m now a little worried.

Yayyyy school?

posted under School

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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.