Passing the 6 Month Mark

I have lasted over 6 months here teaching in Korea. Here’s 6 things I want to continue to work on or get used to for the next 5 months or so.

  1. Co-Teaching: When I first arrived I thought that I would have co-teachers who weren’t present every class period. And I was fine with this! But so far my co-teachers are always present. To me, this isn’t my ideal teaching situation. To be honest it’s taken a toll on me. I haven’t been enjoying the job as much because I wish I had more control over what happens in the classroom. To an extent with my 4th and 6th grade classes I do, but I’m mostly encouraged to stick to the book. This makes classes a little dull for both me and the students. I can tell they aren’t engaged. Also my school increased the amount of time I see 6th grade because their test scores were low last semester. I feel guilty about this. There are some perks to co-teaching for sure, but I think I’d feel more comfortable as a solo-teacher.
  2. Laziness: One of the things I wanted to work on was becoming more of a go-getter instead of a couchsitter (my Instagram name). However, I’m finding that I am just as much as a lump as I was back home. It’s a quality I really dislike because there’s so many things I could accomplish if I could find the motivation. I want to work on my fitness, eat healthier, learn a craft, write more, and etc. I hope I can find some passion for something soon.
  3. Travel: I have not traveled and explored as much as I thought I would. My job is just like having a job in my home country. A sort of 9-5 life with little time for any vacations. So for the remainder of my time I want to incorporate more small weekend trips even to places near my city.
  4. Budgeting: And to do said travelling I really need to become more fiscally responsible. I can admit that I have never REALLLLLY had any legitimate struggles with money, thanks to my parents. (I mean there was that year in college where I was broke and lived on grits & instant ramen,) BUT overall I have never really had to account for every penny. I stink at saving and using my money. I have no idea where my paycheck goes because I don’t really travel, I don’t shop, I just drink and eat. Can I really be eating that much? That would actually explain the 7lbs I’ve gained… Anyway, I want to start to organize and pay attention to my expenses.
  5. Language Acquisition: I’ll blame the laziness again for this one. I really thought at this point I’d at least be able to carry a simple conversation in Korean. I guess I just assumed I would absorb it through the pores in my skin because I haven’t been studying or practicing the language. I know enough to order my meal or do some shopping, but not enough to start to get to know someone. That’s what I need. And if I plan to stay another year (more on that to come) I really should take it more seriously.
  6. Exiting my comfort zone: I’ve done some small things to step out of my comfort zone while I’m here. I joined a theater group–that is sort of becoming known around my city, but other than that I still feel like I play it too safe. I’m still awkward at times about going out and about on my own, or interacting with locals. I’m trying hard to overcome this little character flaw of mine. I didn’t come here to continue being a hermit.

So that’s my list. If you have any tips or questions be sure to leave a comment. Until next time. Let’s get out there!

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9 thoughts on “Passing the 6 Month Mark

  1. For crying out loud–you’ve left the comforts of wherever you’re from and you[re teaching IN KOREA!!! I’d say you left your comfort zone in the dust. We can always do better, but you are BRAVE–please recognize that.

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  2. I just found your blog (I think my friend is your friend IRL and posted a link on FB) but I love it! I agree with your list, and I think it’s something many expats struggle with – realizing that their expectations aren’t being met, even after a good 6 months. When I taught in Japan, I was disappointed by how little I did in the classroom, so I can understand your pain there. I now teach kindergarten in Korea, and while I am new, I am already seeing how much more of an impact I have on my students and what they learn. I hope you are able to travel more! I’m also lazy with budgeting but now that I’m preparing for my wedding, I think I really need to sit down and figure out how much I use. It’s been a month since I’ve moved to Korea, but I haven’t had much time to sit down and study Korean, so I plan on buying some actual textbooks soon. I used Talk to Me in Korean for a while and like it but recently I found the Ewha University’s Korean textbook series. Check it out – maybe it’s what you need. Do you plan on taking the TOPIK anytime?

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    • Hello there! So cool the way we can make connections like these on the web. I was using TTMIK before I arrived and actually going to classes and studying harder than I have been since I actually moved here. I do have the Ewha book as well, but I haven’t really looked at it in a long time. I think I’ll give it another try. I didn’t plan on taking the TOPIK at first but now I’m actually considering applying for university in Seoul so that’ll be something to prepare for… That’s great that you’re having a good time teaching kindergarten here. I can’t even imagine what I would do! Thanks a lot for the detailed feedback. I really enjoy getting thoughtful comments.

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      • Oh cool, are you planning on doing a graduate degree? I’m doing my Master’s online. I can totally understand, since I studied more Korean when I was in Japan haha. I plan on taking the TOPIK in November. It’s one of my New Year’s resolutions. Kindergarten is fun but so much more work than when I was a JET (similar to EPIK) so I am a lot more busy now. No problem, I love long comments on my posts too!

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