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Author Topic: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0  (Read 1223516 times)

Offline potato1738

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1100 on: September 26, 2016, 11:49:15 AM »
I hate eating lunch with my coworkers. It's so lonely. Every day I go with my 3 English coteachers and sometimes the gym and music teachers. All 5 of them can speak English to some degree, however they always exclude me from conversation. I've tried making small talk with them... "How was your trip?" "Wow did you feel the earthquake last night?" But it just turns into a simple response and they carry on the conversation without me in Korean. I feel like it's a little rude to butt in and ask what's going on, so I just kinda gave up and eat lunch in silence every day. I understand and don't expect them to go way out of their comfort zone to speak English to me all during lunch time, but I would appreciate them including me every once in a while.... :sad:

This is like my daily life at school, but it's slightly worse because they all know I can speak Korean and choose to ignore me anyway. I bought sweets for them and only one person ever mentioned it, even though it was during my first week and the chocolates were nice ones from Belgium. Sigh. I don't even get greeted by a lot of teachers, and they've done it since day one so it's not like i've pissed any of them off. Life is lonely here! The kids are cute and say hi so i might end up sitting with some of them once or twice a week at lunch because istting with coworkers just makes me feel lonely or like im a burden

Offline HaLo3

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1101 on: September 26, 2016, 12:45:15 PM »
Only finished half my classes for the day and already have a headache.  Is it just me, or is the school building an absolute zoo some days?  (I teach rural elementary). Kids completely out of control between AND during English class and their teacher is often nowhere to be seen.  It feels  exactly like  a preschool for big kids.  It's also a small school and there is no English classroom, so I have to go to individual classes to teach them.  I'm not willing to put on a circus show when I come in just so they'll hold their attention.   Is it just me?  :sad:

Sometimes it does seem like a zoo. In my school, there are no teachers in the hallways to monitor what the students are doing. It's a free for all - screaming, running, hitting, students breaking things, throwing their books etc. When I first got here, my CT asked me about the behavior of American students vs Korean students. She was shocked to hear that rules such as no screaming/running/hitting were actually enforced (at least where I grew up and where I taught later on) She was like "do the students actually listen?" and I just looked at her like... "that's what the teachers and hall monitors are for..."

Here is a tangent, but it's pretty interesting the way Korean schools seem wild to me because I don't see things like order/respect/silence/safety put very highly on the list of importance, but my CTs think American schools are free for alls because girls can wear lip gloss and teachers don't try to break couples up when they inevitably form.
Yeah, I am constantly hearing about how kids must be so much more respectful and quiet and disciplined here than back home (in America). While I never taught at home, in all my schooling, I have never had as many issues with students and loudness and whatnot as I do in classes here, and same with all of my teacher friends.

I was lucky to have a lovely CoT 2 years ago at my last school. I don't have a CoT now but it has its own crap to deal with (hence my last post). When there is no Korean teacher in the classroom the students lose all discipline because obviously it's okay to disrespect the foreign teacher. Either way it's hit or miss with or without a CoT :(
I am also CoT free and it can be hell with some of the classes. I'm not a big fan of students being scared of their teachers, but sometimes it sure is helpful. While most of my current classes are fine, I do have a few that are awful and so disrespectful because they know the English teacher doesn't really have any authority. I have had some of them just straight up tell me no or that they don't want to.

Offline coxy15

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1102 on: September 26, 2016, 01:19:36 PM »
HaLo,

I was told the same thing years ago, so I showed up and feigned interest.

After several weeks, I decided to stay in my office to see what would happen.

Not a word was mentioned.

Perhaps you could give it a try and see.

Hang tough.
Haha, I tried that for the last meeting two weeks ago and I got an urgent kakao message reminding me of the meeting. So unfortunately, that won't work, but thanks for the thought.

Try asking for a translation after every single sentence and saying you don't understand. Pretty sure after 1 meeting of interruptions they'll all agree that it's unnecessary for you to attend!

Offline Loki88

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1103 on: September 26, 2016, 02:08:52 PM »
Why do people open up a sheaf of papers and then only put some of them in the printer tray...
It's designed to accept all of the papers that com in one set of plastic wrap.

Offline pokute

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1104 on: September 26, 2016, 02:13:43 PM »
Only finished half my classes for the day and already have a headache.  Is it just me, or is the school building an absolute zoo some days?  (I teach rural elementary). Kids completely out of control between AND during English class and their teacher is often nowhere to be seen.  It feels  exactly like  a preschool for big kids.  It's also a small school and there is no English classroom, so I have to go to individual classes to teach them.  I'm not willing to put on a circus show when I come in just so they'll hold their attention.   Is it just me?  :sad:

Sometimes it does seem like a zoo. In my school, there are no teachers in the hallways to monitor what the students are doing. It's a free for all - screaming, running, hitting, students breaking things, throwing their books etc. When I first got here, my CT asked me about the behavior of American students vs Korean students. She was shocked to hear that rules such as no screaming/running/hitting were actually enforced (at least where I grew up and where I taught later on) She was like "do the students actually listen?" and I just looked at her like... "that's what the teachers and hall monitors are for..."

Here is a tangent, but it's pretty interesting the way Korean schools seem wild to me because I don't see things like order/respect/silence/safety put very highly on the list of importance, but my CTs think American schools are free for alls because girls can wear lip gloss and teachers don't try to break couples up when they inevitably form.

You make a very real point here. I have always subconsciously been amazed at the lack of supervision of students and rule enforcement.  Isn't it pretty similar out in public as well?  Meaning little to no enforcement of driving rules as well.  It's something that people here just are not aware of yet.  And yet they wonder why they are so stressed out all the time, at least in terms of students' behavior.

Offline pokute

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1105 on: September 26, 2016, 02:16:24 PM »
Why do people open up a sheaf of papers and then only put some of them in the printer tray...
It's designed to accept all of the papers that com in one set of plastic wrap.

Laziness, I imagine.

Offline yirj17

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1106 on: September 26, 2016, 02:21:54 PM »
Why do people open up a sheaf of papers and then only put some of them in the printer tray...
It's designed to accept all of the papers that com in one set of plastic wrap.

Laziness, I imagine.

I think my school fears paper jams so they think putting in less paper at a time will somehow help.

Offline JahMoo

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1107 on: September 26, 2016, 02:23:20 PM »
Why do people open up a sheaf of papers and then only put some of them in the printer tray...
It's designed to accept all of the papers that com in one set of plastic wrap.

Laziness, I imagine.

I think my school fears paper jams so they think putting in less paper at a time will somehow help.
Mine only fits about half the pack for some reason.

Offline moonbrie

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1108 on: September 26, 2016, 02:25:16 PM »
I am so sad, lonely, and depressed in this country.

I know the job is easy. I know I shouldn't be complaining.

But every single day is a struggle and I still have 161 left on my countdown app.

(more of a whine/moan than a rant/vent, but whatever)

I sympathize with your misery. It's sad that you're unhappy. I wish you were happy.

But - anyone who says this job is 'easy' probably either a) doesn't care about their job very much, or b) is really bad and lazy at their job.

I don't think either of those apply to you. But, yeah. People who go on about how easy teaching English in Korea is are generally bad teachers.

I'm pretty unhappy here myself. I negotiated a location that is close to my friends in the interview, but when I got here, put me in the opposite side of the country to where we negotiated. :\ Now because of the distance, I can't meet my friends as conveniently as I'd like, and I'm finding it very difficult to make new friends here.

As for your comment about easy being a sign of a bad teacher. I agree a bit. I find this job easy, but also incredibly frustrating at times. I think I'm a bad teacher, but I am trying very hard to improve. Bad as in, I still haven't found my lessons to be effective. Even my co-teachers note they can tell I am trying hard to improve though!
However, after 5 months here, they are still not telling me where I need to improve, even though they have the English level to do so, even when asked directly. :( As I get told "some parts are good, other parts need to be changed."

I get the same thing Kayos. They'll tell me I need to make changes but refuse to tell me what to change... and then get mad when I don't change it "good enough" or just don't make changes at all because I don't know what to do. Most of my improvement has come from talking to my epik-appointed mentor and just copying what another really successful teacher at my school does.

Online Mister Tim

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1109 on: September 26, 2016, 02:28:13 PM »
I really, really want to improve my Korean. I'm coming up on the end of my fifth year here, and it's a bit embarrassing how fluent I'm not. I mean, I'm not completely lacking in skills or anything like that. I can get by. Shopping, "where is the blabla," restaurants, those kinds of situations: I can hold my own. I can even have extremely basic conversational exchanges of the small talk variety.

None of that, however, is really enough to have a meaningful friendship with someone whose English is the same as or worse than my Korean. The number of NETs I know is dwindling as time goes by, so if I want to have any sort of social life here, it would behoove me to be able to communicate more effectively in Korean.

All that said, though (and here's the rant/vent part): I just can't for the life of me force myself to give a sh!t about the language. Whenever I try to find Korean music or TV I like, I'm met with disappointment. Whenever I sit down to study it, my eyes just glaze over. When I actually power my way through a chapter from a Korean coursebook, I forget by the end of the week.

I love languages and linguistics, so this is extra frustrating for me. Hell, one of the reasons I wanted to come teach in another country was to have the opportunity to learn a new language in the country where it's spoken. At first I thought I was just averse to studying on my own at home, but I started using a Japanese Kanji learning program last winter and I've managed to stick with it every day for eight months straight now.

There's just.... I don't know....  something about Korean that just makes me... not care?

Anyone else feel the same way? Has anyone felt the same way, but managed to overcome that and learn it anyway? I'd love to hear how you managed.

Offline kriztee

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1110 on: September 26, 2016, 02:28:50 PM »
Only finished half my classes for the day and already have a headache.  Is it just me, or is the school building an absolute zoo some days?  (I teach rural elementary). Kids completely out of control between AND during English class and their teacher is often nowhere to be seen.  It feels  exactly like  a preschool for big kids.  It's also a small school and there is no English classroom, so I have to go to individual classes to teach them.  I'm not willing to put on a circus show when I come in just so they'll hold their attention.   Is it just me?  :sad:

Sometimes it does seem like a zoo. In my school, there are no teachers in the hallways to monitor what the students are doing. It's a free for all - screaming, running, hitting, students breaking things, throwing their books etc. When I first got here, my CT asked me about the behavior of American students vs Korean students. She was shocked to hear that rules such as no screaming/running/hitting were actually enforced (at least where I grew up and where I taught later on) She was like "do the students actually listen?" and I just looked at her like... "that's what the teachers and hall monitors are for..."

Here is a tangent, but it's pretty interesting the way Korean schools seem wild to me because I don't see things like order/respect/silence/safety put very highly on the list of importance, but my CTs think American schools are free for alls because girls can wear lip gloss and teachers don't try to break couples up when they inevitably form.

You make a very real point here. I have always subconsciously been amazed at the lack of supervision of students and rule enforcement.  Isn't it pretty similar out in public as well?  Meaning little to no enforcement of driving rules as well.  It's something that people here just are not aware of yet.  And yet they wonder why they are so stressed out all the time, at least in terms of students' behavior.

Amen!

Half the kids are little buttholes! They're constantly fighting each other at my school and I know its play fighting but it's like no Max, you're not allowed to look like you're choking out Conner just because the bell hasn't gone off yet and class hasn't officially started. I tell them English room, English rules and if they don't want to follow the rules on their free time then get out. I only have a co teacher 4 times a week and she lets them run wild in the class but I'm not dealing with that.

Offline moonbrie

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1111 on: September 26, 2016, 02:31:34 PM »

Sometimes it does seem like a zoo. In my school, there are no teachers in the hallways to monitor what the students are doing. It's a free for all - screaming, running, hitting, students breaking things, throwing their books etc. When I first got here, my CT asked me about the behavior of American students vs Korean students. She was shocked to hear that rules such as no screaming/running/hitting were actually enforced (at least where I grew up and where I taught later on) She was like "do the students actually listen?" and I just looked at her like... "that's what the teachers and hall monitors are for..."

Here is a tangent, but it's pretty interesting the way Korean schools seem wild to me because I don't see things like order/respect/silence/safety put very highly on the list of importance, but my CTs think American schools are free for alls because girls can wear lip gloss and teachers don't try to break couples up when they inevitably form.

For real!! Koreans make a big deal out of how respect is so important in their culture, but I sure don't see any of it in my school. From students screaming in my face, to refusing to do things when asked, and even disrespecting their classmates' personal space. In the class I just finished teaching one kid kept punching another and he kept looking at me (the punched one, that is) and he was like teacher!! punch punch punch! no punch!!! I tried telling the other kid not to punch, tried to appeal to his sense of pride ("gentlemen don't punch"), told him that when our friends say "don't touch me!" we STOP TOUCHING THEM, but nothing got a response. Meanwhile my coteacher is right there like "eh, whatever"

That would get you a trip to the principal's office awful fast back in America

Offline moonbrie

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1112 on: September 26, 2016, 02:37:58 PM »
I really, really want to improve my Korean. I'm coming up on the end of my fifth year here, and it's a bit embarrassing how fluent I'm not. I mean, I'm not completely lacking in skills or anything like that. I can get by. Shopping, "where is the blabla," restaurants, those kinds of situations: I can hold my own. I can even have extremely basic conversational exchanges of the small talk variety.

None of that, however, is really enough to have a meaningful friendship with someone whose English is the same as or worse than my Korean. The number of NETs I know is dwindling as time goes by, so if I want to have any sort of social life here, it would behoove me to be able to communicate more effectively in Korean.

All that said, though (and here's the rant/vent part): I just can't for the life of me force myself to give a sh!t about the language. Whenever I try to find Korean music or TV I like, I'm met with disappointment. Whenever I sit down to study it, my eyes just glaze over. When I actually power my way through a chapter from a Korean coursebook, I forget by the end of the week.

I love languages and linguistics, so this is extra frustrating for me. Hell, one of the reasons I wanted to come teach in another country was to have the opportunity to learn a new language in the country where it's spoken. At first I thought I was just averse to studying on my own at home, but I started using a Japanese Kanji learning program last winter and I've managed to stick with it every day for eight months straight now.

There's just.... I don't know....  something about Korean that just makes me... not care?

Anyone else feel the same way? Has anyone felt the same way, but managed to overcome that and learn it anyway? I'd love to hear how you managed.

I definitely found Korean much more difficult than any of the other languages I've taken (and I've taken a bunch), even harder than Japanese which has super similar vocab and grammar. In Korea though, I think the issue is that many Koreans just don't want to speak Korean with foreigners, or even when you say something really easy and comprehensible they are constantly like hmm?? what did you say??? did you say [ x ] which sounds totally different from what you actually said??

I found learning Korean in America much easier than learning Korean in Korea :/
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 02:43:55 PM by moonbrie »

Offline pokute

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1113 on: September 26, 2016, 02:38:50 PM »
I really, really want to improve my Korean. I'm coming up on the end of my fifth year here, and it's a bit embarrassing how fluent I'm not. I mean, I'm not completely lacking in skills or anything like that. I can get by. Shopping, "where is the blabla," restaurants, those kinds of situations: I can hold my own. I can even have extremely basic conversational exchanges of the small talk variety.

None of that, however, is really enough to have a meaningful friendship with someone whose English is the same as or worse than my Korean. The number of NETs I know is dwindling as time goes by, so if I want to have any sort of social life here, it would behoove me to be able to communicate more effectively in Korean.

All that said, though (and here's the rant/vent part): I just can't for the life of me force myself to give a sh!t about the language. Whenever I try to find Korean music or TV I like, I'm met with disappointment. Whenever I sit down to study it, my eyes just glaze over. When I actually power my way through a chapter from a Korean coursebook, I forget by the end of the week.

I love languages and linguistics, so this is extra frustrating for me. Hell, one of the reasons I wanted to come teach in another country was to have the opportunity to learn a new language in the country where it's spoken. At first I thought I was just averse to studying on my own at home, but I started using a Japanese Kanji learning program last winter and I've managed to stick with it every day for eight months straight now.

There's just.... I don't know....  something about Korean that just makes me... not care?

Anyone else feel the same way? Has anyone felt the same way, but managed to overcome that and learn it anyway? I'd love to hear how you managed.

I had to rephrase my initial reply.  I think 1. spending most of productive time at work (which is not easy work either) 2. I think there are things we encounter as outsiders that are off-putting or unattractive (cultural differences, behavior, ideas), and in turn it makes it feel not worth the effort to learn???

That said, I personally have learned that patience, perseverance and self-development and self care become absolute essentials in this situation.  Don't get yourself down for not being good enough when you are struggling to meet your more basic needs first.  Once you meet those needs you'll feel more motivated to study and retain the language.  It's not easy or quick, but finding a lifestyle that equates to balance and moderation will help you overcome most, if not all of the internal and external negativity.  No being outside yourself has the right to dictate your worth, ever.  It doesn't matter what you do or don't do, as long as you have your head and heart in the right place for you.

Sorry if this got a bit jumbled up.  But I'm in the same boat (on my sixth year) and it's a major life and career struggle for likes of us.  I think the locals and people not in your shoes are not able to appreciate just how much will power, strength and intelligence it takes to do this for so long. :)  It's good that you can share it here.

EDIT: again a multitude of reasons could be causing your lack of interest in improvement.  It's really a complex psychological process and just to name a few factors: isolation, depression, alienation, etc... if you struggle with any of these then productivity really decreases.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 02:50:27 PM by pokute »

Offline Whatgook

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1114 on: September 26, 2016, 02:43:48 PM »
I really, really want to improve my Korean. I'm coming up on the end of my fifth year here, and it's a bit embarrassing how fluent I'm not. I mean, I'm not completely lacking in skills or anything like that. I can get by. Shopping, "where is the blabla," restaurants, those kinds of situations: I can hold my own. I can even have extremely basic conversational exchanges of the small talk variety.

None of that, however, is really enough to have a meaningful friendship with someone whose English is the same as or worse than my Korean. The number of NETs I know is dwindling as time goes by, so if I want to have any sort of social life here, it would behoove me to be able to communicate more effectively in Korean.

All that said, though (and here's the rant/vent part): I just can't for the life of me force myself to give a sh!t about the language. Whenever I try to find Korean music or TV I like, I'm met with disappointment. Whenever I sit down to study it, my eyes just glaze over. When I actually power my way through a chapter from a Korean coursebook, I forget by the end of the week.

I love languages and linguistics, so this is extra frustrating for me. Hell, one of the reasons I wanted to come teach in another country was to have the opportunity to learn a new language in the country where it's spoken. At first I thought I was just averse to studying on my own at home, but I started using a Japanese Kanji learning program last winter and I've managed to stick with it every day for eight months straight now.

There's just.... I don't know....  something about Korean that just makes me... not care?

Anyone else feel the same way? Has anyone felt the same way, but managed to overcome that and learn it anyway? I'd love to hear how you managed.
for me, I just had to suck it up and pay for lessons. i did two years here and my korean was still so basic. Then, start of third year, i started classes with a buddy. two of us, twice a week for an hour, 30,000 a week. I've been doing it for a year now, so it's cost me a little over a million (factoring vacations etc) and I'm getting towards fluency. Maybe try lessons, It willl probably help hugely!

Offline yirj17

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1115 on: September 26, 2016, 02:46:18 PM »
I love languages and linguistics, so this is extra frustrating for me. Hell, one of the reasons I wanted to come teach in another country was to have the opportunity to learn a new language in the country where it's spoken. At first I thought I was just averse to studying on my own at home, but I started using a Japanese Kanji learning program last winter and I've managed to stick with it every day for eight months straight now.

There's just.... I don't know....  something about Korean that just makes me... not care?

Anyone else feel the same way? Has anyone felt the same way, but managed to overcome that and learn it anyway? I'd love to hear how you managed.

I'm curious-- would you mind sharing what Japanese Kanji learning program you're using? I hope to pick up Japanese again during my 2nd year here, when I have more time. (I studied a little back in school but it fell to the wayside)

As for the rest... I know I need to focus on building vocabulary but I suppose I'm really disinterested in rote memorization. I enjoy going through online lessons and learning about grammar but when it comes to memorizing vocab... I guess I just don't like studying. There's not much Korean media I'm interested in either, so it's more difficult to be motivated. If I could have an in-class course of study, it would be best but I'm far too rural at the moment.

Offline mrc45

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1116 on: September 26, 2016, 02:48:47 PM »
I went back to America a few months ago and really miss South Korea. Just droppin' in to say hello to the ol' Waygook.org gang. Since returning to the US, I've been quickly reminded why I preferred South Korea. That's not to overlook the problems, but boy did I find it easier to live there.

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1117 on: September 26, 2016, 02:52:11 PM »
I went back to America a few months ago and really miss South Korea. Just droppin' in to say hello to the ol' Waygook.org gang. Since returning to the US, I've been quickly reminded why I preferred South Korea. That's not to overlook the problems, but boy did I find it easier to live there.

I'm ready to be convinced, mrc45. Tell me why I should stay? I'm prone to imagining greener pastures.

Offline pokute

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1118 on: September 26, 2016, 02:53:28 PM »
I went back to America a few months ago and really miss South Korea. Just droppin' in to say hello to the ol' Waygook.org gang. Since returning to the US, I've been quickly reminded why I preferred South Korea. That's not to overlook the problems, but boy did I find it easier to live there.

Would you mind giving some examples which you feel comfortable sharing?  I'm curious.  I'm guessing a few are cost of living, health insurance/fees, transportation....what else is better in Korea in your experience?

Offline mrc45

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1119 on: September 26, 2016, 03:00:31 PM »
Well, first of all, I'll start with what annoyed me about South Korea, which would be feeling useless. I don't need to explain to anyone here that we ESL teachers are essentially babysitters. That can be a real emotional drain on someone; it was on me. I really cared about teaching and often felt handcuffed by the South Korean education system.

That being said, things like public transportation are absolutely reasons why I miss South Korea. It's just so much better than where I live now. Things were cheaper as well. I miss my friends and some of my better students. I miss being able to work with kids and see them develop as English speakers, even if I wasn't always able to fully serve in my capacity as a teacher. I lived in South Korea for nearly a decade, so it certainly grew on me in many ways.