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  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1460

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2019, 09:16:32 am »
And they are like this for the Korean teachers too. The only reason the teachers there put up with it, is because the school is private, and the teachers don't want to join the public circuit.
More likely they haven't passed the public school tests. And passed the qualifications for that private school first. Rest assured probably a good chunk of them are still taking that yearly public school test. Unless they are officially full-time then are essentially treated like public school teachers contract wise.

I can't say for certain if that is, or isn't, true.
But, most of the teachers are much older, like 50 - 60.
There are 2 female teachers, one between 35 - 40, the other around 32 or 33.
I'd assume most of them have. I know my co-t still does some studying but, not sure it's for the public school test.
Most live nearby and don't want to have to move every 4 years.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1580

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2019, 10:26:51 am »
And they are like this for the Korean teachers too. The only reason the teachers there put up with it, is because the school is private, and the teachers don't want to join the public circuit.
More likely they haven't passed the public school tests. And passed the qualifications for that private school first. Rest assured probably a good chunk of them are still taking that yearly public school test. Unless they are officially full-time then are essentially treated like public school teachers contract wise.

I can't say for certain if that is, or isn't, true.
But, most of the teachers are much older, like 50 - 60.
There are 2 female teachers, one between 35 - 40, the other around 32 or 33.
I'd assume most of them have. I know my co-t still does some studying but, not sure it's for the public school test.
Most live nearby and don't want to have to move every 4 years.
With private schools, in 'many' cases, there is extremely little chance of getting promoted unless you are somehow related to the ownership of the school (like married to someone, or some cousin, or uncle...). So, it's usually the 2nd choice for most teachers. Considering that public schools are pretty competitive to get into, the private school option ain't too bad.


Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2019, 11:44:02 am »
I'm in the minority here, but I'm a big fan of using the textbook.
why? the public school textbooks are, without a doubt, the worst textbooks i have ever seen in my entire life

Probably the same reason why the Korean teachers like using them. It's less effort. EFL teaching is usually a choice between textbook + boredom, or slightly more interesting experience + a bit of extra work. Many teachers are quite happy to go with the former option at all times.

I disagree. A good teacher can make just about any material (including the textbooks) engaging and interesting if they put enough effort in. But you could give an inexperienced and/or lazy teacher the best materials on earth and their class would probably still be a mess.

The textbooks provide consistency and structure. They're also the curriculum that the students are expected to and required to learn. They're a good guideline to follow, especially if your students have some of their classes with you and some without. The textbooks provide a good guideline to follow so that students have an idea what to expect from each lesson period, rather than just going in blind for whatever random lesson the foreign teacher decides to do that day.

I'm not suggesting anybody use the textbook completely in lieu of preparing other learning materials, but it absolutely is a good baseline for maintaining consistent lesson structure. Make materials based off the target language in each lesson, make the lessons fun and engaging, and actually put effort in, and I'm a huge proponent of following the textbook.

Keep in mind, if you're working in some super affluent area where you've got students for whom the textbook is way too easy, then yeah - obviously your students would probably be interested in more advanced topics and you may want to break off from the curriculum and do some unique topics, but if you have your regular, average students who haven't already learned all this material in hagwon, sticking to the textbook is a solid plan.


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1306

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2019, 01:13:16 pm »
This is my 2nd month in Korea, and I have discovered teaching is not for me. I have a great school, coworkers and students (usually!) But I find the teaching routine so monotonous. The students make it interesting but I feel very unfulfilled here, repeating the same lessons every day.  Facing the next 10 months seems so daunting, but I don't want to quit. Any tips on how to get through this? Did you ever feel like teaching was not your passion, and how did you get through it? P.S. I work at a public school.

Thanks :)

You just reading the textbook to the kids?  Get the K teacher to do part of it as the kids need some Korean explanation.  Then, come up with more fun and challenging games and activities.  You don't have to do everything in the book.  It's usually a yawn fest.  I make or modify my own games.  I usually show some kind of funny or fun video at the start of class.  Makes it more fun.  If you are bored, you're probably not planning and finding enough material.  I'd be bored if I weren't. 

Most elementary want you to do the game.  Find or create some fun games or activities that you enjoy doing too.  Just reading the book to the kids the whole class is boring as crap.  I wouldn't do it. 


Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2019, 01:59:05 pm »
This is my 2nd month in Korea, and I have discovered teaching is not for me. I have a great school, coworkers and students (usually!) But I find the teaching routine so monotonous. The students make it interesting but I feel very unfulfilled here, repeating the same lessons every day.  Facing the next 10 months seems so daunting, but I don't want to quit. Any tips on how to get through this? Did you ever feel like teaching was not your passion, and how did you get through it? P.S. I work at a public school.

Thanks :)

You just reading the textbook to the kids?  Get the K teacher to do part of it as the kids need some Korean explanation.  Then, come up with more fun and challenging games and activities.  You don't have to do everything in the book.  It's usually a yawn fest.  I make or modify my own games.  I usually show some kind of funny or fun video at the start of class.  Makes it more fun.  If you are bored, you're probably not planning and finding enough material.  I'd be bored if I weren't. 

Most elementary want you to do the game.  Find or create some fun games or activities that you enjoy doing too.  Just reading the book to the kids the whole class is boring as crap.  I wouldn't do it. 

The K teacher wants to teach the textbook so I usually don't do that. I come up with the game/activity on my own and never use the textbook. I actually am not that bored in class, just bored of doing the same classes over and over, and not really passionate about the whole thing in general. Which sucks but I do give my best.


  • leaponover
  • Expert Waygook

    • 555

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2019, 02:11:10 pm »
This is my 2nd month in Korea, and I have discovered teaching is not for me. I have a great school, coworkers and students (usually!) But I find the teaching routine so monotonous. The students make it interesting but I feel very unfulfilled here, repeating the same lessons every day.  Facing the next 10 months seems so daunting, but I don't want to quit. Any tips on how to get through this? Did you ever feel like teaching was not your passion, and how did you get through it? P.S. I work at a public school.

Thanks :)

This really depends on the dynamics of your school and possibly, their relationship with you.

I've been here for a while and it's at the point that I can completely disregard the key expressions in the textbook to teach whatever I want and my CTs will just back me up. I've earned that freedom. For example:

The lesson for the 6th graders was, "What's your favourite season?"
A rather dull and silly lesson, but I used it as a starting point to tell my students that the conversation starter "Do you know that Korea has 4 seasons?" is completely awkward and dumb. There's a difference between "Korea has 4 seasons." and "Korea has 4 distinct seasons." Either way, we spoke about using language as a tool for communication and not simply a medium to regurgitate some crappy nationalistic soft-power.
We also spoke about using the ondol and aircon responsibly, during Winter and Summer, respectively.

- My students and I have a lot of fun discussing and comparing cultural differences
- Pick a few students and find relatable subjects to discuss with them (video games, sports etc.) I got into a pretty funny
  but light-hearted argument with a 6th grade boy who was trying to convince me that John Cena is better than The Undertaker.

Find ways to segway or relate the textbook's lessons to what I mentioned above. Lesson is on "It's in the living room", I went on a property website (back home) and showed them how house sizes and prices compared to Korea. I also went onto Google maps and showed them my local neighbourhood. They couldn't believe how big the houses were compared to Korea.

I'm not trying to assert my "cultural superiority" on the students, I just find it tragic that they grow up in such a little bubble and I enjoy showing them what else is out there.

That's one of the ways I make my classes more enjoyable and find some job satisfaction.

Unfortunately my coteachers are sticklers for the book so none of this is really possible. My grade 5 coT teaches from the book for 20 min and gives me 20 min to do an activity, my grade 6 coT uses me as a tape recorder for the 1st half of the lesson usually and also gives me 10-20 min for an activity. I sort of feel like a robot being used for games, but this is how they do it and I can't radically change that.

I agree I should not live for work, and have developed some personal goals that I'm working on. This keeps me going but it's really mentally exhausting to get up everyday and do the same thing over and over again. I'd really like to save some money this year so I'm hoping I'll last. At least till winter vacation when there isn't much to do.

Might be a good time to resign yourself to the fact that most people have a boring job.  Really rare to find something you like, are good at, and can make a living wage off of.  People who do are pretty lucky.  Use the next ten months to prepare yourself on what the real working world is like.


Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2019, 06:34:53 am »
This is my 2nd month in Korea, and I have discovered teaching is not for me. I have a great school, coworkers and students (usually!) But I find the teaching routine so monotonous. The students make it interesting but I feel very unfulfilled here, repeating the same lessons every day.  Facing the next 10 months seems so daunting, but I don't want to quit. Any tips on how to get through this? Did you ever feel like teaching was not your passion, and how did you get through it? P.S. I work at a public school.

Thanks :)

This really depends on the dynamics of your school and possibly, their relationship with you.

I've been here for a while and it's at the point that I can completely disregard the key expressions in the textbook to teach whatever I want and my CTs will just back me up. I've earned that freedom. For example:

The lesson for the 6th graders was, "What's your favourite season?"
A rather dull and silly lesson, but I used it as a starting point to tell my students that the conversation starter "Do you know that Korea has 4 seasons?" is completely awkward and dumb. There's a difference between "Korea has 4 seasons." and "Korea has 4 distinct seasons." Either way, we spoke about using language as a tool for communication and not simply a medium to regurgitate some crappy nationalistic soft-power.
We also spoke about using the ondol and aircon responsibly, during Winter and Summer, respectively.

- My students and I have a lot of fun discussing and comparing cultural differences
- Pick a few students and find relatable subjects to discuss with them (video games, sports etc.) I got into a pretty funny
  but light-hearted argument with a 6th grade boy who was trying to convince me that John Cena is better than The Undertaker.

Find ways to segway or relate the textbook's lessons to what I mentioned above. Lesson is on "It's in the living room", I went on a property website (back home) and showed them how house sizes and prices compared to Korea. I also went onto Google maps and showed them my local neighbourhood. They couldn't believe how big the houses were compared to Korea.

I'm not trying to assert my "cultural superiority" on the students, I just find it tragic that they grow up in such a little bubble and I enjoy showing them what else is out there.

That's one of the ways I make my classes more enjoyable and find some job satisfaction.

Unfortunately my coteachers are sticklers for the book so none of this is really possible. My grade 5 coT teaches from the book for 20 min and gives me 20 min to do an activity, my grade 6 coT uses me as a tape recorder for the 1st half of the lesson usually and also gives me 10-20 min for an activity. I sort of feel like a robot being used for games, but this is how they do it and I can't radically change that.

I agree I should not live for work, and have developed some personal goals that I'm working on. This keeps me going but it's really mentally exhausting to get up everyday and do the same thing over and over again. I'd really like to save some money this year so I'm hoping I'll last. At least till winter vacation when there isn't much to do.

Might be a good time to resign yourself to the fact that most people have a boring job.  Really rare to find something you like, are good at, and can make a living wage off of.  People who do are pretty lucky.  Use the next ten months to prepare yourself on what the real working world is like.

I've had full-time jobs before this.  None have been as unchallenging and boring as this. But hey, at least  I know what I can get back into.


  • 303lmc
  • Adventurer

    • 34

    • March 05, 2019, 05:23:12 pm
    • Gwangju
Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2019, 08:33:45 am »
I honestly have to agree, MOST jobs are repetitive and boring. And if you had exciting and challenging jobs before, can I ask why did you leave them?
as far as being bored with teaching the same class over and over, perhaps look at changing your perspective. Are any kids actually learning? I  enjoy seeing the light bulb go off in their minds.  I honestly didn't like the first 2-3 months of teaching, but now I am cool with it. The book is boring and so are bomb games. so challenge yourself to come up with exciting or interesting activities or games so they can use the language they've learned.


  • LIC
  • Super Waygook

    • 468

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2019, 06:32:10 pm »
Bored??? Really??????

Try something I like to call reading.

If you love to read you're never bored.


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 2606

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2019, 06:34:27 pm »
drink soju before work. that's what i do


  • stoat
  • Super Waygook

    • 423

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2019, 07:30:59 pm »
Bored??? Really??????

Try something I like to call reading.

If you love to read you're never bored.

I agree but he's talking about being bored while he's doing his actual job, not in his free time.


  • NorthStar
  • Expert Waygook

    • 786

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Mouseville
Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2019, 11:19:28 am »
drink soju before work. that's what i do

..Kevin?


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 2606

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2019, 12:07:58 pm »
although i wish the kids would stop saying "teacher, you smell like my dad"


  • NorthStar
  • Expert Waygook

    • 786

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Mouseville
Re: Fighting boredom
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2019, 12:09:27 pm »
although i wish the kids would stop saying "teacher, you smell like my dad"

It's familiar to them...