Wednesday, March 10, 2010

They Call Me Teacher...Paula-Teacher!

Well technically, it is Cola-Teacha... but who is really noticing?

I love my job for the most part! I have good days, bad days, good classes, bad classes, brats, angels, shyness, loudness, and so-on and so-on.

My schedule is pretty abnormal for a teacher here in Korea, I teach Kindergarten in the morning and at a hagwon (private school) in the afternoon. I signed my contract with the Hagwon, Oxford English Academy, however they are kind of 'subcontracting' me, I guess you could call it, out to a Kinder. Everything here is about business, so the hopes are that when the kids are old enough to leave the Kinder, their parents will be pleased with what they have learned in English so far and will want them to go to Oxford.

Something of importance to note, children in Korea are worked HARD. They may not be working in sweat shops, but they are going to their public school during the day, and then going to one or two hagwons at night. Most Hagwon teachers are not finished with school until 9:30 at night... so obviously, kids are being forced to be in school until that late a lot of the time. Now, it is normally only the older kids that are in school that late, and the younger kids are out around 6:30... and possibly heading to another hagwon such as a math, piano, violin, or dance hagwon there after.
This is probably why back in the states Asians are always deemed so smart, the work ethic is impeccable! I can't imagine being in America and having to go to that much school, I would go crazy!!
But on a sad note, I HAVE heard that the suicide rate is very high in Korea/Jinju.. Jinju is considered an Education City, and the standards are extremely high!

I have amazing kids for the most part. However, some get into hitting/punching fights with the 'Korean Teacher' and don't stop until they probably have bruises all over them. OK STORY TIME! There were once two boys in the 6 year old (5 in USA) kinder class, the 2 boys would not stop hitting each other, after trying to move them, trying to stop them, trying to get them to behave, and then he pinched me, I decided 'You know what, screw you, I'm going to get the 'Korean Teacher' (they're normally terrified) but these kids just wouldn't stop hitting each other. Well, the Korean teacher came in, and one of the kids hit her, and then she hit back (hard!) and so on and so on, while all of the rest of the kids keep singing the song that is playing.. anyways, it turns into punching, he punches her, she punches him on the leg (hard!).. but this is all totally allowed in Korea.. by KOREAN teachers! Anyways, he finally started balling and gave up. When she escorted him out of the room, I couldn't help but turn around and smile. NEVER in my life!

THIS is the culprit.. in the bow tie!!

I teach from western age 3-12 year olds... the 3 year olds have rarely ever seen a white person/foreigner in their entire life... so lets just say, I scare some of them sometimes. It is actually quite funny.. but becomes quite annoying! I can walk into the room to start teaching, and this one little girl will just start BALLING, while a couple of the kids look at me and just laugh non-stop. It is such a mix of emotions, so weird, but it is my job!!

These kids make me want to adopt/have a 1/2 korean baby Sooooo bad, how precious are they?!

No matter the headache, it is worth it in the end! I truly do love my job!


  1. Hi Paula,
    I am considering teaching at this school. Can you email me about your experience there? I would like to know more about the area, your housing, and the director.


  2. Hi Tiffany, your post is listed as anonymous... and I don't know what your email is. You can email me at, and let me know if you will be teaching at Oxford or Bewengung.. I don't want to post my review of the school here! Thanks :)

  3. hello i will be coming to Jinju, Korea to teach soon as well and this is the name of my school as well but i noticed that this name is common for some schools can you please let me know if this school is located in Jinju? thank you