Teaching in Korea

Teaching in Korea: One Month Later (Part 2)

In my previous post, I talked about my elementary class and now I would like to share with you my kindergarten classes. I originally had the 3rd year seven-year-old and 2nd year seven-year-old classes. 3rd year means that they started learning English at SLP at the age of 5 (Korean age, not Western age) and 2nd year means they started learning English at the age of 6. The 3rd year students are on the same level of English as their American counterparts. The 2nd years level is a little lower. They don’t speak, read or write as well, but are still pretty fluent.

Red E (3rd years) was my original home room class. They are a class of 9, two boys and seven girls. I love those kids to death and am sad that I no longer teach them. They did their work very well and would always do their best to be better if they didn’t get something right the first time. They listened very well, too. As a class, behavior and personality wise, they were a work in progress. No, they weren’t bad children, but the underlying of bullying and tattle-telling was very prevalent. I, for one, do not have the patience for either. I also found it irritating when one person said something, the rest would repeat. Usually, they repeated after the same person. She didn’t realize it, but all of the students look up to her and follow what she says. She also had a problem of bringing down a person because she didn’t like what they did. None of them could see what they were doing was wrong and it upset me when they would make one of their classmates cry. After only teaching them for a month and some days, I got them to stand quietly in line, cut down on their tattle-telling and had gotten them to stop treating each other so poorly. They were a negative group of kids with great personalities, and I tried my best to have them be more positive. I’m not sure how they are in class now, but I hope they haven’t digressed. I do see them everyday and they love to run up to me to hug me or grab my hands. Some of them like to call me mommy. I tried to get them to stop, but they don’t. I’m not complaining, but it is a little weird. Here’s a picture of these cuties after our field trip to the science museum.


My secondary kinder class is Green D. They are a class of 10, two girls and eight boys. They are a very talkative group and are full of energy. They have a listening problem and seem to not like their chairs, but they always give me energy. Every day I ask them how they are and each one is excited to tell me and why. I struggled a bit when I first started teaching them, mainly because of a miscommunication issue from the same teacher that I had communication issues with for my intensive reading class. There are still times where she will tell me things last minute or after I’ve done something, but I usually just nod my head and adjust. For Green D, I teach them science, math, reading comprehension and writing. I never thought I would be teaching math and science, so I am grateful that everything is simple. Science, especially biology, was never my strong suit and math after a certain level goes over my head. Somethings take them a little longer to get through, for instance writing, so if I know we are behind schedule with that, we can easily go through science and math if needed. Here’s some picture of this rambunctious group. I don’t have any of all them together, well I do from Chuseok, but those will be in the next post.


Now, for my new homeroom class, Yellow J. They are 1st year five-year-old babies. Yellow J is a new addition to my school and they decided to put me as the teacher. Why, I have no idea, but I am not complaining. It is a class of eight with three girls and five boys. They barely know anything and because of them, my listening has gotten better and my Korean vocabulary has started to grow. This is the first class I have gotten a  co-teacher. She’s new as well (newer than me) and helps talk to them if they are upset or they really cannot understand what is going on. I don’t like how the learning system is set up for them, so I try to supplement when I can. They have them “reading” when they can’t recognize the alphabet. It’s been 2 1/2 weeks now and they are getting better, but with the help of repeating the same songs every day. Each of these kids have a very interesting personality. Andy just started speaking this year and like other kids who just started speaking, they are very active. He has an older brother at SLP and apparently they both have the same personality. Which means that they are both “troublemakers”. Noah is a bit spaced out sometimes and usually overthinks what he is going to do, so it takes him awhile to start and finish his work. Hannah and Olivia talk a lot with each other and with Alex. They are usually the last to finish, because they are distracting each other. Alex never wants to do anything and will gladly ignore you. Kevin is really smart and ends up telling some of the other kids what to do if they aren’t doing their work right. It kind of frustrates him and it is funny to watch. I teach his older brother and they are a lot alike (they even look alike). Chloe is an absolute angel and she does everything perfectly. She also enjoys to watch the educational videos instead of playing. Tony likes to participate in class, but he doesn’t really try to do his work properly which amuses me. I told him to draw a dog and he scribbled and said he was done. Ah, their favorite phrase to say is “Teacher, I’m done!” even though I had already circled their paper or they aren’t even finished. They like to make it into a game.

I think that I have talked enough, so say hello to Yellow J!


Thanks for reading and as for my next three posts, they will be about Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Everland! During the last week of September, I will be posting four movie reviews. Also, I will be starting a “Challenge Me” section in October, so if there is anything that you think I should do or places I should go, let me know and I will try to do it if it is reasonable. My first post under that section will be about me trying the 10-Step Korean Skin Routine for a week. Until next time!



  1. I am very proud of you Leslie. I know this experience has matured you as an educator and has given you a better understanding of how to handle different personalities with all your students.



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