Name: Amy H.
Hometown: North Bay, ON
Currently Living: Daejeon
Job: English Teacher
What are you doing right now?
I’m working part-time as an English teacher.
And what’s your typical day?
I go to work at 8am and play with kids until 2pm. I do observations and write reports every day. 4 days a week I do after school programs at other locations. After work I finish my reports and do any planning or prepping I need to get done for the next day. The rest of the night I just have dinner and relax with my husband.
Where are you from?
I’m from Ontario, Canada.
Why did you decide to move here?
There are a few factors that lead me to Korea. The first being that my mum is Korean. She was adopted early in life so I was curious what Korea would be like. Second, my best friend was an education major, and helping her with assignments made me regret not going into education as well. I originally was interested in going to Japan, but my friends who were teaching in Korea said it might be better to get some experience here, first. 4 years later and I am still here.
Why do you teach?
The position I am in right now is less of a teacher, and more of a cultural ambassador. I am there to give the kids a good first impression of foreigners. We play together, and I give them short (less than 30mins) lessons that revolve around games and songs. The reason I do this is because academies, public schools, and after school programs just want to push books or make money (or both!). I like seeing the kids have fun learning academically and emotionally. TL;DR I basically just like kids and want them to have fun!
If you weren’t teaching, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t teaching I would love to go back to school, finish the books I am working on, and travel.
What separates the good teachers from the bad?
Well, I think there are a lot of ways to be a good teacher or a bad teacher. I haven’t had much experience working at a place with other foreign teachers. But, I think a good teacher should care about their students, and always try their best to create a fun and safe environment for them. Good teachers also reflect on their days and assess what works and what doesn’t.
What were the hardest life lessons you had to learn while here?
I would say Korea has helped me learn to be more patient and accepting.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about teaching abroad or living abroad?
I’d say go for it! But do your research. The laws of the land are not always what you would expect, and common sense is not the same in every country.
Do you have any passions or hobbies that you pursue abroad?
I crochet, hula hoop, and like to do many crafty and artsy things. I would like to travel more, as well!
What would you be doing if you were still in your home country?
If I were still back home I might still be training dogs. I really loved doing that. I might also be back in school. I definitely would be seeing my nieces and nephews more!
We'd love to interview you!!! If you're a current English teacher living abroad, shoot us an email at [email protected]