When in Rome

Definitely don't do as the Romans do

With the school year just beginning, at least the public schools here in South Korea, this is as good an opportunity as ever to discuss the teacher-training workshop that is offered twice a year to native English speakers by the various Offices of Education. I've had the misfortune of attending two of them in my three years with the program, both presented in the exact same fashion.

Understanding culture

Or the culture of understanding?

If knowing more about a specific culture can make me a better teacher while I'm living there, then I'd be more than happy to sign up and pay for some culture course. But keep the "My Culture Is Better Than Your Culture" crap out of it

Finding the poetry

English teachers, Sonny's outcry, and finding the poetry

Governments and Immigration officials in various countries, including South Korea and Thailand, are finally starting to crack down on English teachers who have proven themselves to be less than desirable.

Not in my classroom

Dopey foreigners and mentally deficient Koreans

It's not that I love to discipline students. I don't. But it is part of my job and I accept that. I have precious little time as it is to teach my students the English they need to know, so I would rather not waste class time telling students to sit down, keep quiet, and stop throwing things.

The perfect storm

Dopey foreigners and mentally deficient Koreans part one

So Korea, go ahead and continue to hire unqualified native English teachers. You know exactly what you're doing. You're hardly walking and talking testaments to your own good judgement. A plague on all your houses!

Creating classroom culture

Cultivating universal values and striving for excellence

There are some good teachers out there to get you through these first rough few months of uncertainty. From those who say, "Lay down the law the first week of class. You're not their friend, you're their teacher", to those who offer good introductory first day lessons, there is a lot of good advice out there if one knows where to look.

You are the solution

what foreign teachers don't want to hear

Many foreign teachers forget that they're not in Kansas anymore, and demand that their hosts adapt to them rather than trying to find a middle-ground where a reasonable compromise can be reached. If many foreign teachers are the problem, (and they are), then they are also the solution.

The politics of Babopalooza

The joke is on us

The stress and aggravation of life in Korea for expats can be brutal at times, and that's why it's important to blow off a little steam every now and then. During times like these, most expats simply get together to eat, drink, and complain about life in a society that still views foreigners as less than equal.

Taking back the profession

getting rid of the EFL riff-raff

We are talking about setting objective standards to a profession that is long overdue. And by setting these standards, we will be getting rid of a whole lot of really bad people; people that have absolutely no business stepping foot inside a classroom, in Thailand or anywhere else.

From Boulder to Bangkok

Thailand at a crossroad

When I heard that a teacher, an EFL teacher at that, had been picked up in Bangkok on suspicion of the JonBenet Ramsey murder, I knew that things would change. Or, at least, I hope that things will change. For the better. I, like everyone else, heard the name John Mark Karr for the first time

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