Teacher Life: When Everyone Starts Laughing and You Have No Idea Why

I should really rename this blog A Girl Who Never Wanted To Be An English Teacher In Korea Who Now Is One.

Guess that would be a bit wordy though. It is funny to me how much I resisted the idea of teaching English in Korea way back when. Anywho, this week is the last week of the school year here, which means next week, the new school year starts!

Most of my students will be continuing on with me into the next level, so it’s really not that exciting of an event. I’m sure all of them are thrilled, however, merely at the prospect of spending another year with me.

Actually, I think some of my students do genuinely like me (i.e. the young’ins), but I’m quite certain the older ones only enjoy having me around for the purpose of laughing at me.

They love making fun of my Korean accent, my age, my excitement about our health textbook, and whatever else they can think of. When I told a friend back home that my students often poke fun at me by asking why I am still single at my age, she was horrified. But I honestly don’t mind. It’s like their way of being affectionate. Sort of.

The other day, I was playing a card game with my middle schoolers,

and they started imitating phrases I apparently say quite frequently while we play this game. Soon, all of them were sarcastically tossing out a, “Sorry guys,” whenever they laid down their cards. And they could not stop laughing about it. They thought it was the most hilarious thing ever.

I honestly didn’t understand how it could possibly be that funny, but I was happy to help. The atmosphere of our classroom immediately brightened. All the gloom and exhaustion they had originally walked in with disappeared.

So as I look toward this next school year, that is the one thing I would most like to see: A classroom full of brightness, laughter, and.. learning.



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After living in South Korea for over 7 years, Elizabeth is back in the States finding a new normal. Currently in seminary, she is enjoying unpacking questions of faith in a new context. Amidst the tension of brokenness and conviction, she continues to find grace. And above all else, she continues to pursue the God who inspires childlike wonder.

One thought on “Teacher Life: When Everyone Starts Laughing and You Have No Idea Why

  1. If you’re single female past the age of 25 you are considered old maid. It was like that when I lived in Korea. That hasn’t changed, I see, though the country has gone through so many major changes in the past 25 yrs. Good to laugh it off as you are going. Enjoy your time there.

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