Friday, February 21, 2014


Well here it is! Today is my 2 year anniversary in Korea, and with it begins year THREEEEEEEE~!

A year ago today, I was finishing up my year at Brighton Kindergarten, waiting to move to Jeonju. Wow. 

Two years ago today, I landed at Incheon and took my first bus to Gwangju. Bright-eyed and eager, I had no idea what to expect from Korea. That first afternoon, sitting on the floor in a dirty motel room, thinking "what have I done??" ...I absolutely didn't think I'd still be here on February 22, 2014! 

Praise the Good Lord, He has good plans and OH how things change! 

I cannot believe how fast the past two years have gone, how much I've experienced, grown, and on and on. It's a fun sensation! 

Photo cred: pinterest

Year 3 is already off to a great start, with some major changes. For starters, I have a new position as a part-time social studies teacher at an international school in Jeonju! In addition to my job as a full-time English instructor at Jeonju University, I am also teaching a section of World History at Global Prodigy Academy, or GPA. I'll be *much* busier this year than last, but honestly? I had a little too much free time last year. I get bored easily. I'm much happier and more productive in everything when I'm busy, so this is perfect for me! 

I really, really can't put into words how excited I am about this new element to my job! I have a degree in education with the certification (and desire) to teach social studies, but since I've been teaching English overseas pretty much since I got my degree, I haven't had much of a chance to use much of that side of my training! NOW I GET TO USE THE CERTIFICATION FOR WHICH I WORKED SO HARD! 

Classes started this past week. The school uses American curriculum to prepare the students for universities abroad, so I'm teaching World History in English to Korean students who are fluent in English and will eventually go to an English-speaking university. Coolest thing EVER. There are 3 social studies teachers at the school and I teach one of two World History classes, so I'm sharing curriculum with the teacher who has been teaching it for the past three semesters. It's great! He and I have very different teaching styles, so we can bounce ideas off one another and use what works best for each of us in our classrooms. Since I only teach one class a day at GPA, I don't have my own classroom, so I use the literature teacher's room while I'm teaching. 

I have 4 students in my class: one freshman, two juniors, and a senior (it's a pretty small school). They're doing well so far! They're engaged in the lessons and they speak up as I pepper them with questions. I'm remembering tools from my classroom management classes and all those fun projects I researched with Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. I've assigned them a "get to know you" Coat of Arms to to show me what's important to them and showcase their Visual-Spatial and Intrapersonal intelligence. Cute, right? 

"So you're saying food is more important than friends?"

We also made a classroom Code of Law together, foreshadowing the Rule of Law/Hammurabi's Code lesson next week. This way, they have ownership of their class rules as "law created for the people, by the people," mostly, though as the Ruling Monarch in the class, I handed down one or two. MAKING SOCIAL STUDIES CONNECTIONS TO REAL LIFE FOR THE WIN! 


I love teaching history, but this is only ONE of the new things that I'm sure is coming my way this year. I am in a new season. God is doing big things! I have no idea what's on the horizon and I don't need to know! Every time I make a plan, God does something more with it. Like this. So, here are my ideas, God, do with them what you will! 

Last year, 2013, my word was "obey." I took extra time to think about what it means to be an obedient daughter of the King, and I strove for uncompromising obedience to the will of God in my life. This year, 2014, my word is "set-apart." What does it mean to be set apart by Christ, in Christ, for the glory of God? What does that look like in practice? We'll see what I learn! I know it will be great. 

I will also make an extra effort to respect people's time, considering others' time as more important than mine (re: Phil 2:3), and be prompt. I have a nasty habit of mis-managing time and last year I learned a lot about how *disrespectful and selfish* that is. I joked that I would give up being late for Lent, but my friend Naomi took me at my meaning and called me out, making a point that it isn't just something to consider a sacrifice for 40 days. It should be something more meaningful! So, challenge accepted. Habits can (and will) be broken. I reluctantly invite all of y'all to hold me accountable... yikes! 

This year, I plan to travel more. It would be great to see at least 3 new countries, one way or another. I've made an action plan to pay off a lot of debt, even while traveling more. I'm also going to practice the art of gratitude, saying "thank you" and meaning it. I also want to stop saying "I know" all the time. It's arrogant, and arrogance is unbecoming. No one wants that. 

This is going to be a fantastic year. It's got new challenges, new jobs, new friends, and a whole lot of uncertainty (and with that, excitement!)! I am, without a doubt, eager and expectant for whatever it'll bring. 

Hello year 3, let's do this! 

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