Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blog Carnival: Letter to Myself

It is my third month contributing to the Reach to Teach | Teach Abroad Blog’s monthly "Blog Carnival." Each month, a blogger-teacher-traveler hosts and asks a question, which is voluntarily answered by interested bloggers. Published by the fifth of each month by the host on their blog, the Blog Carnival focuses on advice and helpful tips for ESL teachers. If you'd like to contribute to next month's Blog Carnival, please do contact Dean at - it is a very welcoming process. 

I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in two rural elementary schools in South Korea for one year (2013-2014). 

March 2015 – Holly Beddome:
Holly Beddome of Adventures with Holly asks:
"Write a letter back to yourself when you were just planning your trip. Give advice, forewarning, hopes and encouragement. What would YOU tell yourself, in retrospect? How have you changed as a result of your travels?"
Solo hiking in Icheon, South Korea


~ Sometime before 17 September 2013 ~

Hello beautiful lady,

This is for your year, teaching and living in South Korea:

1. BUY A LAPTOP. No, your iPad mini with the bluetooth keyboard will not be fine. You will use your laptop to create presentations and games for classes. You will plan vacations, buy tickets, and look up bus schedules. You will use your laptop to take advantage of your Korean bank's online banking and to blog about your life. BUY A LAPTOP.
2. Unpack those children's book. They are dead weight. Your Korean elementary school has plenty of English children's books you will never have time nor a small enough class size to use.
3. Bring less clothing. Two pairs of jeans. Leave those sweatpants behind. Buy another pair of yoga pants. Korean clothes will fit you well.
4. Bring a year supply of tampons/panty liners/period supplies. Korea is your fifth-grade self, still using those pads (oh, the horror).
5. You don't need as much deodorant as the travel blogs say. One new stick will suffice.
6. Bring some Wisconsin-themed gifts. Coffee mugs, baseball caps, keychains.
7. Good idea bringing sheets. It was nice to have your sheets in a new country.
8. You were actually sick on your flight day - small bout of the stomach flu. If that helps.

9. Browse the website The book lesson plans are what you will be teaching. Teaching English in Korea is teaching dialogues and phrases. It is vocabulary and phonics.
10. At the end of the Korean school year (December), either the 3rd/4th grade books or the 5th/6th grade books will be updated (new textbooks).
11. Heads up, a week before the new school year, you'll start teaching at two schools.
12. Nice job on those Powerpoints. I really appreciate how well designed each slide is. Are you a graphic designer?
13. Your students make everything worth it.
14. Your co-teachers are four of the best. Talk and share stories and thoughts with them.
15. New place, you're still you. Ride that outgoing/extroverted high, but don't feel so pressured to maintain it.
16. Three fourths into your year, you'll start purchasing music and TV shows off the iTunes store. Embrace it. Heck, buy a third season of The Big Bang Theory. You get good use out of them.
17. "You is smart, you is kind, you is important." You are gorgeous and you will better know what you want after living and teaching in Korea for a year.




Abigail prefers walking to motorized vehicles and likes the idea of slow travel, getting to know a place by building up a routine that absorbs the new culture. Her interests include illustration, editing (film & writing), reviews, boston terriers, artist books, and iPhonography. 

1 comment:

  1. I love how you intertwined the practical and positive encouragement in your list! ^^ We need to compliment ourselves more often.