For the first month or so, I was very good about eating at least a little bit of kimchi with every school meal and giving everything on my tray a try.
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I have officially entered the preliminary low of culture shock. I fell into survival mode and ever since then have been throwing anything at the wall in the hopes that it will stick. Most mornings I fight negative thoughts of self-doubt and anxiety as I drag my feet to school.
And at the end of the day, I go home wondering if even a handful of students benefitted from my presence.
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A perfect storm. An uphill battle against two enemies that have combined forces. As much as I could be, I was prepared ahead of time to deal with culture shock and the challenges of being a new teacher. This is not a rant about why Korea sucks or how teaching ESL abroad with no experience is a bad idea.
I just wanted to acknowledge the other side to the reality of living in a foreign country and the learning curve that every new teacher rides during their first year. Having said all of this, I promise to not let these struggles permanently turn me into one of those cynical, unappreciative expats who never has anything good to say about their time abroad. No one likes a whiner. I have faith that things will get better.
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And, intellectually, I know that nothing in life is forever. It would just be nice if my heart and soul got the message too.
First off, Himnae! Or whatever they are saying nowadays. Sharing how you really feel is a good thing. You are human. Plus, the way that you express your concerns about teaching goes to show that you do care about what it is that you are trying to do there. I had a friend, who had grown up in Korea, and went back to teach after graduating.
She secluded herself because of her homesickness, going through the motions. So even those acquainted with the country have troubles. Anyway, my point is, thanks for sharing this aspect of your time there. Like Like. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. Things will turn around eventually!
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Each day brings both ups and downs, so I just have to focus on the good. Like Liked by 1 person. The fact that you recognise it, is half the battle. People in their 60s, 70s, and 80s.
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Take time to notice the older people. I find the older generation to be kind, generous, easy to talk to, and very down to Earth people. Anyway mate, hang in there, take time to smell the roses. Thanks, Steve, I certainly will.
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I appreciate your thoughts. Take care!
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