Friday, April 29, 2011

Our New Job at Andong English Village

As you know, Danny and I are staying in Korea for one more year due to taking a job at Andong English Village.  Although we are still teaching English I thought I would tell you a little about our new job because it is really completely different from last year.

Danny in Math Class playing the game BAAM.
Last year we both taught at boys high schools, worked 9-5 Monday through Friday, were the only native English speaker in our entire school, taught from a book, and usually taught with a co-teacher who was in the classroom with us.  This year we teach boys and girls ranging from 5th grade to high school, we work about 9-8 Monday through Thursday, we teach with four other native English speakers, we definitely DON'T teach just "book" subjects, and we teach all by ourselves... yeah a little different : )

Most people, even in Korea, are pretty confused what an English Village actually is so we pretty often have to clarify that, yes, we work at Andong National University, but we still teach kids English.   Basically it is an intensive English kids camp where schools send their students for 4 days to do a variety of English classes.  The kids even sleep in a dorm in one end of the building but thankfully Danny and I get to say goodbye after our classes are done, so we don't have to watch over them at night.  We get to play with the kids for 4 days and then send them on their way back to their usual teachers, so I like to think of us as the cool "aunt" and "uncle" teachers who get to do the fun stuff with them and don't actually have to teach them real stuff like the "parent" teacher waiting for them : )  I sort of miss building more relationships with the students, but honestly I kind of love that I only see them for 4 days... I don't get sick of them (well the bad one's I do) and they don't get sick of me ( I hope).

There are all kinds of different classes that we get to do at the AEV like Police Station class where they get locked up in jail, Science class where they make their own volcanoes, and even Cooking class (sigh... I wish I had that class) where they get to bake chocolate muffins!  Danny teaches Math, Hotel, Grocery Store, and Campus Tour and I teach Yoga (haha, I know), Bank, Post Office, and Theme class where we teach the students about different western holidays.  

Doing some poses in Yoga Class.
The way the AEV is set up, they want the kids to really feel like they are in a really different learning environment so it's pretty cool that we get to teach in such in a unique place.  Danny has a mini grocery store that he teaches his class in so the kids can feel and touch the food and I think that my pharmacist brother-in-law would even be impressed by our mini pharmacy : ) (Better come see it for yourself huh, Albert?)
"Do you have any pomegranates?"
Now we teach the kids all about these crazy subjects but we aren't actually focusing on the skills that you need to know to use English like in a REAL grocery store.  For example:  I'm not actually teaching "yoga" with the namaste and the meditating, I'm really teaching words that you might use in a class like that like body words, or "above", "below", "touch", etc.

It's pretty different going from high schoolers to grade schoolers, but Danny and I are both thankful for our favorite camp experience, Camp Elim, for preparing us for MANY years how to deal with kids of all ages.  The kids are fantastic to watch and MUCH more interesting than my bored and tired high school boys.  Kids are already pretty funny on their own, but add in the fact that they are hopped up on sugar and coffee drinks that they sell in the vending machine (I don't know why), and add that they don't speak great English and you have a hilarious situation.  What other place can you have an imaginary gun fight with 5th graders and come out with a few imaginary gun shot wounds and a heap of boys on the floor dying a slow and painful death of imaginary bullet wounds?  It's AWESOME!

Us teachers introducing ourselves to the students.
Besides the hilarity everyday with the kids, there are lots of other perks to the job that we aren't complaining about.  When we were at our other schools we basically didn't talk outside of class but now that we work with 4 other foreigners, it's nice to have other people to talk to throughout the day.  I also really enjoy always having 3 day weekends and I know when I have to go back to a 5 day work week I will do it with a heavy heart.  And lastly the most important perk: I get to work with Danny which is pretty awesome because I know that this probably won't happen again in our lives.  When the kids find out that we are married the usual response is something along the lines of a collective "Gasp!", then a round of applause, and then whenever they see us the girls chant, "Lovers, lovers, lovers!" while dancing around us.  These kids keep the romance alive ; )

Koreans love to do the "heart" pose.  Ahhhh.
It's a pretty nice place to work and we are enjoying ourselves.  Obviously, it's still work with it's good and bad days, but for the most part we feel pretty lucky to have such a good job... oh and the 7 weeks vacation doesn't hurt either... wink, wink!  Good times at Andong English Village!


  1. i wish i could come observe some time. that sounds like a lot of fun

  2. Hi,

    How can I get a job in Andong? Are there recruiters or Academy's that are hiring you know of? I'm Korea Now, looking for a position in September.


  3. hello...was curious about andong...are there e-marts/home plus?? also it seems like a smaller city in the pics..are there gyms/entertainment??