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A Day in the Life of an English Teacher – South Korea

I’ve noticed a spike in curiosity as to what I actually do on a daily basis, mainly in regards to my teaching job here in Korea. Going from a freelancing schedule to full-time teacher hasn’t been without its challenges but it’s definitely been the break I’ve needed. With total transparency, I haven’t decided if I want to stay in Korea and renew my contract as an English Teacher, but I do love my life here. Also, I need to mention that I work at a Hagwon which is a private institute; commonly known as an academy. There are other teaching positions available in Korea and I went into it a bit more in my post “How to find a Teaching job in South Korea”.

To continue with said transparency, teaching at a kindergarten in Korea is different from teaching at a kindergarten school in other countries. My mom works at a primary school in South Africa and the hours are drastically different. To keep it as simple as possible, I’m going to be comparing two days out of a normal week for me. My Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedules are all pretty similar and my Tuesday/Thursdays look the same.

english teacher

Tuesday

Working hours: 9:40 am – 5:10 pm

Wake up: 6:30 am

Still a little pained from my recent holiday but I’m trying to get up earlier and earlier. I heard there were a lot of benefits to waking up super early – I’m still waiting for them. KIDDING – I’m actually working on a post about how awesome it has been waking up earlier. I usually stuff a banana and a teaspoon of peanut butter in my mouth before heading for the gym.

Gym: 7:00 am – 8:10 am

Only if you’re interested – I did abs for 40 minutes and walked/ran for 30. Moving on.

Shower / Breakfast / Make Minimal Effort on my Appearance: 8:15 am9:00 am

I’m really loving my breakfast at the moment, organic grain cereal with almond milk and dried fruit. I also take a B12 complex, Omega Oil supplement, Biotin and a Probiotic. Picking an outfit for my job is completely aligned with comfort. I usually pick something so that I can comfortably play with my kids versus bringing all the boys to the yard. On this day I wore black pants, a comfortable t-shirt and sliders.

Commute to work: 9:05 am9:40 am

My commute to work includes a short walk, 5 subway stops and a further 10-minute walk. It usually takes around 30 minutes to get to work and in this heat, I arrive at work looking like a sweaty monster.

Kindergarten Classes: 9:45 am – 11:40 am

My first round of kinder classes is nearly two hours long before I have my first break. The kids are usually on their best behaviour around this time because they’re still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Kinder Break: 11:40 am – 13:05 pm

On Tuesday and Thursday, I get a nice long break, which is usually filled, with creating lesson plans, homework checklists and a bunch of other admin. Our elementary report cards are also due monthly with a lengthy kinder report every three months. In this break, I worked on my five elementary classes report cards.

Lunchtime: 13:05 pm – 13:45 pm

I usually have the same lunch every single day; it’s vegetables and rice with a delicious sauce. It’s called bibimbap and it’s VERY popular here in Korea. I often struggle with quick lunches here being a vegetarian but I love this meal and haven’t gotten sick of it yet!

Kindergarten Classes: 13:45 pm – 15:00 pm

Last bit of kinder classes with my babies and then I have to get them ready to go home. They were so good on Tuesday, we had so much fun laughing and being silly. Love my babies.

Midday break: 15:00 pm – 15:15 pm

We get a short break in between our kindergarten and elementary classes where we need to do all our preparation work for elementary.

Elementary classes: 15:15 pm – 17:05 pm

I have two elementary classes on Tuesday and Thursday, each is 55 minutes long and I get a 5-minute break in-between.

On this day I actually had a dentist appointment that required me to leave earlier and travel over an hour to and from Gangnam. I usually get home at around 5:40 and go straight to a coffee shop to get some work done. On top of my teaching job, I have a marketing client and this blog that keeps me really busy.

Dinner and Netflix & Chill: 20:00 pm – 22:30 pm

I’ll usually get a small takeaway dinner of either ramen or bibimbap (again). Then… I’ll crash on my bed with Netflix. This is also usually the time I post on my Instagram or market a blog post. So, technically, I’m still sorta working but it’s a creative task, which I don’t mind.

English Teacher

Wednesday

Working hours: 10:40 am – 19:05 pm

Wake up: 6:15 am

Yay! Almost at my 6 am goal. I’ve been trying to get up earlier and earlier because I love early mornings and way prefer them to being useless at one in the morning. The puffy eyes should stop… eventually.

Gym: 7:00 am – 8:15 am

My body is still shaking; I think I overdid it – posted a sweaty Insta-Story to prove I was super sweaty. As you do.

Shower / Breakfast / Minimal Effort: 8:20 am – 9:00 am

The usual. The outfit is super chill. Messy hair don’t care.

Commute to work: 9:05 am – 9:30 am

Managed to listen to half of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack on my way to work – if you haven’t listened to it already, search it on YouTube.


Work and Blog: 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Wrote this blog post, answered emails and scheduled some Social Media posts at a café close to my work.

Kindergarten Classes: 10:45 am – 13:05 pm

My babies were so good – just had to mention that. They’re not always angels but when they are, I enjoy those days very much.

Lunch: 13:05 pm – 13:45 pm

Yum yum – rice and vegetables.

Kindergarten Free: 13:45 pm – 14:25 pm

More report cards. I’m not enjoying them this time around, I feel like it’s hard to write almost two pages of comments per student. Student essays aren’t my favourite! “Your child is so cute, I want to squish their cheeks all day!” is not acceptable – apparently. Smh.

Final Kindergarten Class: 14:30 pm – 15:00 pm

My babies work so hard all day so I let them be creative and… draw pictures! It’s strange to think that drawing pictures isn’t an actual lesson at this kindergarten… but writing half-page stories are! Super crazy to see how smart they are already.

Midday Break: 15:00 pm – 15:20 pm

Elementary Classes: 15:20pm – 19:05pm

My Wednesday schedule is the worst and I have four back-to-back classes with no break. It’s my worst afternoon and I often find myself in such a bad mood on a Wednesday because of it. I got through it because I’m fucking tough. Like a dude with a pick-up truck wearing Von Dutch.

Commute Home (via the department store): 19:05 pm – 20:45 pm

My return trip is often longer because of the city chaos of everyone heading home. I went to the mall and got some new jeans because your girl is worth it.

Dinner and Netflix & Chill: 20:45 pm – 23:00 pm

I literally just sprawled out on my bed like a useless fish. Exhaustion always hits on a Wednesday!

So, there you have it! Those are two days out of my week broken down for ya’ll! I’m so intrigued by these posts when I see other bloggers write them.

Connect with me on Facebook & Instagram… if you wanna.

Love from,

Lamb xx

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