5. First day.

What’s it like on your first day in a Hagwon? Find out.

First of all, As I’m new to Korea, there’s a few things I won’t be talking about. There’s no point talking about individuals or specifics about a school. That would be crazy.

I’m going to split the next couple of posts into

1st day. 1st things I’ve tried – Jimdak, soju, Korean barbecue & squid. Differences that blew my mind – toilets, swimming pool, shopping and service. Things to do in Andong. Party night with the Korean boys. Birthday in Korea. Silly things the kids did that made me laugh. Bizarre questions I got asked and school trips. This will be interwoven with musing, food pics and random pics. 🙂

Anyway, I just arrived, was completely jet legged and was in the school the next day teaching.

Jetlagged but pretty

The first day I was really nervous. I was going to teach three lessons in the morning in my Edison class they’re K7. We’d have a fifty minute lunch break and I’d teach three, forty-five minutes classes with a K6 class.  The afternoon was teaching English and Science.  Class started at 9.30 and finished at 6.30. Now, Ireland has a different education system to Korea and America so it took me ages to find out their ages – plus I was a little scared to ask.

I was told that I’d be living on my own but when I got there found out I was sharing with two other people. At thirty-eight I prefer to choose my company but when you’re there, what can you do.


My room.

It was quite a comfy room. Alas, the bed was so hard I thought it had been given Viagra. The room was dirty when I first got there. I couldn’t sleep, so I washed down the walls and the floor.  Just behind the door there is a desk and to the left as you go in there is the en-suite bathroom. Being quite the geek, I loved the fact the shower gave a good blast of water.


The living room. I think, I could be wrong but I think, this is the same day with the same camera. I’m just a really bad photographer.



This is the kitchen and I wish I knew at this stage how to take a picture (I still don’t).

The door opposite the bag was one flatmates room, the door to the left was where the washing machine was. The other door led outside.

I hated that the school was beside the accommodation. You walked out of the front door and took twenty steps to the front of the school. Life became work, school, work, school, work and school with the same two people and no quality alone time.



Just to the right of the picture is the front door of the school.

I was also asked that we’d have to do the bus run once a week. We’d have to get up an hour earlier and get on the bus to help pick the kids up. This started at 8.15.

I was also told I’d be paid on time and in full every month, this turned out to be rubbish as well. We also had no prep time.

The kids

The kids where absolutely lovely. All of them where a little bundle of joy that where so enthralling to interact with. it was amazing getting to know all their personalities.

Me as a teacher

This was a baptism of fire which I really enjoyed. Teaching there made me realise a few things about my style, Korean education and dealing with kids. So, overall I learned a lot from it.

What I really value is that teaching kids makes you feel young. You’re dealing with these inquisitive little minds that are curious about you and they’re adorable.

They used a star system. You get three stars – you get a sticker. Fill the sticker page and you get a present from the school. You’d get stickers taken away if you spoke Korean.

One day, one of the kids nonchalantly walked up to me, looked left then right and said in a hushed tone, ‘John spoke Korean, take a sticker from him’. They then gave me a ‘we’re in this together look’ and walked away. Classic.

John isn’t the kids real name.

Thanks for reading.




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