I’m going to keep this to the point. You may die in Korean public schools if you don’t read this guide. You’re about to learn very little from someone who is not qualified to give any real advice. Therefore, read the points below with care, and ignore most of them. Some may turn out true for you, others may not.
1. The principal, sometimes referred to as the President, is actually God.
2. Many of your classes will be cancelled. Don’t be upset. As time passes you will learn to thrive on the cancellation of each class, and savour those few minutes of silence.
3. Paperclips are like gold dust. If you find one, hide it and use it wisely, for the minute you leave it lying around it will disappear.
4. Buy slippers that fit and hide them too. They will also disappear.
5. Your contract is not as important as you’d like it to be.
6. Don’t act too pleased when a class is cancelled.
7. Learn to do everything yourself (printing etc.). You will be let down if you rely on others all of the time (some of your co-teachers will be very busy).
8. Your English may not be as good as at least one of your co-teachers, who doesn’t speak English well. This will make sense when you get here.
9. You will be taught the name of every dish at lunch time. You will forget these names.
10. Learn what is a compliment – small face, high nose, big eyes, V-line, S-line etc.
11. Old people can do anything. In the office, old women can talk for hours without taking on water or breathing. They crash heavily soon after and sleep for an unknown period of time.
12. Students are always happy to meet you, even if they’ve already met you before. Again, this will make sense when you get here.
13. Don’t feel like you need to defend a girl student if a boy hits her. She’ll hit him back even harder.
14. The students will eat anything. Last time at my summer camp the students ate tuna and strawberry jam sandwiches with sliced tomato.
15. They will make you one of these sandwiches. If they are watching you you should eat it.
16. If you’re on the toilet, a person will push the door. When they realise the toilet is locked, they will then knock on the door. I’m not sure what the desired response is here.
17. You will hear your name constantly in the office. Ignore it.
18. You will be invited to meetings. This means you are going for a meal after work, it is not a meeting.
19. You’re probably not as handsome or beautiful as you will begin to believe.
20. Act like a teacher and you will be seen as a teacher.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘Jeez thanks Jim for all these amazing tips. 2 years of living in Korea has made you wsie’.
Can anyone else suggest additional rules for the fresh blooded arrivals?