Teaching English Abroad: THE HOW TO VIDEO

After a constant influx of questions surrounding teaching English abroad and all that jazz, I decided at long last to make a brief(ish) and pretty basic video surrounding the subject…I realised as I was doing it that I shouldn’t go too far into detail as it would be a few hours long…so this really is the bare bones.

Here I talk about where you can teach English, the best sites on which to find jobs, and a couple of my own experiences surrounding the field. Will probably do a couple of more detailed videos if people seem interested!

Any questions just get in touch! 

Oh, and if you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

KIDS MAKE ME SICK.

Kids make me sick. And, no, not just uncomfortable, or a little bit queasy – but down right, pit of the stomach, SICK. It’s just something that they do that can turn that “thank God it’s Friday!” feeling, into “thank God I didn’t eat a large greasy breakfast”…let me run you through Friday’s events real quick ~

So I’m sitting in my kindergarten class, going through one of the books – most of the kids say that it is “easy peas” (they’re Korean so cut them some slack on the misuse of the phrase!), however one of the boys struggles with learning difficulties, so I’m giving him a little bit of extra help. That’s when I hear the long whine that I hear about 3000 times a day (approximately): “Teeeeeeeaaaacccccherrr? Oh, Teaaaaaachhherrrr? Teeaaaaachherrr! TEAAAA-“

“Oh my GOH…WHAT?”

As I turn in a fit of rage (but still trying to maintain a pleasant kindergarten-esque smile), I see a horrendous sight. A six year old boy. With his arms outstretched, a crayon in each hand, has the squelchiest sick ever seen ALL down his front. He stares at me without blinking. I look him up and down, examining the new addition to his teddy bear t-shirt, in sheer disgust. This most certainly was not in the job description.

SHOCKER GIF

That’s when I suddenly realise I shouldn’t make a big deal out of it, so I walk around to his table, with as close to a reassuring face as I can muster. “Don’t worry, we’ll get you, WHOA, WOW”, that’s when I almost slide over on the mixture of rice(?) and carrot(?) that is right by his chair. So I pull him up without looking at it again and walk him out. (For some reason he still holds his arms out, holding the crayons, as if crucified in a state of shock).

I explain as best as I can to the assistant teacher outside, she nods and hands me some face wipes. FACE WIPES?! Perhaps I had some on my face? Did he projectile vomit all over me? Maybe I am in a similar state of shock, so I don’t realise? Not sure…oh no, scratch that! She’s gesturing that I should clean it up with them. Fantastic stuff. Thank God, it’s Friday.

So as I drag myself back into the room, which we can now refer to as, “THE PIT OF STENCH”, the other kids are going crazy, waving their hands over their noses at a frenetic pace and squealing in weird excitement; accompanied with the putrid smell, it is all making me very dizzy. Anyway, duty beckons – so begrudgingly I kneel down next to the specimen, I don’t want to seem like I’m scared of a little bit of…“URGAAAH” I yelp unintentionally…I’d forgotten just how gross the sight was. Of course onlookers think it is hilarious…I force myself on, and get out a few of the face wipes (like seriously though, what the hell?), and attempt to mop it up, I am of course, ill-equipped, and the sloppy goo seeps over the top of the wet tissue and floods between my fingers, “URGAAAAHHHHHHHH!”

Disgusting GIF

I am now convulsing and retching uncontrollably, gasping for fresh air, only to be met with more of the same foul odor – again, onlookers think it is the funniest thing they’ve seen since Despicable Me 2. 

“What’s wrong Teacher?” someone sniggers

“Well…I think that should be obvious – I am wiping up sick with my bare hands” I mutter,

“What Teaaaacher?”

I go for a change of tactic and pick up some of the sturdy flash cards we have for vocabulary, by chance it is “meat” and “story” that will be giving me a hand. I crouch back down and scoop it up, using meat as a makeshift plate and story as a knife to scrape it on to. (I’m basically the Bear Grylls of the kindergarten classroom.) I then push them together like the grossest Subway sandwich ever, and walk out of the classroom trying my best not to look at the contents of my hands. The assistant gives me a look that says something along the lines of “ohhhh, I would have did it…you have done it already? Oh, okay! Never mind!”

I decided to keep the offender out of playroom time, we sat and played on my phone quite happily. I was hoping he would be some kind of prodigy and beat my high score for me. He didn’t. But I didn’t let that get me down – thank God it’s Friday, right? Right. After the playroom time is up we all skip out and BLURAAAAGGGGGHHHH. Round two, all on a carpet this time.

Back in class again. (WHY ARE THEY NOT CALLING HIS PARENTS?) And we are trying to take it easy, coincidentally we are writing and drawing about good manners, I ask the offender for an example of polite etiquette – he answers “sitting nicely?” It’s a great answer! Isn’t it funny how we can always give good advice to each other, but don’t exactly follow it ourselves? Anyway, I digress.

It’s getting close to lunch time, it’s one of those watching the clock days.That’s when round three comes in, it’s exhausting to even recall it. And it’s putting me off my coffee even now, two days later.  But to say it was explosive would be an understatement. This child is like four foot or something and he basically has a river of vomit flooding from his mouth, where is it all coming from? I’ll say it like this, I had time to look at every kid’s facial reaction in the time that it took for him to finish. I could see this was scarring them for life. Good to know I wasn’t the only one.

I picked him up with one arm and grabbed his bag with the other. I then told the assistant to call his Mother, immediately. I don’t like to come off rude ever…but the new reservoir of sick that I had in my classroom was starting to distract the others just a little.

For some reason, he was still sat there when I returned from lunch. Whatever happened to three strikes and you’re out?! He wanted to play, and call me a “silly Grandpa man” when his vomit was probably still under my fingernails. Come on man, have a heart.

Alright GIF

And that is why kids make me sick.

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

Ladies First…or Ladies Last?

The days of the classic traditional Gentleman are gone – or at least if they’re not then they are effectively dinosaurs dying off one by one…slowly becoming extinct as metaphorical asteroids come smashing towards the ground in a fiery mess. You see as gender roles and attitudes shift, so does the old framework under which the Gentleman etiquette  once operated.

Now personally I like to treat everyone with kindness and respect – well you know; most of the time (aka…if I’ve had coffee) but I am not sure whether this makes me a Gentleman, or just a gentle man. The jury is out on that one…I must admit I’m still a little confused…

Handshake Hug GIF

But whatever the verdict – I have found this issue on my mind a lot recently, largely thanks to something coming up in my kindergarten class which I didn’t quite expect. You see during “snack time” there is a small window in which I have to try and cram all the various rules around politeness, manners, and etiquette…into six year olds…who don’t even speak English…and would much rather have a discussion about which animal does the biggest poops. Naturally it’s a tough learning curve, and can be quite a challenge, especially as such rules differ from country to country, and from culture to culture…

Ah, and if you’re curious about the aforementioned poo-size rankings, they assure me it goes; 1.Elephant, 2.Giraffe, 3.Horse.

But this time around as the two boisterous boys madly scrabbled in a rush to grab the biggest banana I found myself commanding: “ah-ah-ahhh! Ladies first!” in some kind of involuntary reflex. To which they spun around, and queried “why?” 

I was a little lost for words…after all, I didn’t want to instruct them that girls are weaker, or need help because they’re hands are just for show, or whatever else…that would be way off, so…erm…errrr…I wracked my brain frenetically for something usable – but it was just like a submarine radar…beep-beep-beep, but picking up absolutely nothing.

“You should be a gentleman!”  I announced suddenly in a (possibly) unsure tone to which the two young boys stared back in confusion. This was what was always said to me as a kid, and it makes sense…I mean who doesn’t want to be seen as a gentleman?! It’s the epitome of class, and sophistication!

Classy GIF

Was that the right thing to say? It’s hard to know these days…you have to be extra careful, because every little thing offends every little person. And yeah,  I’m probably reinforcing gender stereotypes, and all that jazz…

But my wiring is of a rather traditional nature I suppose, at least when you consider the attitudes of other people who are in the 20s age group along with me; I remember my Ps & Qs (no one says that anymore, do they?), I hold the door open for people, pay for dates/meetings that I suggested, and always urinate on the toilet seat. Well you know, no one’s perfect. 

But yeah help me out  – what do you think? Do ladies go first?

Manners GIF

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Mixed Messages

You can’t win em all…

MIxed Messages

Play good music at my funeral, and have a few drinks in my honor. That’s all I ask.

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

HOT Kindergarten?!

Just a funny little tale…

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

www.facebook.com/storytimewithjohn

www.youtube.com/storytimewithjohn101

Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

Curse of the Ninja

Was reminded of this childhood memory by Melanie, after my previous post regarding childhood lies!

When I was in primary school, like most kids my age – I used to love The Power Rangers. The kicking, the punching, the flipping, the monsters, and the explosions…I mean, the whole package appealed really. So it wasn’t a rare sight to see me, and a couple of friends acting out crazy fight scenes in our school break times! We’d be jumping out of trees, doing killer rolls…the whole works…basically just battling evil wherever we found it…

And we didn’t skimp on any of the realism…oh no…we’d be using elaborate formations, working together to beat these savage creatures which had every intention of taking over the world. We’d jump in, one by one; “HIIII-YAHH! HUHH! PAAAH! KAPOWWW!” 

Power Rangers Boss GIF

It often took a few hits, especially if our foe was one of the big bosses – but we always, always triumphed…I mean, we’re The Power Rangers, we’re only ever going to win – that’s kinda the whole deal.

But one of these bouts stands out…you see, one of them was very, very different…

Which is odd, because it started out very much the same; we fought over who gets to be who, and then fought again over who gets which stick…just the same as every other time – but after these usual formalities, we were able to continue with our normal crime-fighting ways as per! …but this truce wasn’t to last – and before we knew it we found ourselves  arguing over something else…something which hadn’t ever been an issue before…

“YOU JUST SAID A SWEAR WORD!!!” protested one of my so called Power Ranger colleagues – wagging an accusing finger in my general direction.

“No…no, I didn’t!” I argued, unsure of what he was referring to. I assumed he had misheard one of my amazingly realistic “SHIPOWWWW!” sound effects as something more menacing. So I pleaded my case, I was innocent GODDDAMITTT!

Power Rangers Oh No GIF

“NO. NO. NO. I’M TELLING.” He smirked out the side of his mouth…the grin sent my blood boiling – did he really think I had swore, or was he just trying to fuck with me? I wasn’t sure…but for once, I hadn’t actually done a thing! So I tried to grab him, I had to keep him from spreading his lies – his arm alluded my clutches, and I found myself pulling desperately on his empty jumper sleeve…but with one big yank, he was free – albeit with a stretched bit of material that was now twice the length…

“YOU FUCKING BACK-STABBING PIECE OF SHIT!” I screamed after him, as he ran towards the classroom. Well obviously I didn’t really say that; I was eight or nine – so it was more likely I said “GET LOST, YOU BUM HEAD!” Which roughly translates to the same thing.

I ran away in the opposite direction, hoping that this would somehow make all of my problems go away – or at the very least bide me some time. It didn’t work. Before long I found myself in front of my teacher Mrs. Mc.Dermott…she was usually so friendly; she always appreciated my artwork – even the ones using paint which I constantly messed up. But she wasn’t friendly now, after all he had whispered his bullshit into her ear – and she had believed him.

He was sent away, and the interrogation began. Why had I said it?! What had driven me to use such horrible language?! Where had I learned it?! I tried to explain, tried to sputter out my defense – but she wasn’t buying it. So it was a stalemate. I didn’t know what to do…and hunger pains began to pulse through my body…urgh, now I come to think of it – I was STARVING…

“LISTEN, JOHN! You either own up, and apologise – and then go for your lunch. Or we just sit here. Your choice.” 

 Well obviously I admitted to it. It was like the carrot, and stick – except it wasn’t a carrot on the end of it…it was a lovely chocolate doughnut, apple juice, and whatever other goodies I had waiting for me in my bag. I’d probably do the same thing now, food trumps just about anything…for me anyways! 

You see I needed my energy. I’d be playing Power Rangers again in the afternoon break – and there was a new enemy I’d need every bit of strength to take down…“HIIIIII-YAHHHH!”

Power Rangers Beat GIF

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