Day to day entries

Snow Days in Jeju

First week back to school after Christmas break and SJA Jeju is blessed with two snow day. A snow day in Jeju? Is that a thing? As I re-read the e-mail from my principal at 6:15 a.m. I was like wow this is awesome, is this real life? I looked outside and wow there was a lot more snow than I was expecting. Not only did we get one day off but we ended up with two snow days.

The weather here is always changing, quickly. It will be overcast one minute then the next minute it will be snowing then the sun will come out. When leaving the house one should always be prepared for rain, snow, cold, and hot because it will be all of those things in the course of one day. It’s fun to watch how quickly the weather changes as I’m teaching during the day.

View from my apartment to the courtyard.

View from the third floor.

No plows = no clear streets

Now depending on where you are from you might say that’s not a lot of snow or wow snow that’s cool. To me this is nothing but in a country where this is considered a lot of snow and they lack the necessary equipment to deal with this much it becomes a bit of a problem. School was closed due to the roads being bad. The roads were bad because there are no plows or salt trucks.

Later skaters,




Life on Jeju, South Korea

I arrived in Jeju early to get settled and to explore the island a bit before the rush of school started. There is so much to see here! We have it all – beaches, hiking trails, mountains, trees, walking/biking trails, museums, shopping and so much more.

There are 26 walking trails or “Olle” that go around the entire coast of Jeju. It’s one of the more popular activities that attract people to come visit Jeju. There are different level of trails and they are marked to make easy to explore.

The views from almost anywhere on the island are amazing.

One way of exploring is on the bike trails – they are almost everywhere, which is nice. I bought a bike the first week I was here so I could get out and explore some of the trails and get some exercise in. Egypt and Bahrain were not ideal to go for a bike ride so it’s a nice option to have. Although my actual butt needs to get back into “bike riding” shape.

In addition to the views there are little “museums” that have all sorts of themes to explore. One weekend I visited the Alive Museum. This place was awesome. The art was designed so you could be part of the picture or scene.

Don’t worry we were not harmed taking this picture.


Does it look like I was stuck in a tank? I wasn’t.


I punched the glass and broke it. Just kidding, I didn’t.

This is my favorite – my head is floating in the left container.

There are a ton of little quirky “museums” like this – so many more to see.

I also found my new favorite beers while in Jeju. One is Jeju Wit Ale – brewed on Jeju island the other is Kolsch by Magpie Brewing Co. which is also brewed on Jeju island.

My shipment was conveniently delivered the Saturday before school started. So not only was I unpacking all of my P.E. equipment I ordered but now I was unpacking my own stuff too. For any of you who really know me you know that I would have all of my stuff unpacked and put away the same day I got it. I know, I’m crazy – it’s who I am. My shipment was delivered and unpacked (with the help of my shipment company) all by noon. My entire apartment with the exception of stuff on the wall, only because I didn’t have the proper hanging equipment, was complete by 3 a.m. I did take a lengthy break during the afternoon until early evening to eat and watch movies.

My apartment in Jeju is MUCH smaller than my villa in Bahrain but I was able to fit everything where it needed to be. I did get rid of some stuff but my apartment is pretty much complete. My coffee table that I got in Bahrain is huge and takes up most of my living room – but it’s awesome!

Living room

Kitchen and front door on the left

“Sun porch” off of the living room

My bedroom


That’s it – pretty small but has everything I need and it’s easy to keep clean 🙂

Later skaters,




Where to next year…

It’s that time again in the international teaching world where the decision is made to stay or start looking for a new school. This year I decided to move on and look for a new school. My first thoughts were that I wanted to go east – Asia area. The farthest east I’ve been is Bali. The Middle East has been good to me. I started my international teaching career in Egypt and I’m pretty sure that if I can teach/live there I can go almost anywhere. While in Egypt I saw many sights, met a ton of great people and learned too much to even start listing. Moving to Bahrain was a welcomed change due to the fact that it is very western here which made it easy to live. I’ve gained a great deal of athletic director experience, in addition to getting the chance to try new ideas in my classes. In the end though, my time in the Middle East has come to an end and it’s time for me to move on.

I’ll spare you the details of the job search, nothing exciting happened. There were interviews, there were second and third interviews, there was the e-mail stating you were not selected which led to more interviews and then the right job came along. The job that came along I originally overlooked or didn’t pursue in the beginning but that’s how things work out and I’m excited. I’m excited to move to Asia, I’m happy with my school choice and with the opportunities that lie ahead.

Drumroll…….I’m headed to Jeju Island. It’s located at the southern tip of South Korea, apparently I like living on islands. It’s a brand new school called St. Johnsbury Academy (SJA Jeju). I will be teaching PE/Health most likely to multiple grade levels to start and once the school and the program grows I will settle in to a certain grade level.

We have a delayed start because the school will not be complete, yes it’s literally a brand new school opening in October 2017. Since we have a delayed start we do not have to report until October 1st which gives me a bit of an extended summer vacation, no I’m not mad about that. To compensate for those missed days there are a handful of half days on Saturday that will we will have to work in order to meet our contact days. As of now my thought is to arrive at the end of September to start my visa application and get familiar with the area.

A lot of people have asked me how big Jeju is, great question and I finally looked it up. Bahrain is 295.5 square miles and Jeju Island is 714 square miles so almost two and half times bigger than Bahrain. Jeju is sometimes referred to as the Hawaii of Korea due to its volcanic sights and lava tubes. In addition, there are multiple beaches, trails, natural wonders and rural landscapes. I guess I can be the judge of that later since I just went to Hawaii last summer.jeju-map

South Korea also experiences all of the seasons so that will also be a welcomed change from just hot and dry, although I do like the climate in the Middle East.

In the end, I’m totally happy with my choice and look forward to what lies ahead. I have to say that choosing to teach internationally has been a great choice and I’m grateful for the opportunities it continues to give me.

Later skaters


Back to Bahrain and back to school

The end of the summer means it’s time to get back to work a.k.a. school. I’m still glad to have the excited feeling of a new school year. As I teacher I hope that feeling never goes away because then it might be time to find a new profession. This year I was coming in with a good attitude and a bunch of new ideas that I was going to try with my classes.

I came back early to Bahrain to help some friends out by flying their dogs to them. That entire experience was super stressful. I give props to those people who travel with kids, pets and even those who travel with both. This experience proved to me that I do not want to own either, kids or pets, it’s all too much. In the end though I got through it and delivered two alive dogs to their owners who are all now happily living a new life in a new country.

Once returning to Bahrain I had one day to get everything in order. The following day we started our teacher institute week. It was fun to meet the new staff especially my two new P.E. guys. The first week was basically meetings on top of meetings but there was a small amount of time to work in our classrooms. That Saturday I headed to school to finish up my to-do list. To say I feel on top of it this year would be an understatement. It’s been a great start to the year. The new addition of another P.E. teacher has been amazing and the new P.E. guys are great to work with. Due to the addition of another P.E. teacher we now have more flexibility with our classes. We decided to split up the classes between the three of us and we are all teaching our own classes. This year I am teaching Pre-K, KG, 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th grade boys and girls, and high school girls 9-12. We run on a six day cycle so three of the days are elementary days and the other three are middle/high school days. They alternate every other day.

I was excited to implement two new ideas into my P.E. classes and they both are starting out great.

Muscle & Bone of the Month – each month my elementary classes will learn about a new muscle and bone. We will learn how to pronounce it, where it is located, practice writing it, the purpose of it and what exercises/activities use that particular muscle and bone. I’ve never copied and laminated so much in my entire teaching career. I definitely made up for it this year!


My fourth graders working on spelling and writing Bicep and Cranium, our muscle and bone of the month. They did a great job.


Behavior Chart – most elementary classes use behavior charts and this is a combination of other teachers ideas and what I have “borrowed” from them. At the start of each elementary class they start on green. If there behavior is less than desirable such as not listening, not following directions, not working as a team, etc. they move to yellow and then possibly red. If they adjust their behavior they can move back to yellow/green. If the class ends on green they can move their corresponding jersey on the game board. Once a class’s jersey makes it to the finish they earn a free period of P.E. to choose whatever activity they would like. They also start over again once they reach the finish and try to earn another free choice day. The kids are doing well with it and like to move their jersey at the end of class.


My office:


My webpage for Elementary P.E.

My Monthly P.E. Newsletter – I started this in Egypt and it was a great way to let the parents know what we are doing in class so I decided to start it again this year. Here is the link if you wanted to take a look:


Year 2 at RVIS, Year 4 of International Teaching, Year 12 of teaching



Later skaters



Leaving…doesn’t get easier, I’m pretty sure it gets harder.

End of the school year is always the best time of the year because summer vacation is starting. As an international teacher though it also brings saying goodbye to colleagues who are moving on. I know I’ve wrote about this topic before and I will continue to write about it every year I’m sure. It’s a weird thing in the international teaching world you meet people and instantly you form strong bonds with people as if you have known them for years. I’m not sure why this happens but it does and it’s really cool. Most people grow up with the same people they go to school with and spend years forming bonds. I still to this day have friends from where I grew up and also worked with and not just friends, a group that I know will always be there when I get home from traveling the world and we can pick up as if I haven’t ever left. It’s an amazing feeling and something that I will never take advantage of and it also gives me comfort in knowing that they will be there when I get home. Those bonds are understandable since we have been friends for many years. On the other hand I have close friends who I have only known for two years, a year or even ten months. In those short time frames a special and strong bond can and has been formed. I think as we grow older we know the type of people we want to be around and the type of people we want to invest our time in. Now obviously not everyone makes the cut of who you want to invest time with but I do believe that we can gain something from everyone. Personally, I know that everyone I have met on my international teaching journey has impacted me in some way or another both good and bad. I’m an active traveler so if you say “come visit whenever” be prepared, I might just show up on your doorstep one day, just kidding I’ll call first. It’s not goodbye, it’s until we meet again.


I’m off to enjoy the summer, recharge my battery and see my people.

Later skaters