Zach Smith - Beacon Hill

In 2015 I spent a year working at the Beacon Hill Academy in Seongnam, Korea. Academies (학원, or “Hagwon”) are private institutions for students to learn extra skills outside of standard schooling.

I taught students Science and Computer Programming during my time there. The make-up of the class varied - from small classes of second grade students, where the focus was more on having fun and introducing some new ideas, to somewhat intensive pre-exam study sessions with final year highschool students.

A big advantage of this particular Hagwon was the freedom and trust given to me by the administration. Despite being in Korea, most of the students had a very strong grasp of English, which meant it was never an obstacle. Favourite classes included teaching a student LaTeX in order to convince them to create some Chemistry revision notes, teaching students to SSH into individual nodes in a microcomputer cluster, and recreating the Elephant’s Toothpaste experiment.