So, we were cleaning up around the house, and found a hard drive that we had thought was permanently lost. That hard drive had tons of footage from it, old footage of when we first came to Korea and started teaching here, to before that, back when we were in Teacher’s College in Canada, to Honeymoon and even Wedding footage! Amazing!

Anyhow, we found this one video on there of Martina dancing with her students in her school festival.

I still remember this day really really clearly because it was before I (Martina) really knew what Kpop was all about. There wasn’t much time to enter the festival because I had no idea it was even happening, let alone what it was all about. I had been in Korea for only a couple months, but I wanted to do something special for my students. I got together a group of my favourite students (who weren’t interested in dancing seriously) and we all secretly studied a couple different kpop videos to learn the dances. We went for a comedy/dance act, merging both the MV concepts with the dancing on stage. We did a crash course on dancing and learned bits and pieces from Wondergirl’s “Nobody”, Hyori’s “You-Go Girl”, Rain’s “Rainism”, Big Bang’s “Sunset Glow”.

I was incredibly nervous because I wasn’t sure how the students would react to me dancing (so crappily) on stage, but it was a huge success and I almost cried when they chanted my name. OOooOoooOoH goosebumps and happy/melancholy watery eyes just thinking about it! After that small performance, my students were so impressed that I taken the time to learn a kpop song and dance that they freely came up to me to try and speak English. So after that event, I dove head first into the world of kpop so that I could learn more about kpop and encourage my students to talk to me comfortably. I became the Martina “The Kpop Expert” Teacher.

It’s 3 years later, and now I’m a genuine kpop fan (who has suckered her husband into liking it as well) and I make videos regularly demonstrating my crappy dancing skillz to the whole world. YAY!

If you do live in Korea or are coming to Korea and teach at a middle school or high school, you MUST MUST MUST join the school festival in some way. It’s the biggest (and only) celebration of the year, think of it like Prom, Homecoming, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Halloween all mashed into one day. Sing a song, play the guitar, do a jig, learn a kpop song, read a poem, do ANYTHING. If you can convince some of your co-workers to join you, it will make the event even more EPIC!!! Your students will be SO happy you did, and you’ll be able to form a closer bond with them afterwards.

If you’ve got any footage from your school festival, do share it, either as a response to the video on YouTube or in the comments here. Yeah!

  1. you’re so amazing!!! i can’t imagine if you were my english teacher, it would be an awesome moment of my school life ever…

  2. ahahah! come on show your wedding footage!!!!

  3. Omg how did it feel when they yelled out ur name?????????

  4. OMG! that was so nice of you! when I heard Rainism playing I was like yup, she’s the cool teacher I never had :P 

  5. So great!! It made me want to dance ^^ 

    Martina! You rule!

  6. That  was sooooo cool! school festival really rocks over there! Have you seen that many people were singing the Bigbang song??


  8. WOA Martina! That was great!! XD
    That looked like fun, how old were you back then?? O.o
    just wondering, like how long you’ve been in Korea?? o.o

  9. you go Martina!! i wish I had had such an awesome teacher <3

  10. omg, they were really SCREAMING your name as if they were at a boyband concert! lol. did you get mobbed after? lol.

    i sang a few times at the chorus contest at my school in japan and got a similar treatment… they always treat me like a rockstar for about two weeks afterwards… then it dies down… lol! this is awesome though… i wish i had dancing skills… my kids would think i was so much cooler… lol!

  11. Don’t know why, but I’m crying right now… It was sooo greeaaaatttttttttttttttttttt

  12. That’s amazing Martina~~ My favourite part definitely has to be when the students started cheering your name! So heart-warming and sweet! You can really tell that your students truly appreciated your enthusiasm and your willingness to partake in the festival.


  13. Hey Martina! you such a good dancer!:)

  14. I don’t know why I cried like a baby watching this video!

  15. Awww that was so beautiful and you guys did great! A very good way to come closer to your students (and you are NOT a crappy dancer!)


  16. i really liked the video, i mean,even though you didn’t know a lot of kpop you still tried hard!
    and it looked like everybody had so much fun!!

  17. That was really cute, you know.
    Well, you guys really have your way to be happy in Korea, that’s great. ^ ^

  18. words cannot describe how beautiful this is

  19. Stuff like this makes me wish I could spend a semester in a Skorean high school T^T

  20. Martina…that was so… AWESOME!!! daebakdaebakdaebak… 

  21. OMG!!! Martina… i can tell you were popular!! ^^

  22. hi martina..i do agree spent our time with our students is the best part of beeing teacher, btw i’m a chemistry teacher in high school,we’ve held a west java culture festival a couple month ago, it’s fun.. but i wish there was a korean fest since a huge numbers of my student is a k-pop fan,.luv your work guys

  23. Ah! Its so cute how they all chanted “MARTINA!” when you had your solo! and WOW! Look how long your hair was back then!

  24. excellent …
    my name stuck with the pervert question….

  25. since you re english teacher, u must write properly and i m sure you do but did you used a made up word when you said you made your husband like kpop?
    on a related topic , a korean friend (yo hongjun ^_^/ )told me that they now avoid using saekki for baby animals, since it s now too rude to just read or hear it, have you eard of it?

    • 1) We’re not English teachers anymore.
      2) There’s nothing wrong with made up words.  Canonical English is boring; being creative gives a lot more colour to your conversations.

    • “suckered” is a real word.  To ‘sucker someone into doing something’ means to trick them or persuade them.  For example, “My little sister is good at math, so I suckered her into doing my homework.”  It’s a bit informal.  Martina uses it here because usually Simon wouldn’t like K-pop, but she convinced him in a sneaky way (like listening to it all the time, for example).

      Hope this helps!

  26. I went to a small high school in the states, and we had a festival like this every year. The teacher performances were always the best. They usually danced to N*Sync or Spice Girls songs. :)

  27. wow i thought that was so cute nd funny…the festival looked awesome nd it looked like everyone had lots of fun

  28. OMG that was really cute Martina! made my day :)
    i think you guys shoul come down to Brazil next. id love to have a teacher that would dance kpop with us!

  29. Oh wow that was so cute and looked like tons of fun!!!

    I wish I’d had a teacher like you when I was at school :)

  30. This video is a win Lol xD martina ahahah your dancing is beyond epic ahahha

  31. baaaaaaaaaaaaaw. I am just starting out at a university, and this made me wanna cry from missing my high school. We were from the States, but as an art school we had things like this too. I miss them, but this makes me feel like no matter where I am in life, I will still have fun!

  32. Your blog (and video) made me teary eyed because I can see how much these kids loved and respected you. Thanks for showing this.

  33. This is really special. I couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear while watching. I’m so glad you had such great students and they were truly very lucky to have you as their teacher :).

    Your dancing was impressive even then and the umbrella trick was perfect! 

  34. Omo, If my teacher danced with me or my friends at my school festival I would love and respect this teacher forever hehehe ^^ but sadly my teachers never cared to what their students liked…

  35. i LOVED it! thanks for sharing! <3

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