English Teacher – South Korea
I flew to Korea in 2010 and found another job teaching English.
This job presented me with new challenges as I taught a different set of eight classes everyday working closely with the Korean teachers.
I really enjoyed the collaborative effort working with these educators. We each taught the same class and shared the materials. Together we created weekly lesson plans, discussed the students and their performances, and looked for ways to improve our system.
Teaching English is a very competitive business in Korea, so the school’s reputation is incredibly important. I was one of the few Western-born teachers at my school, so it was imperative that I provide not only a good learning experience but also manage the parent’s customer satisfaction as well. Parental requests came in everyday, and the Korean teachers translated their questions and concerns so that I could meet the parent’s expectations.
I enjoyed teaching the young students, which required that I hold a very high level of energy. I taught using the philosophy edu-tainment, holding the children’s attention with fun games and constant engagement. It was rewarding to see them make progress.
Having 16 different classes a week required extensive lesson planning and detailed organization. Even so flexibility was the name of the game and if a lesson plan didn’t work out I was quick to adapt and change it. I discovered I was never bored trying to maintain order in a room of enthusiastic elementary students.
There is nothing as devastating as your students failing a test because you didn’t teach them well enough. There’s also a stupendous joy when you hear them explain something to another teacher, parent, or student that you taught them.
I consider my time teaching in Korea a big success. I never missed a day of work in my year working there, all my class sizes grew with new students every semester, and the school asked me to stay another year.