There are a gazillion and one websites for ESL lesson plans and tips. The info is overwhelming. I recommend two things: First, become a really good, effective teacher. You can do that by getting certified as a teacher (online https://www.teacherready.org/, use me as a reference please! University of West Florida, 12 hours toward Mast. in Ed.) or by at least reading the books below and applying the research-based, evidence-based principles in your classroom. Even if you are not a certified teacher, the info below will turn you from a chic/dude with a business degree who's teaching English in Korea, to a stellar, effective teacher that engages your students!
(If you are not interested in becoming a good teacher, and only came to Korea for the pretty Korean girls and to get drunk, please, stop making the rest of us look bad and go home or grow up.)
Second, look on You Tube for videos specific to lesson plans, grammar, ESL, etc. Teaching in Korea is great, whether at a hagwon (private academy), public school, business, or university. Enjoy the life of living abroad, travel Asia, experience new cultures, and become a great teacher and evolve as a person!
My professional; portfolio has great links, resources, and books on education for you!
Suggested Reading for all Educators!
The First Days of School, by Harry K. Wong
Who's Engaged, by Janet K. Pilcher
Call 1330 whenever you need English help with ANYTHING, travel or anything! They are so helpful.
Mass transit is so awesome here! Frequent, easy, clean, and cheap! Buses run all over the country (intercity), in all the cities and towns, and the subways crisscross Seoul in the northeast and Busan to the south,
I use ga82 the most, but double check the times and departure locations with 1330.
Busan and Seoul Subway website/maps
By the way, all of these are somewhat helpful, but nothing truly prepares you for life in Korea until you've lived here. What will help you?
I took a group of my students out for ice cream to the Baskin-Robbins in Emart and then to Jumping Star. We had so much fun! They are great kids, bright and engaged, well behaved, and full of life!!!
David, Leo, Andy, Bono, Esther, Luna, Me, Rexy, and Bright!
My favorite mistakes made by English learners are word order and misspellings, because those errors result in the BEST sentences EVER, like those I received from my students, as follows:
(writing about his favorite food, King crab)
I LOVE TO EAT CRAP.
Word order mistake:
(writing about placing a purse behind her)
I WANT IT IN MY BEHIND.
Needless to say, these sentences totally made my day, and I think I got some weird high from holding my breath long enough to suppress busting out laughing.
I luv teechen Englush.
**Liability Release** I am in NO WAY mocking those who are trying to learn another language, or putting down Koreans at all. EVER. That's not what I'm about. This is comedic only, so get over it. I get laughed at aplenty when I try to properly pronounce "dong", which is a Korean name (Dong) and also means" neighborhood" and "poop", depending on pronunciation (Dong vs. deong vs. dang). I frequently pronounce it as "poop" on accident.
Well, shit (dong), at least I try!
Honestly, I thought I would be working a lot harder! I feel rather abashed, but this is somewhat easy, at least in terms of time. I'm still getting a feel for exactly what to do in class, because there are different stages for each book, and there are numerous books. I'm still trying to learn everyone's name. And once I decreased the difficulty of the lesson, lesson planning was simplified. I spent maybe 2-3 hours this weekend (if that) creating my lesson plans for 3 science classes, and and one conversation class. The prep work doesn't feel like "work", because I'm using my creativity when producing the lessons, so it's fun for me!! Yay!
My "long" day is Monday: 12-8pm. I arrive at 12noon to help clean the classrooms, prep for the day's activities, and review each lesson plan for the week with Director Jeong. Classes begin at 1:30 and my30 minute dinner break is at 6:30. I'm finished by 8pm on the dot!
The remainder of the week I work from 1pm-8pm, with a 30 minute break at 6pm.
When I'm not teaching science classes (I have 3 each day), or conversation/phonics classes ( these started this week, and I think I have 4 total), I am working with students on spelling and grammar, speaking and writing, that sort of thing. The kids switch between phonics and conversation all day, with classes changing every 30 minutes in my room. I am simply walking around and checking and/or correcting students' work. They are listening to English conversations via cassette or CD: listening, writing, rewinding, listening, repeating, etc. As Jeong likes to say, we are "English police", not teaching so much here, but checking and correcting.
These kids are amazing! They go to school all day, then go to an academy to further their education (it could be English, or special subject tutoring, music, etc.). The kids in Korea work and study hard! They are in school ALL DAY! It's pretty impressive!
I'm pretty lucky, as usual! I'm really enjoying the work and the hours are not bad at all! I have 4-5 hours free each morning (with which I will eventually be productive!) and a few hours at the end of the day to do whatever!
Life is good!
I received the email of an offer of employment at the school in Tongyeong this morning! I'm super excited; I think it's going to be a great fit for me! I spoke with Director via Skype on Friday and I'm pretty impressed with her and the school, and I also really liked her! She started the school 7 years ago and has run it by herself and with one other Korean Teacher. Last year, she had a Russian Teacher who was already in Korea, but wishes to have a native English speaker now, which only makes sense! She has about 100 students and claims that the school is "famous" in the area. I think I'm going to be pretty happy here for the next year.
I'll attach a few photos and you'll see why.
Some of the details of the contract are:
At some point in the future, I'll post my contract so you can view a typical hakwon Employment Contract.
That's all for now... hoping to get some videos up soon!
"Everything happens in the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. I don't have to like it, but it's easier if I do!"
I had my first interview with a hakwon in Tongyoung last night, 9:30pm EST, 10:30am KST. It was quite interesting and not what I expected. I'm not sure the communication between my recruiter at EICO and the school Director was clear, considering they had both just returned from the 5 day Choseuk holiday. The Director was actually hiking up a mountain during our interview, and at one point described the lovely view! Understand I say this without judgement. What I think happened is that the Recruiter and the Director planned the interview prior to the vacation, but were waiting on me to reply to the email about a good time. Well, the issue is the time difference between Korea (KST) and here (EST). By the time I received the email about the interview, they had already closed the office for Choseuk. So while I was sitting at my desk at 9pm on Sunday night, all prettied up for an interview, the Director was hiking up a mountain, still on holiday! Needless to say, we agreed to talk again at another time!
She asked only three questions, but they took me off guard. She asked specifically: 1) how I would handle teaching English to kids that were only there because their parents were making them take the classes, 2) What kind of lessons I would teach and how I would interest the kids, 3) if I drink alcohol.
I had to wing the answers to #1 and #2, and #3 was easy. I am really glad I am taking the TEFL course because I can't imagine going over to a foreign country to teach anything, even a language I was born into, without some kind of training! It blows my mind that schools will hire English teachers that have no experience teaching and/or no training. The TEFL course is teaching me how to create lesson plans and giving me great ideas on how to motivate disinterested students. Luckily, I have covered part of those, but I know for my next interview, I need to study the lesson planning guide to be better prepared. Regarding the alcohol part, teachers of English in foreign countries have a bad reputation for being drunk idiots. Meaning, since the majority are straight out of college, they think a teaching gig overseas is all about adventure, partying, and screwing the native girls. It's especially bad in Korea, where the Americans prefer Seoul's all night party districts, to drink all night, try to hook up with the pretty Korean girls, and then show up drunk or hungover for class. Just another way Americans prove themselves to be irresponsible idiots to the rest of the world. The Director even mentioned a previous teacher doing this, and from all I've read, it's not uncommon. Luckily, this won't be an issue for me, as I am not interested in partying and young Korean girls! (ha! or older Korean girls, or girls period!) Hopefully my age offers advantages in job seeking.
Overall, I think the interview went well, despite our language differences and the wind whistling into the phone. As I progress through the interview process, I will offer some do's and don'ts during the interview and
Be patient with the blog, we are only at the preliminary stages of set up. Soon I will have pictures and videos and detailed information on the entire process of securing work overseas as an English Teacher!
...is moving to South Korea to teach English, fulfilling a dream of many years.