bardofages7604 wrote:Well...this may be kind of broad, but could you just give me your feelings on teaching English in Korea. I haven't talked directly with anyone that has taught there so maybe you could give me some of your personal pros and cons. Also, maybe some pros and cons between teaching adults and children?
I appreciate any help you can give!
No worries. I'm actually at the job now, so I'll write what I can during my break time. Keep in mind that I teach 1-on-1 business English, I have limited group class experience with adults. I taught children for 2 years in private schools, so I don't know about the public schools all that much.
Basic pros and cons:
No punishing them, you aren't a police man and they are (generally) there to study
Much more relaxed, usually adults will be willing to work with you about whatever you need doing.
You'll build good relationships with a lot of your students.
Pay is generally higher, although you pay your own rent.
Vacation days that you can request
The schedule can be a killer. Your hours will probably be 7-11am and 5:30-9:30pm, and usually you will be required to work 2 Saturdays a month.
Paying your own rent can cut into your pay quite a bit
You'll get students that feel they should be improving simply because they are paying money.
Up to opinion things
You're going to be 50% teacher / 50% therapist. I don't know why it is, but it's really true.
You should approach this like a service industry job, you need to please the student by being friendly and caring.
Free housing. This lets you take home more per month than you will your first 6months/year teaching adults
Hours, usually the longest hours you'll have is 9:30am-7:30pm
Not really needing to be too adept a teacher, it's 99% daycare
You're going to get sick, a lot. Kids are dirty.
You're going to have to discipline children, a lot. Like I said, 99% daycare.
During the vacation months you actually work more than normal.
No vacation days aside from national holidays.
Parents, especially housewives, will make your job difficult.
Up to opinion things:
Kids. Seriously, when I started I loved kids. 2 years later and seeing a kid from the age of 5-18 gives me PTSD.
Hours. The hours seem better on paper, but you actually don't have that much more time for anything than teaching adults.
Sanity. You'll probably lose it at some point in your contract.
Coworkers. In my experience people who teach children tend to be less professional/responsible. As such you'll probably have a time when a coworker runs out on his/her contract leaving you working overtime for a month or so.
I should be totally honest and say that a lot of the "up to opinion things" are simply things that I've felt. Also, you gotta treat this like a job. Too many people come to South Korea expecting it to be a paid vacation. They don't do their job correctly, and make all the rest of us foreigners look really bad. If you do decide to come to Korea it'll be in your best interest to learn some Korean. Most people don't bother and, again, it looks really bad for foreigners. I gotta head back to work (student is coming in 5 minutes), but if you got any more questions or concerns please let me know!