IF you want to work in Korea you need to get F!@#%&*!

Seriously.  If you want to work as an ESL teacher in South Korea then you need to get FLEXIBLE and fast!  I have seen and heard so many people that are frustrated, angry and complaining about their school not providing internet access (or if they have it then it’s not consistent).   Considering all the truly valid concerns that people may have about working in education overseas, this is not one that should be making the list.  My personal experiences have been with DGEV but this applies to so many schools/camps/hagwons and really isn’t even confined to South Korea.

To clarify: I consider myself a loud and proud EdTech cheerleader.  My MSED studies revolve around it!  I absolutely love using technology in the classroom and know for a fact that it really enhances or even completely changes the learning experience.  I prefer having internet 100% of the time for personal and professional reasons.

However, even though this is the 21st century and it is essential that people build technology skills… if it is impossible for you to teach a lesson without internet or tech then you may want to look elsewhere for work.

Perhaps that sounds harsh.  But seriously- just save yourself the stress and always be prepared to teach sans internet and/or tech.  Or if it means THAT much then do like a couple of teachers I know did and subscribe to a phone plan with unlimited data so you always have a hotspot.

But really- please, please have a serious conversation with yourself about this.  Be truthful with yourself- if you are looking to work in South Korea but find it difficult to be flexible then look for work somewhere else.  Not everyone can just ‘roll with it’ and that’s okay!  We’re all different!  But please don’t put yourself in a position where you have to be able to turn on a dime sometimes several times a day.  If you are up to the challenge though, being that flexible and demonstrating your abilities in that way is a mad skill.  You’ll fly away from Korea thinking KNOWING that since you successfully completed your contract then you can do anything.  *^^*

A few of you find this blog while researching about working in the ROK and sometimes even DGEV in particular so thought I would just toss this little blurb up here to chew on.  I may have mentioned this issue before but it bears repeating. Sometimes the information out there is a little sugar-coated and sometimes it’s just nothing but mud slinging.  It’s not all good or all bad.  I enjoyed teaching in Korea and I will work there again.

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(and yes, I am inordinately proud of my university for not only caring about these issues but actually taking action and raising awareness!)

Cyberstalking FedEx…

Even though it would be ridiculous to expect the federal apostille to be completed so soon, I’m still turning into a FedEx tracking page cyberstalker…  I’m really hoping to see it shipped back before the end of the week.

This document round up has been like a game of red-light, green-light.

Wait for it…wait for it……GO! GO! GO! Wait for it…wait for it……GO! GO! GO!

*****

And a link to some great language tutorials (thanks, R!):

https://www.youtube.com/user/KoreanSimplyPut?feature=watch

Final Interview went well! (Well…I *think* it did…)

The final interview was fun!  I definitely felt a bit more relaxed and didn’t lose my train of thought this time around (thank goodness for small favors) and we laughed, a lot.

Ohhhh, but then again… maybe I’m remembering it wrong and I was the only one laughing while he sat there horrified, nervously chuckling while he eyed the power button, wishing he could “accidentally” hit it and run…

Either way, it’s done and I should know in a week.

As a gesture of faith in myself, I ordered a large rolling duffel bag last week that was 70% off.  I’m hoping I will be delivered good news and my new luggage all on the same day!  *^^*

A note about the interview: once again, I prepared for a behavioral interview and also thought out even more, “What would you do if…” classroom management/situation answers.  That was a good thing!

Also, I used my checklist for the first interview and rechecked my Skype settings, background, lighting, all of that.

The questions I wrote down to ask were about (there were more, but were answered in the course of conversation):

  • Contacting current teachers (although, several have blogs and I’ve gleaned a LOT of information from them.  It sounds creepy haha but if the blogs weren’t meant to be read they wouldn’t be out there, correct?).
  • Preparing lesson plans ahead of time (I have a binder full from ed. classes that I’m working on tweaking then scanning/saving on to a flashdrive)

Also, this book was suggested as an excellent reference so I’ve ordered it and will definitely be reading it before I go (as of today, there are quite a few used copies on Amazon.com)!

Learning to Think Korean: A Guide to Living and Working in Korea.  Robert L. Kohls

Secretary of State Apostille…

Just checked the FedEx status of my documents (two notarized copies of degree) and they were delivered yesterday morning.  Phew!

But wait, there’s more…

They also shipped SOMETHING back to me the same day!  It’s out on the delivery truck heading towards me RIGHT NOW.

Is this good or bad?  Did I royally mess up somewhere along the line and they are throwing the whole mess back at me to fix?

Or did they really finish up that quickly?  That would be amazing.  =D

In the meantime, I refuse to leave the house while I wait for that shiny truck to rumble up my street.

This reminds me of a movie… and there’s a scene in it that really captures the essence of this whole process.

Preparing to teach English is South Korea is just. like. this…

UPDATE:  YES!!!  Two apostilled copies of my diploma just arrived!  I had to look up examples of what the ‘right’ documents would look like because, of course, I started worrying that I ordered the wrong thing somehow… Good grief.

Mine looks like a sheet of paper stapled over the top of my notarized copy that certifies it is a public document of my state, name of notary, the date, city of Secretary of State office, some number that I have to assume is important *^^*, the state seal (black and white) and signature of S.o.S, and a colored stamp/state seal that has been stamped across both the apostille page AND the diploma copy so that, together, they make a complete seal.

So, three days total start to finish.  Not bad.  Makes up for the Federal CBC wait time. ha.