Now that I am back home and have had time to reflect back on my time in South Korea I thought I would dedicate a post to me experiences specifically related to teaching. Teaching English in South Korea is something I have always wanted to do. I know many people choose to do this because they have always wanted to travel and this is an employment option that gives you housing, pays you a decent amount and allows to to travel cheaply throughout Asia. For me I also had a personal interest in Korea as my mother is from the country, but I had never been. It had always been a life goal for me not just to visit South Korea but to live there for a time and try and experience what day to day life is like in my motherland. Josh and I ended up choosing a government couples position that landed us deep in the country side.
We lived in the small village of Gyesung and taught at the Changnyeong English Village for one year. Our time in the English Village was a little different then many of the English teaching jobs in Korea. Many people coming to teach English find themselves teaching at a private after school academy called a hagwon or at a public school position. CEV is a government funded school that provides a week long English Immersion camp to the surrounding public schools. This means that teaching at CEV staff teach students of varying ages and schools for a period a week. The school also provided free online English lessons to students who register for Cyber School. In our time at CEV, Josh and I both experienced teaching in classroom and online. Both experiences were positive although hard to compare.
From my own experiences and the people I encountered in my time in South Korea, most people come to teach English with little or no experience either working with children or teaching. As I mentioned earlier, most people come because they have a strong desire to travel. I myself have worked with children in either a retail or therapeutic setting for over 5 years so not only am I experienced in working with children, it is also what I love to do. So for me, teaching comes natural and is something I really enjoy. This year of teaching would be the first time I would be teaching students and honestly it just cemented for me that working with children is definitely the right career path for me.
I was pleasantly surprised that Josh ended up being a great teacher. He had never before worked with children although he has quite a bit of experience in being a trainer on most of his jobs in the past 6 years. Maybe his familiarity with explanations and guiding adults in prior jobs helped give him the confidence to teach a class full of students.
Overall, we both really loved teaching and because of our unique situation we taught students ranging from ages 4 to 16 both in the classroom and online. Online teaching was a pretty unique experience and my next post will be going into more detail on our experiences. We both loved teaching so much that we have plans to sign another contract to teach English in a couple months…right now we need to spend some time with family before leaving for another year.