This is another guest post. Patti has been teaching in Korea for the last seven years, and has a wide variety of experiences. I asked her to write this post because I knew she previously taught public school, and now taught at a hagwon, and did not seem to hate her hagwon.
She has, however, delivered a lot more than I could ever have asked for. Her experiences cover a wide range of teaching positions in Korea, over various levels. My most heartfelt thanks to Patti for sharing these experiences with me, and thus with all of you.
Public School Experience
1. A Typical High School
When I first applied to teach in Incheon, I requested an elementary or middle school, because I had been told by Korean friends back home that working in a high school would be a living hell, as high school students usually don’t want to listen to their teachers, but want to focus solely on their college entrance exams. It makes education more about the grades, and less about actual learning. I find this attitude permeates all levels of Korean education.
As fate would have it, I applied through the Incheon Metropolitan Office of Education (IMOE) directly and was placed in a high school, located in a low-income area in Incheon.
Continue reading “From the Frying Pan to the Fire: My experiences going from the public school system to a hagwon”
This is a guest post written by a friend of mine. Leigh* and I met when we both arrived in Korea, and she currently teaches in a middle school in Daegu. We were in the same intake and attended the same orientation. Like me, she is also a South African (hence the mention of postal strikes back home.) I asked her to write this post about how she got her hagwon job, and why she’s so excited about it, and why she’s sure she hasn’t landed in hagwon hell like my friend Will did. Pictures inserted by me)
Continue reading “Joining the Dark Side: How and Why I’m moving from an EPIK day job to the late shift at a hagwon”
OR: I talk to some teachers about their hagwon experiences
Before coming to Korea:
Will* wanted to come to teach in Korea, but he’d had a hard time getting into the public school system. As certain of the benefits of EFL positions in Korea exist in both public schools and hagwons (refunded airfare, a furnished apartment, good salary) or unconnected to the schools (great public transport system, low cost of living, high speed internet, etc.), he applied for a lot of hagwon jobs (some hagwons recruit on their own, and others through recruiters), and eventually found a job in the city of Incheon.
When I met Will:
Continue reading “Escaping Hagwon Horror and The Ordeals of Moving to a Public School: Will’s Story”