For almost everyone, the last couple of years have been exceptionally challenging, and provided a plethora of obstacles just to make it through from day to day. However, for the first time in what feels like the longest time, there is some potential light at the end of the tunnel, and for many that means getting back out into the big wide world and exploring once again. While it still might feel like it is a touch too soon to make the big leap, there is no such thing as planning too early for this eventuality.
In fact, putting ideas and schedules in place now could make all the difference, getting a head start on other wannabe TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) instructors who have been in precisely the same boat up until now. Not only can a TEFL teacher make a good salary to live and travel on, they are also able to build a bank of memories that will last an entire lifetime. What is more, this article has the low down on the insider tips for teaching English in South Korea, so keep reading!
Just like the motto for the Scouts, it is imperative to be prepared for any and all situations that might end up arising. For instance, making a plan B lesson is always recommended, if only for the peace of mind it offers when in a tough spot in the classroom. Furthermore, the vast majority of students in South Korea are self-motivated and want to learn, and that brings with it questions. Lots of them. Whether those questions are about grammar, syntax, vocabulary, or those pesky idioms, the best TEFL pro will be armed to the teeth with the requisite knowledge to leave the student thirst for learning sated, at least for that moment.
On top of that, South Korea is like many other countries for teaching TEFL abroad in that there are local events and festivals that take place that might involve some timetable changes, so being ready to adapt with a shorter (or longer) lesson than expected is always a safe bet. On that note, obtaining a TEFL qualification before setting out is absolutely a great idea, not least because many schools in South Korea only accept qualified candidates.
Teaching is caring
It seems obvious that teaching should be regarded as a caring career, but the fact remains that this caring tendency is warmly appreciated in South Korea, where there is a high emphasis on family values and doing the right thing. More specifically, the South Korean culture is one that places a huge emphasis on sharing with others, listening and giving advice where appropriate, and lending a hand at all times.
So, what better breeding ground to put these into play than in the TEFL classroom? It is simple to imagine a whole host of classroom tasks set up in the right way that would enable all of these traits to flourish, allowing the students to bring their cherished home-taught values into their learning space. After all, all of the care and attention that is put in by the kind TEFL tutor is almost certain to be repaid multiple times over.
Combining a job as a hobby
It is frequently said having a profession that feels like a pastime is one that is prone to be done longer, enjoyed more, and eventually end up paying more. Therefore, it feels prudent to take advantage if TEFL meets that specific niche. For one thing, the happiness that comes from taking part in a free time pursuit ought to show if it brings about similar sensations in the day job. Some people are lucky enough to do their favourite thing as a vocation, and a TEFL teacher should not be an exception.
Additionally, there are ways to bring the facets of the passion into the career, whether it be utilising the rules of a particular game or sport into a classroom task, or by making a video or presentation all about this area, it is not difficult to see the link that could be established in this sphere. Finally, it is a golden opportunity for the TEFL educator to let their imagination run wild, bringing all of the vim and vigour from their hobby into the workplace.
Travelling with friends
South Korea is a haven for travellers, being located in a prime position in Eastern Asia. Beyond the obvious delights of the capital Seoul, which has hosted the Olympic Games in recent years, there are other major metropolitan cities like Busan that offer a whole host of unique travel experiences to share with friends.
The country offers cutting-edge technology, allowing easy connections and contact to be maintained with buddies who may work in the next town over. Also, the transportation services are second-to-none, with bullet-speed trains operating on a prompt schedule, making a day trip with amigos achievable and speedy. Not to mention, the cost of living is relatively low compared to the potential earnings, meaning those extra hard earned dollars could go towards a long weekend with mates to the coast or the mountains.
Upselling the CV
After all is said and done, the harsh reality is that many TEFL teachers have a hard time in the beginning finding a position that really suits them. Some places have extremely high expectations when it comes to qualifications and experience, so South Korea may be the perfect stepping stone that allows that reality to come true. This is because of the combination of comfortable living conditions, mostly pleasant and willing students, and relatively high earning potential when compared to living costs that exist here.
However, it could also be that South Korea itself is the gateway that the TEFL expert has been looking for. The world is just beginning to open up again, and South Korea is ready to welcome TEFL instructors who are eager and willing to grow. With so many chances for employment, and so many students willing to learn, it might just be that this is the place to be right now!