Where in the world will you be an English Teacher? You have the whole world to choose from. Somehow, out of all the factors, South Korea became the place for you. In between researching the sunrise hiking spots and the exotic food choices, you come crashing down from your wanderlust cloud. You will have to stand in front of a grab bag of students. Inside a single classroom, there is a mixture of highly motivated English learners and students who would rather bang their head against the desk for 40+ minutes. MMM Yaahh Ok; that isn’t what the top results of Google bring up. Who clicks on the first page of results? Wait, who knew there was more than one page of results.
View from My English Classroom. Clearly, I am against travel and great views.
Are You An Aspiring Teacher or A Traveler Who Happens To Teach
I am going to assume this is your first time teaching and you didn’t major in English. Take a deep breath and reaffirm that the only pressure you will have is the pressure you allow on yourself. Two primary questions need to be answered honestly by you.
- Do you want to dig in and do the work?
- Will you become a teacher OR will you coast and be a teaching traveler?
Take out a notebook right now and write how you feel. No one else has to know your true thoughts. Answer the question HONESTLY. No matter what the answer, come with that intention and shape your year around that.
Know your motivation before coming and stay dedicated to it. Staying focused on your goals and WHY you are moving halfway around the world will smooth out the difficult times that will 100% arise.
Please go back to number 1 and 2 and write out the answers to the questions.
My Teaching Journey
I wrote about my year one: month one there, the United States to South Korea.(currently down because I am not focused on blogging at the moment). My goals were broad and generalized. My growth as a person was astronomical just by living and showing up to work. However, it has only been noticeable while looking to the near past.
I had never taught in a classroom prior to South Korea and my degree is in Economics. To say I have a long climb to a quality teacher is an understatement. Luckily my first year the two schools wanted me to teach out of the textbook and throw in games when the time was available. Towards the end of the year, I had full reign of what I “taught” or the game we would play. This year they want me to level up and create lessons that will connect and allow the students to build projects. I am ready for the challenge.
“Everyone’s ambition is more predicated on their actions than their words.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Coachable Moment: Your personal answer to my two questions does not matter. Your initial goals should be the same. Make a great first impression to teachers and students. Set a safe and comfortable tone within the classroom but do not be a pushover. It is difficult to become more strict but easier to lighten up. Honest self-assessment, I need to focus on setting a little bit more serious tone while not losing the safe environment.
You still didn’t answer questions 1 and 2 did you? JUST DO IT and if you are comfortable with sending me the answers do so here.
If you are a traveling teacher that is more than ok. Do not hide it but don’t scream it from the rooftops either. In my opinion, if traveling was my top priority I would be miserable. Sure we get two long vacations a year and holidays but the majority of your week is WORKING.
I won’t be posting regularly for the near future. It is time to put in some “deep work.”
I am currently designing the rough framework for the high school year.
Questions and hellos are always welcome.
Talk to you soon.