Ensure you have a positive experience

Why some teaching placements fail: Top 3 reasons

As recruiters, we work hard to screen our applicants well and being sure that they understand what it is like to live and teach in South Korea. We also only work with reputable and established schools, most of which are regular clients of ours. These policies have resulted in a very high rate of success for our placements. However, I have accrued some experience in this business over the years, and I thought this may help some of you who are considering securing a teaching position in Korea. Assuming your school admin is being fair...

Top 3 reasons that teaching placements FAIL:

1. Culture clash: It may take some time to adapt to living in a different culture and learning the local cultural norms and expectations. While there so many fascinating things to learn from living in Korea, it is not like back home. The most important thing to remember is to respect where you are, whether you agree or disagree. This will keep our relationships positive. Research and inform yourself!

2. Teaching Skills: We have placed 100′s of teachers over the years. While most learn how to be good teachers, once in awhile we get feedback from one of our client-schools that our teacher is not teaching well or cannot control their students. While fairly rare for us, it does happen once in awhile. If you have difficulties in the classroom, consult your fellow teachers and do your research. There are endless ESL teaching resources on the internet to assist you on being more effective in the classroom. Be positive and be the best you can be!

3. The Korean way: This is by far the main reason why some teaching placements fail. Working in a different country can present some challenges. Koreans have a strong work ethic so it important to remember that you are being hired to work diligently and teach well. Private schools are profit-driven businesses like any other, so everyone is expected to pull their weight. The way Koreans do things is not necessarily the same way that things are done back home. In addition, private language institutes in all countries tend to be organic in their operation. It is paramount to be a team player. By that I mean to be adaptable, and easy going about things, even if it does not make sense to you. Not everything needs to be questioned. It is key to just go with the flow and be a good employee for your school.

Final note

Think of yourself as an ambassador to your country. In the international community, ideologies and perspectives are often based on stereotypes. If you think of it that way, you’ve got some responsibility on your shoulders to represent!