So you've applied with Aclipse, interviewed, videotaped yourself a million times, written essays, and finally landed the job with Chungdahm Learning. Now it's time to get the visa paperwork together and all that jazz. What to do while you're patiently waiting for the FBI to make sure you're not a criminal? Yeah, all your Canadians, South Africans, New Zealanders, Irish, Brits and Aussies won't have to wait as long, since your background check's quicker - so not fair. But regardless, you should all read our blog! The Aclipse bloggers/current ChungDahm teachers are here to help you!
1. GO OVER YOUR TRAINING PACKET. Your recruiter will have these materials sent to you before you embark on your year in Korea. The content in the packet is what training will be based around, so it’ll definitely help to get a head start.
2. GET SOME SLEEP. The night before your training week begins, be sure to get as much sleep as you can. I beat jetlag when I came here by completely crashing at the hotel and sleeping for around 14 hours. The rest of the week felt normal, and I wasn’t tired during training sessions. So plan your night/day of arrival before you get on the plane – stay awake as long as you can before it’s time to go to bed in Korea! (The movies on the plane make this pretty easy!)
3. PACK BUSINESS CASUAL ATTIRE. You’ll be living out of your suitcase for about a week at the hotel, so it’ll be much easier for you to do this if you have all of your “nicer” clothes in one suitcase. For training, it’s not required to look super dressed up. Comfortable business casual gear is perfect for training AND for teaching!
4. BE PREPARED TO TRAIN. The Chungdahm training week is where we all learned to ‘become teachers.’ The Chungdahm curriculum is structured to cover a 3-hour class period, and each section of the books we use is thoroughly covered in training. Some things to expect during your week with your fellow potential teachers:
- You’ll have to take some basic English skills and language tests (Not difficult, just some grammar and such. If you fail, you can take it again!). Want to be extra prepared? Purchase Grammar Advisor before you go!
- You’ll be placed into a few levels of training (probably two). These levels correspond to the levels of Chungdahm's curriculum. For example, I was trained in Reading Par and Memory English. My roommate was training in Listening Birdie and Masters. (You will learn what these mean when you get there!) These are the areas each branch will request for new instructors to be trained in, based on their need for instructors in each level of the curriculum.
- You’ll have to take notes, study, and memorize. It’s like a crash course in becoming a teacher. By the end of the week, you’ll have the curriculum down pat and be ready to move out of the hotel to your school!
- You’ll have some cool trainers that know what they’re doing and have a lot of experience with Chungdahm. These are the top teachers – they will be there to help you when you need it.
- You’ll have to mock teach. Yes, this means standing in front of your training group (don’t worry, it’s only about 5 people in each group!), and pretending that they are your students and you are their new English teacher. As long as you embrace it and are open to the constructive criticism that all new instructors must receive, then it’ll be fun!
- You’ll meet TONS of people in the same shoes as you, and you’ll bond with them right away. You will have a hotel room for a week, transportation to and from the training center, and lots of time to walk around Gangnam!
- You’ll be so ready to teach after training, and even more ready to have FUN !
Just one of the things some trainees were excited about when they got to Korea - McD's delivers here (on mopeds)!
Sydney Langford knew that one way or another, she was heading overseas after graduating from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She began teaching at the Pyeongchon branch of Chungdahm Learning in South Korea this past August, after being recruited by Aclipse, and thinks that her coworkers are awesome! Sydney loves K-POP, kimchi, and Korean life - so Chicago might be missing her for a bit longer...Questions about teaching in Korea? Follow Sydney on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SydsAclipse and email her at SydsAclipse@gmail.com!