Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

9 Questions Answered by a Former ChungDahm Teacher

Posted on Thu, Mar 05, 2015 @ 05:17 PM

One of the amazing aspects of teaching abroad is being able to meet so many new people from all over the world.  The tough part about this luxury however is when you have to say goodbye to one of the closest friends you met while teaching English in Korea.  Recently one of my best friends, Lisa Yang, left ChungDahm to begin the next chapter of her life back home in New York City, however before she departed she was able to sit down with me to offer some advice to current ChungDahm teachers as well as those who are thinking of teaching in Korea. 
make friends while teaching English in Korea            make friends while teaching English in Korea
Q: How did you hear about ChungDahm?
A: I heard about ChungDahm through a friend of mine that was also applying at the same time. When I used Aclipse the lady that helped was really helpful and nice (her name was Colette). She gave me all the packets and information that I needed. If I had any questions she would respond to my emails right away. She would also call me when there was urgent news that she needed to tell me.
Q: What was your experience like during ChungDahm's training week?
A:Training week was really stressful for me. But the trainers were really nice. They would give us their email and kakao id so if we ever needed help we could always message them. I also liked living at Coatel because I got to meet a lot of people. We would often form study groups and mock teach together. After training we would also get dinner together with our broken Korean. It was stressful but also fun.
Q: What was your first month like working for ChungDahm?
A: The first month of working was quite hard to adjust to. I would sometimes have trouble understanding the kids because they would often have a Korean accent. However, my co-workers were very kind and would help me whenever I did not understand something.
advice for teaching at ChungDahmadvice for teaching at ChungDahm
Q: How long did it take for you to adjust to role as a teacher?
A: It took me about 2 months to become comfortable as a foreign teacher. However, I think a big part of it also has to do with your classes and students. My first term, I had mostly middle schoolers so it was quite difficult to get them interested. However, my second term I had a lot of elementary students and they were all very eager to learn.
Q: Tell me about one of your hardest times working as a teacher?
A: My hardest time as a ChungDahm teacher was when I had this student that would not do any work. On top of that, he also also quite distracting. He would constantly yell and scream to get his attention. In the end, I had to kick him out of class to prevent further disruption. Student management is definitely the hardest part in teaching. Everyone has a difficult time with those disruptive students, so you just have to pick your best method so that you can get your job done. 
Q: What was your most memorable part of ChungDahm?
A: The most memorable experience was when I told my kids that I was going back to America. A lot of them gave me presents and asked for my email address to keep in touch. Some of them even wanted to take pictures with me. I felt so loved and appreciated. I am very happy to know that I did something for them.
make friends while teaching English in Koreamake friends while teaching English in Korea
Q: What made you sign another 2 years with ChungDahm?
A: I signed another year mostly because the economy back in the states at that time wasn't that great. I figured I should stay and save some more money while traveling. Plus, a lot of my friends also decided to stay. So it wasn't too bad.
Q: What is the greatest piece of advice that you could give to an incoming teacher?
A: My advice to a new teacher is try to bond with the kids as much as you can. If they like you it makes student management a lot easier. Sometimes they will even help you manage the other kids.
Q: What have you learned about yourself while working for ChungDahm?
A:  Working for ChungDahm has helped me a lot. Teaching in front of all these kids has made public speaking easier. In addition, I also feel like I am doing something useful. When I see my kids level up and use words that I taught them before it makes me very happy and proud. 
Thus concludes the interview with Lisa Yang. Thank you again for hard work and I wish you alot of success in your future. You will be missed!
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After working for five years in banking, Marc decided that it was time for a change before he got too old. He left the stress from his 9-5 job to do something new and different. After coming to Korea with a group of buddies, he landed in the Gangdong Branch in Eastern Seoul. When he's not teaching and doing head instructor duties, he is out about traveling Korea, looking for the new, old, and undiscovered places to visit. Follow him on Twitter @geonmakku and on Instagram @geonmakku for the latest happenings in South Korea.


Tags: applying to teach English, teaching at Chungdahm, teaching advice,, training week

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