Training week is your introductory course into teaching in Korea for ChungDahm Academy or April Institute. For one week, you will be with ChungDham trainers at the beautiful training facility in Jamsil before getting moved to your working branch. Living in Korea is amazing but it is important to make sure to pass training week first. Here are my 3 key points for passing training week:
1. Study the ChungDahm/April Methodology - This is the core foundation of why we teach the way we teach. This separates ChungDahm from the hundreds of different English academies in Korea. This is another reason why many students who go to our academies end up going to some of the top specialized middle/high schools, foreign language schools, and international schools. The methodology will be sent to you by e-mail and you will get to preview it before coming to Korea. With that, you get access to different mock teachings (good and bad) so you can figure out what good teaching at ChungDahm looks like. Another thing that the trainer will look at is your time management skills. We have 3 hours classes and there is a lot of information that we need to share with the students. If during the training you’re timing is off, this will brought up. So make sure that you are prepared with different open ended questions and examples to explain your lesson. Also, during your down time at night use the time wisely to go over notes and the methodology. While you maybe tempted to go out and have fun, please try to save that for a later time. You will be in Korea for a whole year and will have plenty of time to go out and party with friends. Use your time at night to improve your skills so you can come back even more prepared the following day.
2. Show Enthusiasm - I think some of the best teachers at ChungDahm and April are super energetic and creative. When I watch their CCTVs, they challenge me to become a better teacher. We believe in the theory of ‘educainer’ which is ‘education plus entertainer’. You must be able to deliver information in a memorable way. The trainers will give you the tools to succeed but you have to make it your own so that you can feel comfortable explaining the lesson. ChungDahm is an after school academy which means students have been studying in their normal school or a different academy before coming to see us. They are tired and one way for us to keep their interest is to make the lesson personable. One way I do it is by using myself as an example. We were talking about plastic surgery and I sent my students a picture of me to their tablet. I told them to use photoshop and alter my face and body to what you think the ‘Best Marc Teacher’ would look like. They kids loved this idea and it turned out to be one of my most memorable classes I’ve taught.
3. Stay Flexible and Listen to Advice - In ChungDahm and April, half of the success is teaching the children. The half of the success is managing them. ChungDahm an expensive academy and parents expect a lot of care and monitoring regarding their child. So at any given moment, a Korean teacher may request a student’s information so that they can report it to his or her parent. As we coach our students, we ourselves will get coached too by our management team. Your trainer will give you advice on how to fix and change things regarding your teacher style. Listen to their advice carefully because they want you to do well. What I would like to explain to my team is the information and feedback I share with them is so that they can succeed and ultimately their children can succeed too. No one wants to feel like a failure so when I give feedback to my team, I tell them not to take anything personally. We have to separate our work from our own personal friendship. At times it can be very difficult, but if we treat each other with respect and as adults, we can get through it.
These are my top tips to help you succeed your first week in Korea. If you are able to do these three things, you will pass ChungDahm Training Week.
Marc Gonzales has been living in Seoul working at the ChungDahm's Gangdong Branch for 5 years now. During those 5 years, he worked his way up from being a teacher and is now a faculty manager for that location. He majored in Finance and Marketing at the University of Nevada Las Vegas while working as a manager for a national bank. In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking the numerous mountains around Seoul and biking along the massive Han River. To know more about him and his adventures living in Korea, follow Marc on Twitter @geonmakku and on Instagram @geonmakku.