ChungDahm has given me a great opportunity to expand my teaching and managing skills especially in a foreign environment. I will admit, managing is not for everyone and I don’t believe that anyone can become a manager, however if you are interested in growing with ChungDahm Academy, then becoming a Team Leader may be the first step for you.
I have been teaching in Korea at the same ChungDahm location (Gangdong Branch) for almost 6 years and it is sad to say that my time in Korea is almost up. I’ve definitely felt like I have grown as a person and definitely have been challenged to improve my management skills. This is something that is very important to me because I plan to put this on my resumes for graduate school. There are not many people who can say that they have managed in a different country under a different set of values for so many years.
During my first two years teaching at ChungDahm I tried to learn all of the different class levels because I wanted to be well rounded. My personal philosophy is that I want to learn everything so that I could grow in my professional career at ChungDahm. By doing so, I could become an integral part of my branch and later be prepared to negotiate my contracts if and when I’d like to stay in Korea another year. By doing so, I have been managing for 4 years under 3 different principals. As a stable source, the foreign teachers, staff, and students could rely on me. I enjoy the feeling of others needing me and sometimes enjoy the stress that comes with the position. This allows me to grow and learn and develop my own managing styles. Normally, principals and branch managers would hire Team Leaders from within the branch, however, you may be able to find Team Leader open positions by talking to your current manager. Current managers have access to different openings around Korea and they will ask that you have at least one year of experience teaching with ChungDahm.
As I said, managing is not for everyone. You really have to learn how to deal with the obstacles that get thrown at us at random. For me, the most stress that I get is from when I get a new teacher. All teachers at ChungDahm have to go through the week-long corporate training process before they can officially be part of a branch. Every week 13 of each term, I’m asking to get information on how the new teaching candidate is doing. If everything is going well, then I just have to do my CCTV evaluations to make sure that the teacher meets my principal’s expectations. It is when the teacher may be at the cusp of failing (not being able to show enthusiasm, not understanding the teaching methodology, etc.) that I tend to worry the most. If there is a potential issue, that week 13, I am trying to help the candidate so that they can succeed in their training. I’m also coming up with backup plans just in case for the worst. If they succeed, then I just need to do personal coaching with them so that their teaching style falls in line with my branch’s and corporate’s expectations.
The biggest joy that I get is when I have teachers that have been under my guidance become really great teachers that my students love. It is great when I have my old students contact me and ask me to see how their old teachers are doing. It means that these teachers have had some type of impact on our students’ lives. When I have a good group of teachers that are having fun and our students are having fun, my managing stress decreases a lot. If you are a good coach and mentor, then becoming a Team Leader maybe a great option if you are looking to grow within ChungDahm.
Below is a list of other duties that are asked of a Team Leader:
- We act as a liaison between the Korean staff and the foreign teachers so communication is key to this position
- Organizing level-up tests is another important part in this position. The Team Leader has to make sure that there is not a large discrepancy between teachers when they are evaluating student’s speaking and writing exams
- Scheduling is the final key component to this position. Determining what classes and students teachers can handle is important because students give us evaluations that determine our future pay raises. We have to make sure that each foreign teacher can handle each class load appropriately.
I hope this blog has been helpful in better understanding all the major duties that a Team Leader must undertake. Each branch may be a little bit different, but essentially we all do the same tasks. If this is something that you are interested in doing, make sure to let your principal of branch owner know that you would like to grow your career.
Marc Gonzales has been living in Seoul working at the ChungDahm's Gangdong Branch for 6 years now. During those 6 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.