During every summer and winter break for students in Korea, academies of all types like to offer intensive classes. These classes are a way for the students to get ahead, catch up, or even to try out different academies without a long term commitment. As a foreigner, I sympathize for these kids since they are in academies literally all day everyday after school. Going to these academies double time during their vacation is probably the last thing they would ever want. However, as a teacher in Korea who is post-grad trying to pay back loans, this is a great way for me to earn some extra cash for the month.
The downside of intensives for teachers in Korea is that most of the classes begin at 10:00AM. That may not sound bad to any one who works a regular job for a living, but it's horrible for someone who's pretty much a vampire. As a Chungdahm teacher, sometimes I feel like one. The only daylight I see is on my walk to school. Otherwise, I spend most of my waking hours indoors or at night. Going along with that, I remember my past three intensives waking up in the middle of the night because of nightmares of being late or missing intensives.
The upside to this is not only the extra pay, as mentioned above, but also that it only lasts a month. Since some intensive classes are up to three times a week, it's surprising how big the next paycheck comes out to be!
This summer, I'm teaching an extensive reading workshop for the lowest level. We read short stories together and check reading comprehension. Although it can be tough early in the morning, it's a more personal way to get to know and teach the students than a normal class. Since most of these intensive classes tend to be smaller than the regular 4PM to 10PM classes that last 13 weeks, I feel like I can connect with these students in a much more personal level in three hours a day for three times a week for a month.
Teaching intensives is not mandatory, but it's a great way for me to save some extra money for my last few months left in Korea.
What will you do this summer?