Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

6 Questions for a New ChungDahm Teacher

Posted on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 @ 02:19 PM

Career exploration includes matching jobs and professions with one's own interest and skill sets. A job interview for a job in your home country typically includes in-person interviews with your potential boss and colleagues. This interaction gives you information to assess whether the opportunity is a good fit for you.
Determining whether a teach abroad job is right for you can be trickier. A job interview for a teach abroad position is often done over the phone or via skype - and you may not meet or speak with your boss or colleagues until you start the job. An advantage of using Aclipse's services to teach abroad is Aclipse helps you talk with current teachers to have your questions answered and provide you with the information to assess if teaching abroad is right for you. I have taught in Korea for almost 4 years and I sometimes forget what it was like to make the decision to move half way across the world and what life was like when I first made the move. My colleague Jessamyn Martinez hasn't forgotten. She just recently started her ChungDahm job and this is what she has to say: 
Jessamyn Martinez works with me at the Gangdong Branch in Seoul. Her experience was a little different than most new teachers because she started teaching in the middle of a term rather than the beginning. She took over another teacher's classes and as a result, had to learn quickly about the teacher's style whom she was replacing, all while getting the students ready for placement testing. This is her story:
teaching at ChungDahm Learning
Tell us about yourself:

I am 24 years old and I lived in the Bronx, New York all my life. I went to Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York and during my last semester I studied abroad in London. After college I took a year off, but I eventually went back to England, where I got my Master of Arts in Post-modernism, Modernism, and Post-colonial Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. After returning home, I didn’t know what to do next so I took a month-long intensive TESOL course, called the Cambridge CELTA. When I’m not studying, I love to cook and try new cuisines, so I hope to learn a lot about making Korean food! 

Why did you choose teaching in Korea?

Safety was a big factor in deciding where I wanted to teach.  When researching countries I found that Korea came out on top as one of the safest, most secure countries for a new teacher.

How did you find Aclipse and how was your experience with the company?
A friend of mine who had already been teaching abroad for two years recommended a company but they never got back to me after I applied. Aclipse on the other hand sent me a response right away and helped me through every step of the application process. My recruiter even followed up to make sure that everything was going well during training week and to make sure that I arrived safely.
Teaching for ChungDahm Learning
How was your first month working in ChungDahm?

I had an amazing experience in my first month. Even though I had gone through training, I was still
worried about so many things including my apartment and the little things that make my branch different from others such as staff meetings and the culture. The Korean staff and my co-workers however have been great. They’ve helped me so much, from how to improve my lesson plans, to handling difficult students. With the help of all the people at my branch, I have had such an easy time settling down and getting into a rhythm. More importantly, I know I am improving with their help.

What has been your favorite part of teaching?

My favorite part has been working with the students on a lesson and making the learning experience exciting by using integrating digital content such as photos, and videos.  The most rewarding part of teaching is seeing the students light up after I put in a lot of effort to make the lesson more engaging.  If you have trouble thinking of ideas on how to make the lessons fun for the students, Chungdahm provides guides to help you.  

Teaching at ChungDahm Learning
What is your Goal as a ChungDahm Teacher?

My goal as a teacher is to make my students better critical thinkers.  Korean students are strongly motivated by getting correct answers and earning high grades. This is common in a lot of countries where students think only as far as the “right answer.” Sometimes the material does not have a “right answer” but rather opinions and ideas. I would like to see them become more comfortable with developing and defending an opinion or idea. The students have really fascinating ideas when you let them be themselves.

Any last words of advice for future potential teachers?
I knew that I wanted to teach. Although I did not have much prior teaching experience, I am constantly trying to learn and seek advice from my fellow co-workers, staff members, supervisors, and even from those at the Chungdahm headquarters.  I have learned that if you want to be a teacher, you have to be able to listen and learn from constructive criticism, adapt your teaching to address this feedback.
I would like to thank Jessamyn for taking time out of her busy teaching schedule to talk with me. Although taking over for a veteran teacher can be tough, Jessamyn has been doing a great job adapting to working for Chungdahm. Many student have been pleased with her style of teaching and I can't wait to see how the rest of her year turns out! Good luck Jessamyn! For more information, follow our blogs on the Aclipse website and feel free to contact us for more information about living and teaching in Korea.
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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 of ChungDahm Learningin Eastern Seoul. When he's not teaching and taking care of head instructor duties, he is traveling around 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: teach, advice, teach aclipse, teaching at Chungdahm, teaching advice,

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