November 6, 2011

After School Program

I have been so busy I completely forgot to post about my new job. This is my "but, what do you DO there?" post, and can be read in contrast to my previous post on my hagwon job.

Now I am working for an after school program. This is similar to a hagwon, in that I do not work for the Korean public school system. It is different than most hagwons though in a few key ways. My employer is an agency that has contracts with many different public schools in Daegu, and they hire Korean and native English teachers to work at these programs. In general, each school has a native teacher one day a week and a Korean teacher for the rest. That said, their employees can end up going all over Daegu to work - sometimes five different schools a week! The biggest downfall is the commute. Some schools may be close and easy to get to, while others are a pain.

Personally, I live downtown, but my schools are far away. I commute for up to three hours four days a week, and thirty minutes each way for the fifth day. I work at one school four days a week - two days in each Korean teachers' class, and the fifth day at a different school on the other side of town. Each teacher has their own style of teaching and idea of what I am supposed to do - some only want me to review or play games, others want me to introduce new material and do more teaching. I try to do the best I can within their expectations.

I work at elementary schools, so my students are older than last year. They are also a lot lower levels, since they didn't go to an English kindy program. The classes are bigger - at most they can have twenty students, as opposed to the max of 10 at my old school. It is a mixed bag, and it is difficult to say which is "better," but I felt like my old job was a lot closer to a teacher's role in the US.

For those considering working for an after school program - brace yourself for the commute. You might luck out, but it isn't reliable. You can be moved to a new school at any semester break. They generally do not hire out of country - you have to already have been working in Korea AND be here for an in person interview. They pay well, better than most places - but you have to pay for the commute costs. Don't expect classroom resources, you probably won't have a copier, printer, paper, anything really. I am lucky if I have computer access and board markers. In general, the parents are less invested in their kids schooling, since they are paying so much less than hagwon parents. This is a blessing and a curse.

This is Shunnie, one of my co-teachers.

This is Noa, one of my co-teachers.

Noa had asked me to have a Halloween party, since it fell on my turn to teach her class this year. It was lots of fun, we played games and such. Here are a few shots from that day..

1 comment:

  1. Loved the update, but mostly the pictures. My favorite face painting was the 2 drops of blood!!! So with all your commute time have you been reading or what? I know you chat with Blair, but that is a lot of time.

    Love you.