Return to the RoK
Where March and April felt unbelievably slow, I’m going to say May will go by rather quickly. My preparation to return to Korea is nearly complete. I am currently awaiting my renewed passport before going to San Francisco at the end of the month for my second Korean visa, provided all things work out with my soon-to-be employer.
I found it amazing how much simpler the research and application process was my second time around. I knew exactly what I wanted out of a potential school: the areas I’m familiar with, the pay that would appropriately reflect my educational background, better living conditions, and an environment in which the teachers were passionate about their jobs. I went through ESLcafe.com and clicked on everything that sounded like it would fulfill my criteria. I contacted about four or five different recruiting agencies to see what they could offer me, emailed principals of schools directly, and basically made sure I had plenty of options to choose from. Compared to the first time I experienced finding a job through a recruiting agency, I wasn’t anxious about anything at all, save for the possible living situations. I knew my worth in the market now, and I really enjoyed being able to talk frankly and directly with the principals of a few schools having already had a year’s experience in Korea. I had some very good conversations with the director of ONE English, which was another promising option. If any experienced teachers are looking for work in Korea, check them out and inquire about positions. The staff have been there for years.
This time around, I worked with Bonnie from OK Recruiting. She’s been very prompt and attentive, especially when making sure a current foreign teacher was in contact with me about his experiences. Bonnie understood the concerns I put before her and endeavored to see they were addressed.
I signed my contract with KCTY in early April. My departure date is tentatively set for June 13, 2013. And while I have yet to see my new living situation, everything else appears to be what I wanted. I’ll be living in the Bundang area, with the expected quick access to the subway system, and some really beautiful park areas. I’m not sure how I’ll manage my running schedule, but at least there will be some trees nearby, which says a lot about the location. The teachers that work at KCTY all have teaching experience and/or are certified teachers, and the work environment is said to be quite positive. I also like that many of the teachers have been there for a few years. The school is another hagwon, so the classes will be of similar size to SLP. One week’s vacation in the summer and one in the winter. There are a couple professional development sessions on Saturdays, but since that’s about three for the whole year, it should be fine. I asked to continue teaching the preschool aged children, so my working hours will be 09:00-19:30 with a long lunch and a nice chunk of prep time for the afternoon classes.
I’m so excited for this brand new, but familiar, adventure! I’ll be returning with a different pair of eyes, experience, and a small grasp of hangul, to a new school with new kiddos. I’ll be able to do the things I didn’t make time for before. Just making it happen right now, even the whole document process, it’s just so FREAKING EXCITING for me!