At my school and many other hagwons like it, we have this ‘neat little’ event called “OPEN CLASS.” From it’s name, I thought back to the days at my elementary school when Dads would come and have lunch or we’d have an evening of “Open House” and we could show our parents around the school. However, I am quickly shaken back to reality and discover that open class is no more than a little show we put on for the parents. Last year, I made the big mistake of not knowing what I was getting into, but I’m a year wiser now and knew what to do.
My co-teachers and I prepped the kids in song and dance. I worked on the best and flashiest flashcards that would WOW any kinder right off their feet! I made everything coordinate and match to satisfy my crazy need for… well… coordination! It was a sight to behold and would make any kindergarten teacher said, “OOooo” and even “Aaahh!”
One class was perfect and it was so fun, the other was… let’s just say, “too silly” and made it more difficult to finish the lesson in time.
Now maybe I can finish this cold and be well enough to enjoy Halloween!!
A day in the life of a currently over-worked English teacher. We had a “seminar day” which my school used as a field trip day with the kinder students and their families!
The kids finally show up and they play a game with their families. They had to stack a pile of rocks as high as they can without it falling. You see little rock piles along trails in Korea when you’re hiking. They say if you add a rock to the pile and make a wish it will come true if the pile doesn’t fall; however, if the pile falls your wish and the other wishes won’t come true.
So as many know I’m the arts and craft teacher for 9 of the 10 kinder classes at my school. In what most here call “baby class” we made neckties. Which means they colored some paper and I taped it together. Just so you know, baby class isn’t a mean name because they are babies. They’re Korean age five so that mean they are actually three or four years old. They are a handful because they are babies and they don’t speak any English… yet. Some can say little phrases but before long they’ll be savvy little English speakers. Last year’s baby class really impressed me last week because they were talking to me in full sentences. I was like, “Wait! When did you learn English?!?!” So the hagown system really work. It’s just hoping they can keep the knowledge they learned. However, we made a friend here that actually went to the same ECC that my friend Jamie teaches at and his English is great and he’s 20-something. So I guess there is something to be said about English school.
Anyway these kiddos enjoyed the neckties especially once little Daniel noticed they look like swords. Then we had a class full of models and Power Rangers. Awesome.
You like the pictures? I’m learning more and more with my new awesome camera too!
This is J Class. We’re headed into the playroom to wait for Santa. It was pretty fun except the teacher that played Santa is this class’ main teacher so they could tell it was “Tyler teacher!!” Oh well they still got presents!
Even thought this Christmas was spent far away from home I had a great Christmas. I’m luck to have made so many great friends here. And Christmas is a lot more fun with a bunch of kids.
This seemed to be the most difficult thing to do out of this whole process. But Chad, Jamie, and I finally got our E-2 work visas!! They look so awesome and official. They even have a little golden embossing on it! We had lots of trouble with communication problems with the secretaries at the Korean Consulate in Houston, TX. They would never talk to us for more than a few minutes, never fully answered our questions, hung up on Chad several times, and accused me of being rude, when I was nothing but polite. Then once we got there the secretary was texting and messing around, being completely unprofessional, and took her sweet time to help any of us.
Yet, the other employees there were nice and polite. And the man we all interviewed with was super nice and sweet. So in the end after jumping though hoops, dealing with that rude secretary on a power trip, and having to fly all the way to Houston AND back, we got our visas. We’re official, we’re going to Seoul, South Korea, departing Monday July 19th, from Will Rogers World Airport!
Papers papers, oh these poor trees! Well it’s no lie it’s a long process to get a job teaching English in South Korea. For those that are interested in teaching make sure you have your paperwork before you start sending out your resume. It will make things move faster if you already have your paperwork! Before you can work in a foreign country you need a work visa. For me I need a E-2 work visa (E-2 is for English teachers)
But the thing is before you make money you have to have money. (Thank God for my mom, she’s been so supportive and helpful to me and Chad.) Here is the run down of the documents, how to get them and most importantly THE COST!
1.) Diploma- no cost but you have to pay off your final Bursar bill which can be a lot if you’re not careful. If you don’t want to send them you original diploma you can get it copied, notarized and apostilled which can cost over $25 so we just send our originals, you do get the originals back)
2.) 3 sealed and stamped transcripts- at OSU it didn’t cost and I got 5 just in case. You need 2 to send to your company and 1 to send to the Korea Embassy/Consulate (for those that don’t know a consulate is like a mini embassy that deals with smaller matters like visas, my closest one is in Houston)
3.) Passport- if you have one that’s great, some companies won’t even talk to you if you don’t have a passport. If you don’t have a passport you need to go to your local passport agency (usually the post office or city hall) it cost about $7 to get passport photos at Wal-Mart, $75 for the passport fee and some place charge a processing fee which we had to pay $25.
4.) Criminal Background Check- In Oklahoma it cost $15 to get the background check, this you have to get at the OSBI, then we had to go to the capitol building and get it apostilled by the Secretary of State’s office. (Apostille a way of legalizing a document for international use) Apostilling documents in Oklahoma cost $25 per document! That’s one of the most expensive in the US (yeah… thanks a lot Oklahoma…)
5.) 7 passport photos- We had to send 5 to the company we’re working for and have 2 for the Korean Consulate. (We got ours at Wal-Mart they only charged $7 for the passport photo fee and only charged per photo sheet about the price of a photo greeting card) That totaled about $9
6.) Contract with School and E-2 visa Health Statement- both were emailed to us and you just have to print out and sign. Just the cost of paper
7.) You Resume- make sure it’s good and looks nice, I’m sure somewhere in college someone taught you about resumes. (If you want resume help, I’m a total pro!)
Thus far with the paperwork above it may run you close to 200 bucks! Plus mailing these documents to your school can cost over 100 buck. So far it’s been about $300 each to get this paperwork done and sent. Not to mention the $45 visa application fee. (but the school reimburses you for that)
Chad and I are very excited to go, the company is great and they even worked out things so I can bring my cat Pepper!! Well that’s just a basic run down of the documents we had to get so we can go. But FedEx has them now and we’re on our way!!