This information is for those Filipino/Filipina who are spouses of Korean nationals. I constantly receive emails from Filipinas married to Koreans asking me to help them find English teaching jobs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t answer all emails and I also couldn’t find them a job since I’m also busy.
When I first came here, F-2-1 visa holders were not allowed to work as English teachers legally, although hagwon owners still hired them (us). It wasn’t until a few years ago that the government allowed F-2-1 visa holders to work at any job without asking permission from the immigration office.
While we are now legally allowed to work as English teachers, the challenge is now about finding a job. It is quite annoying to visit popular job listing sites as they usually require that one be a native English speaker. Why bother applying and be frustrated later that the recruiters wouldn’t even look at your resume? Oh why use a recruiter and why not just apply directly at hagwons?
If you want to get a better chance at landing a job, learn Korean. That way you could negotiate better and it gives you an advantage too that others may not have. Parents like it when they could talk to their children’s teacher. Even if you struggle with your Korean, they would always appreciate the effort.
Before I worked at a hagwon, I worked for a phone teaching company. It’s the same one you see that has the “English Interpretation” on taxis. However, they required that I use an accent that is close to North American. I never had a problem with the company or with the work. Phone teaching isn’t very stressful since I listened most of the time rather than talk.
I took the TESOL Certificate Course at Sookmyung University in 2008. After attending the job fair sponsored by the school, I received job offers from two of the three schools I applied to. I had to beg off though since I couldn’t work full-time.
In January, I got a call from another employer even if I didn’t apply for a job. Since the employer seemed nice and the working hours was from 12-6 PM, I agreed to work for him. I quit after two weeks when I saw the change in my son’s attitude when he had to stay at the day care for more than eight hours.
When my son and I came back from our US vacation in July, I posted my resume one week later (on a Monday) at a Korean website. I received my first call after clicking on the “확인” or submit (the resume) button on the site. I remember that I had a total of six requests for interviews that time but I only attended three. When I met my current wonjangnim, I decided to work for her. I didn’t even think about the distance that I have to travel between home and work. It was important for me that I get along with my employer. I’m now working at my hagwon for more than a year and I’m happy.
For those of you who are still trying to look for an English teaching job, you could post your resume at Korean websites like 훈장마을. That’s where I posted mine.
Just remember that your responsibility as a teacher doesn’t end in just attending to your class. Your satisfaction should come from the fact that your students are learning from you.