Two years ago, I posted something about finding English teaching jobs for Filipinas who are F-2 visa holders. Until now, I still get emails asking for help in finding teaching jobs. I can’t give you guys jobs but I can give you some tips on finding teaching jobs ;p
This is only for Filipinos who are married to Koreans though as they have F-6 visa that allows them to work at any job. Remember that Korea is still not granting E-2 (foreign language teaching visa) visas to Filipinos.
You will need a resume in English and Korean. A proper ID photo. A diploma and every certificate of training that you have. The diploma should be sealed by the Embassy. A police clearance. A copy of your ARC and passport.
FINDING A JOB
1. Try online websites. However, we Filipinos are not considered “native English speakers” so if you find a job specifically looking for NSETs better be prepared to be rejected if you send them a resume. Honestly, the only websites where I posted my resume are ESL Korea and 훈장마을. I don’t remember ever applying directly to employers on both sites. Instead, I got calls for interviews. The Korean government site WORK is also helpful when looking for jobs in other fields.
2. Referrals. Tell people you know that you’re looking for a job. Just make sure you have a good relationship with them or they might think you owe them for life. A friend told me about a job opening and I called the hagwon and got the job. When I thanked her, she said she didn’t do anything. I understand her reaction because she’s a really good friend.
3. Welfare Centers or Village Offices. Your village office or welfare centers in your district accept resumes and they could refer you to employers, too. Give them a visit. Some welfare centers also have teachers training programs.
4. Online teaching. Another option is to do online teaching. This could be done by phone or through the internet. When I did phone teaching more than seven years ago, the rate was 60,000 won per student for a 10/minute a day and 20 days a month session. The company reimbursed the phone bill every month. I had a maximum of 32 students and worked for about six hours a day. I don’t know the rates now but what I know is that a lot of phone teaching companies are outsourcing their teachers from the Philippines. You might also want to check http://www.ontue.com to find students. I am not in any way connected with that company, I just heard about it. To find a phone teaching company, just type 폰영어 on your favorite Korean portal site.
5. 공부방 or private tutoring. Have yourself registered at the tax office and the education office so you could legally offer private tutorials at the convenience of your home. For a 공부방, the maximum number of students is 9. You could post advertisements at your apartment complex with the permission of your 관리사무소 or apartment management office. Read my entry on “kongbu bang” or private tutoring for more info.
6. Visiting Teacher. I wouldn’t recommend this as it doesn’t pay well and it could be tiring if you don’t have your own car. You might also have to work long hours. Companies like “Noon Nop-i”, Kumon, and Woongjin accepts Filipino employees.
How much can you earn from teaching? That really depends. Remember that the minimum wage in Korea is 4,580 won per hour. You should know how much your service is worth. Don’t accept a 20,000 won job if you think you deserve more. Don’t ever ask for 50,000 won per hour if you can’t offer a 50,000 won service! Just remember to negotiate!
Franchised hagwons pay well, at least based on my experience. You can get paid 30-50,000 won per hour for part-time work, or 2 to 3 million won for a full-time job. If you work full-time, you should get your health, pension and employment insurances plus a bonus after a year of work. You should also pay taxes ;p Depending on your hagwon, your job will include making evaluation reports and even 상담 or parents counselling.
Personally, it is less stressful to teach at a hagwon than to do private tutoring. That’s just my opinion based on my experience. At the franchised hagwon I worked for, we had books ready for use plus teacher’s books that I used for reference. We also had flash cards, posters and games so I didn’t have to prepare materials for my classes. At the hagwon I’m working for now, I have my own computer and printer plus a big flat-screen TV that I use for my presentations.
What I don’t like about teaching at a hagwon is that it’s difficult to ask for a vacation. The hagwon has a prepared schedule for the year so you get a vacation based on their schedule. Also, the schedule is a little late if you have a child. My full-time job started at 2PM to 8PM but I had to be at the hagwon at 1PM for a total of seven hours. I felt so guilty during that time that I was working full-time. I quit after more than two years for a vacation. When I came back, my wonjangnim offered me my former job. I had to decline though.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR STUDENTS
In general, a lot of the kids at a hagwon are there not because they want to be there. At my former hagwon, the maximum number of students in a class is eight. They are grouped depending on their proficiency so I could pace the class accordingly. I could recommend to my wonjangnim how long we could finish a book. At my current hagwon, the students are grouped based on their age so their levels are all different. And the only thing they want to do is to play games! I need to balance satisfying the parents’ requirement of answering the whole book, making sure they learn something and playing!
Students are excited whenever I tell them that we are playing a game (that should be related to the lesson). However, they would say that the game is “boring” when they are losing. Prepare to ignore the sore losers or encourage them by saying there is always a next time. Sometimes, it is also helpful to know about the background of your students so you could deal with them better. Also, learn about the things they like. I could get a lot of my girls talking when the topic is about music and Kpop. The boys lose their inhibitions about speaking when the topic is about computer games. Both girls and boys will loosen up when we talk about animation!
There will always be students who would not cooperate. Always be firm since you’re the teacher and they have to follow you. Never ever hit them nor say bad words in front of your students. Tell your wonjangnim about problem students or call their parents. When I had to make evaluation sheets, I made it a point to be careful with my words. No parent would want to know that their child is doing badly, but always be honest. Write about the child’s good point and what he/she needs to improve on.
Many students have asked me where I’m from. It’s a good thing that I never had to lie about my nationality. I always tell them I’m from the Philippines and that when I was younger, I couldn’t speak English. I had some students who would even ask me to teach them a few Tagalog words! Not every wonjangnim is like the ones I’ve had. I know a few people whose bosses would ask them to lie about their nationality.
Oh, don’t expect the students to speak English outside the classroom. I work mostly with Korean English teachers and they speak to the students in Korean all the time! Some would even conduct their classes in Korean! It’s quite frustrating when your job is to make them talk in English.
One thing I learned about Korean parents is that they would treat your child like their own. Just put this into your mind, treat your student like you would your own child. Still, remember that they are not yours so be careful about taking their pictures and posting them online without their parents’ permission. It is not your right and you could get into trouble doing so. (And no, I haven’t done this but I know someone who got into trouble for this!)
Remember that most of the things here are based on my experience. I don’t have a lot of experience teaching adults except for two people I tutored years ago and when I did phone teaching. I also don’t have an experience teaching preschoolers. I heard it’s fun but it requires a lot of preparation. I prefer to teach elementary and middle school students. It’s a lot more fun and personally more fulfilling.
Others might have a different experience from me. Would you care to share yours?