My six month mark of living in Korea is almost here, which means I’ve already started thinking about what I’m going to do when I go home the beginning of next April. After a few weeks of thinking things over, getting advice from others, and doing some research, I’ve come up with a whole new game plan.
I should start by explaining why I’m coming home after one year and not staying for two years: 1) Long distance sucks and I would like to be able to see my boyfriend every day and 2) GEPIK, the program I got my job through, is cutting way back on the number of foreign teachers they employ. Us foreign English teachers are expensive, and there are a lot of us, so GEPIK has to cut down. So even if I wanted to renew my contract for another year, the only way I could stay is if my school paid for me out of their own budget, but I don’t think that’s feasible.
So what’s a girl to do when she returns to a country where there are no jobs for a college grad who has a B.A. degree in English? Go back to school. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Teaching English in South Korea has helped me to realize that I love teaching and it’s exactly what I want to do as a career: I love kids, I love English, and I love being able to help students succeed and make learning fun for them. Yes, there’s a lot of outside work that comes along with teaching, like grading and lesson planning, but I think that with a lot of careers come overtime and outside work. Plus, when I see that my students enjoy my lessons and are having fun while they learn, it makes all that extra time and effort I put in worth it.
Even though I’m currently an ESL elementary school teacher, that is not my main career objective; I want to teach high school English. In order to do this, I plan to apply to a few credential programs in the Sacramento area and *hopefully* start next fall. My original idea was to do an integrated credential/M.A. program where I could work on both simultaneously and be done in 15 months, but after talking to one of my college English professors, I decided against it:
“Applicant’s with a Master’s are more expensive. In these trying budget times, when schools are so strapped, being a more expensive novice teacher can really work against you. There are a lot of benefits to getting your credential now and then working on your Master’s while you’re teaching.”
Makes a lot of sense.
So that’s my plan. Wish me luck as I begin studying for exams like the CSET and CBEST. I’m still not even 100% sure if I’ll be able to apply for credential programs that start next fall while I’m in Korea, so wish me luck on that too. Regardless of when it happens, it’s going to happen, because I’ve already put my mind to it.