While we were at Lotte World last Sunday, my Korean friend asked me if I want to be an English teacher here in Korea. She is an English teacher in one of the schools in Gangnam. She is one of the earliest Korean friend I have here in Seoul and she has always been eager to do things for me. Sometimes, I feel her eagerness is too much but that’s just the way she is. Early last year, she asked her school to hire me on a part-time basis since I have a toddler to take care of. She also told the school that I am a Filipino and they were willing to take me in. All I had to do was say “yes”. All these she did without telling me first:-). Back to the present, she reported last Sunday that the Korean government is opening up its English education to Filipino teachers in the near future.
What did I get on my email today? An email from Koreajoblink.com with the subject “Philippine English Teachers for Korea“. The email is not offering a teaching job… not yet, anway. It is merely informing that the Korean public school system is planning to hire exceptional Filipino teachers to teach conversational English with the following qualifications:
- Bachelor’s or higher degree in education/English major (other majors may be possible)
- teacher’s license (or certificate)
- teaching experience (minimum 2 years)
- clean police record
From the email, Koreajoblink is already accepting resumes but it is very clear in the email that as of the moment granting teaching visa to Filipino teachers is not yet “100% decided”. I am sure this news will be promptly received with enthusiasm. I just hope that this will not give false hopes to those who THINK they are qualified.
Personally, I declined my friend’s offer to work in a school because:
- I don’t have a teaching degree (my law units is not tantamount to a teaching degree)
- I don’t have a teaching experience
I know that there are many Filipinos back home who are tutoring Koreans in several hagwons scattered across the nation without any teaching degree but I don’t think that’s enough credential to boast to come over. Let’s admit it, most tutors back home started as undergraduate working students. The ability to speak and write English well is not enough credential to teach effectively either. Neither is PASSION to teach. Bottomline is, there are credentials to follow. Classic example, Betchay of Buhay sa Korea took an expensive TESOL course in preparation for a teaching/academy management career.
From several blogs I read, there are very defensive Filipinos questioning the Korean government’s current decision not to employ Filipinos as English teachers. Some are very full of angst about the Korean government’s discriminating policy. My take is, if you don’t want to be discriminated why insist on coming over? Be somewhere where you will not be discriminated to avoid perennial whining:-) Peace! Hehehe. There is no room for BEGGING when you know you are qualified. It’s just like, you don’t beg Samsung or Procter and Gamble or San Miguel to take you in as an employee even if you have a long list of credentials in your resume. You look for a company which needs you and your credentials… or wait until your “dream company” has a position ready for you. But while they do not have one for you, don’t go around town full of angst and whining about your lack of oppotunity because of the discriminating policies within.
I also don’t think the chance to teach here in Korea is a battle between “white versus brown”. While the earlier program of Korea was not strict with teaching degrees from people from the United States, Canada and New Zealand it is undeniable that they have what we Filipinos do not have. Accent. The accent that Koreans want to have. While I personally do not think that accent does not make other people superior over us, we could not just overhaul the whole Korean way of thinking. If they want accent, let them go for it. It’s their money, anyway. They also go to the Philippines to spend money. We’re happy about that:-).
Anyway, the Koreajoblink email advises that in the meantime:
- Get your passport.
- Get references
- Check your criminal record
- Get familiarized with American accent and intonation
- Get more teaching experience