hagwon

Teaching English in Korea – General Q & A


To Renew or Not Renew – A Pros and Cons List

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To renew or not renew…that is the question…whether tis nobler in the waygook to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous English teaching…okay I’m done.

But seriously, the question of whether or not to renew your contract with EPIK is basically the biggest decision you’ll make once you’ve landed in Korea. There are pros and cons to both outcomes, and just like everything else in life there is no universal right answer. It’s totally subjective and dependent on your specific situation. But as the list below shows, there are still pros and cons to consider for both options:


Find a Job Teaching English in Korea Through the Red Dragon Diaries

Three years have come and gone. I’m still here in Korea, and my time here has been filled with so many events and happenings, I can’t even begin to recall them.

One thing is for sure though, I started this blog while I was sitting in my dorm room for orientation and somehow I kept it going this long. I also made a bunch of videos on YouTube. If there’s one thing that the blog and YouTube channel did is they brought in many questions and comments from prospective teachers about how they too could get started teaching abroad in a country like South Korea.


Introducing Expat Extractors, LLC

by Fred Colton

Hey you, over there. Yeah, you—with the hoodie and pit stained T-shirt, hunched over that convenience store ATM seeing if you’ve got enough in the account for a one-way flight back to the motherland.

I’ve seen your type before. You’re one of those infamous night fliers, stealing softly away from Korea as if from a one night stand before sun-up, never to call or Kakao again. And you’re in good company, fellow expat. It turns out that all manner of folks are trying to get off the Korean peninsula, and not just the northern half.

So who are you, sir?

-Maybe you’re an ESL teacher, a hagwon hustler, who’s found the job to be a brutal, futile one, like dumping water into a bucket with holes in it?


I work at a private academy (called a hagwon [학원] in Korea) as...


















My hagwon (or “private academy”) went on a field trip to an...


















The Good, The Bad, The Impossible All Have Something to Teach Us

Hey, teachers, both ESL and good old fashioned first language educators: do kids annoy the shit out of you sometimes? Oh, absolutely! Children are unpredictable as hell. One day, the little angel can turn into a little asshole. Heck, they can do that in the span of one class. Then there are the ones who are never nice, the little sociopaths seem to want to stop at nothing to turn your psyche into a puddle of sad goo, waiting to be dumped into the nearest drain, flushed away with your self-esteem, hopes and dreams.

But not all experiences are like the bleak picture described above. If they were, I am not sure anyone would have the fortitude to withstand a day in a classroom, let alone a year. For those that could, you get my eternal gratitude, and any drugs I could find for you.

Even the assholes usually have a reason why they are assholes. And, like their swing toward terror from angel, terrors do occasionally swing back to angel, often unexpectedly.


Even We Are Never Forever

I wrote this on a bus ride after work the other day, following the news that three of our school’s favorite students, and some of the best conversationalists, had left the hagwon. One was somehow getting bad grades in school and his mom pulled him, while two decided to go to another hagwon. Those two didn’t tell me until the day was over. The other one didn’t tell me at all, I found out from his Korean teacher, who also was not told about any of them until that day.

And while students come and go, after spending nine months here and seeing them literally grow up over that time (they’re about 12), it felt like a little bit of the air was knocked out of me.


Travel Auteurs Interviews the Red Dragon Diaries on Blog Talk Radio

Recently I was contacted by Rich Gedney of Travel Auteurs on YouTube about a new project of his.  Rich had asked if he could interview me on Blog Talk Radio about my life teaching English in Korea as an expat.

Travel Auteurs is a new project where YouTubers from around the world are interviewed about their lives relating to filmmaking for their respective channels.


Hanbok Day at the Hagwon!

In the last post we highlighted the Chuseok gifts given to Evan by his students at the hagwon. For the Chuseok holiday Evan’s hagwon also had a day where the students and teachers all wear hanbok(traditional Korean clothes) and play traditional Korean games! This is a really common event at hagwons, but don’t expect any events like this at public school! (Unless you work at a really small school)

As Evan mentions in the video, this is a great example of a (one of the few) positives to having a private school job. You often get to participate in fun events, holiday parties, and get more one on one interaction with students than you do at at public school.

Check out Evan in hanbok, and his adorable students in our most recent video! :)


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