Your alarm went off ten minutes ago and you’re late. The bus comes to the stop in 5 and won’t swing through town again for an hour. You jump out of bed, grab your bag and run out the door. The elevator is on the 9th floor, but coming down. You may just make it. Luckily the apartment is across the street from the bus stop.
When you get to school you have 20 minutes before your first class begins, which is lucky because you just realized that in the rush you forgot to send the power point presentation you worked on to your school computer. From memory you start to recreate the presentation as Eunseo and Jimin come early to practice their reading. You can’t tell them no, so forget the GIF files, today may just be a good class for a more active game.
As the other students arrive your co-teacher isn’t present. That wouldn’t be an issue if you spoke fluent Korean, or today’s lesson wasn’t on the difference between the long E and short E sound. You wrack your brain for a way to cross the generational and language gaps between the 9 year old Korean kids in front of you. There’s 50 minutes left in class.
“Movie?” Seungchan’s ears perk up and you can feel the energy in the classroom change.
“TEACHER MOVIE!” The kids scream.
You were saving one for Christmas, but today’s close enough. It’s October, after all.
There is no amount of training that can really prepare you for every possible situation that will occur as you travel thousands of miles across the world to teach English in a foreign country. TaLK does it’s best, with weeks to train and prepare material, but every once in awhile you’ll find improvisational skills save the day.
Even on the “routine” days there’s an adventure to be had, whether it’s a kindergartner hiding in your closet, tomatoes in your fruit salad at lunch, or a weekend traveling to the North Korean border. If you’re someone who yearns for a life outside the norm, or wants to seriously broaden your horizons there’s no better job in the world than foreign English teacher. At first you’ll consider it a success if you can go to the grocery store without needing help from a stranger, but eventually you’ll know the ins and outs of the entire province, giving pointers to the new blood that comes every six months.
Don’t let excuses get in the way, with two years of college experience, a passport and an interview or two you could head to Korea for a job with the TaLK program. There you’ll meet others like yourself from other English speaking countries around the world and make the kind of friendships that will last a lifetime. I wouldn't trade it for anything, and neither will you.