Plan Z: Old news, semi-new news, and how I feel about teaching kindergarten

Plan Z. The first step in Plan Z was to get my TESOL certificate. Done. The second step was to enroll in grad school to get a master’s in TESOL. Well, I applied back in October, and the dicks at Sookmyung rejected me! Something about me being too dumb or looking too dumb or talking like a dumb person, I dunno. So Plan Z shifted to reapplying for the MA program in March, which would have meant starting classes in the fall, and during that time I’d be teaching at a school somewhere.

Well, I revised Plan Z again when The Princeton Review Korea (TPR) offered me a job teaching “Business English”. The work hours conflicted with my plan to start attending classes in the fall, but I figured a one-year contract with The Princeton Review would be good experience and look nice on the resumé. So they hired me, I signed their contract, and started attending training. Super! Until two days into training when they called and said “we’re a bunch of jackasses and can’t accurately gauge our own staffing needs, so you’re fired.” Ok they didn’t really say that, but that’s what I heard.

A few days later, on the Friday before the first week of the Korean spring school semester, I suddenly had a Skype interview with a franchise branch of a very big hagwon that shall remain unnamed on LIK for as long as I’m working for them, and I started work on the following Monday. I’ve been there for a full two weeks now and… surprise! …they haven’t fired me yet. Apparently they actually needed a teacher when they hired me. This job also conflicts with grad school but, after being un-hired by the dicks at TPR, I was so fed up with job hunting that I just said F it I’ll take the job. I still want the master’s degree but if it has to wait then it has to wait.

So I teach kindergarten children in the morning. KINDERGARTEN. These are kids who have snack time and cry because they miss their mommies. Do I hate it? Shockingly, no. I’ve always assumed that children that young would really drive me up the fucking wall, but they’re just too young to deliberately piss me off and the class material is too easy for any teacher to really screw up, plus they’re so goddam cute it’s hard to really lose my shit with them. I raise my voice quite a bit out of basic necessity (as opposed to unbridled rage) but it’s a relatively low-stress experience.

My afternoon classes are “older” students who range from elementary school to middle school students. These are the students who really test my fucking patience. Most of them know when to shut their faces, but a select few seem to think they’re so interesting and hilarious that shutting up would be akin to cheating their classmates out of something truly special. In other words, they’re just like I was at that age. Assholes!

Anyway, that’s where Plan Z is. Grad school is delayed a year and I spend my days publicly shaming children who openly pick their noses in class. Sometimes I even teach them English! And just for the record, I think that TESOL certificate really helped me in the job hunt. The idiots at TPR may not know what they’re doing, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have thought I was worth hiring without my very legit TESOL certification (because the rest of my resumé is shit). And the job I currently have, same thing… they contacted me, I didn’t contact them. Granted, their desperation was evident in the fact that they Skyped me like three days before I started working, but my resumé has been out there for a while and nobody ever approached me with job offers before I did TESOL, so I guess that was $2,300 well spent. Assuming I don’t get un-hired again, that is.

One of my morning students, clearly enthralled with the day’s lesson

posted by Michael in Whatever on 3/15/2014 | No Comments