The BELTA blog has a new URL location

 

 

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YOU can check out The BELTA blog at its new online location http://www.blackeltabroad.com

 

It’s quite similar, the only difference is, if I’ve dropped the .wordpress.com extension in the URL. THAT’S IT… nothing drastic 🙂

o, and now you can join a forum / community chat to inquire, discuss, and learn about the various aspects pertaining to living and teaching abroad right from people who have done just that.

 

See you over there! And tell a friend and a stranger too :)D

Happy New Year – 2014 – 140 characters… literally

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February 10th – New Moon – Manifest what you need

Take the time out today to do whatever you do in order to manifest and will. If you don’t know what I’m talking about… then manifest the knowledge for yourself. “I will learn about manifesting and the proper way to do it.”

Love and Best Willings!

3 reasons NOT to move to South Korea

1. Germs

2. Weather

3. Kimchi & Rice quantities

1. Once you step foot off the plane, you may notice, especially if you’re from the states that most people here sneeze AND cough without covering their mouth. You may think its just a thing because they have bags in their hands OR they couldn’t reach in time… but I’m here to tell you otherwise. It took me a whole semester to get maybe 60% of my kids to cover their mouths without thinking about it or being reminded. You are bound to get sick, and when that time happens all you can think about is how that germ literally TRAVELED FROM someone elses insides into your nose canal or mouth and set up shop INSIDE of you. Nice thought isn’t it?!

2. I start this by saying, I went to Syracuse. I’m talking 4 12-month periods in what I usually refer to as the tundra. Well I’ve got news for you AND the “tundra,” this weather thats poppin over here is on an arctic level and it’s nothing to ____ with. You could come from the coldest part of the states and still not be ready for THIS type of cold. This out here makes no sense. Last week I heard about the -50 degree weather Russia was having and thought…  then we must be at -20 because I’ve felt NOTHING LIKE THIS IN MY LIFE. This is NOT for the weak or someone with health issues (like Anemia) where cold weather would cause a problem. O and regular heat inside of buildings is a thing of the past once you cross over that water. The heat may be turned on however working in cement buildings makes the inside colder than outside which the heating systems here DO NOT AND CAN NOT maintain warmth inside. Think Hard about it… seriously.

3. Koreans dont have breakfast in the way most westerners think of breakfast. Yes, they eat but they eat rice and kimchi. “What is for lunch today? O, rice and kimchi with various side dishes… ok great. Eating anything special for dinner? O, no? Just rice and kimchi? ok” Repeat this process 365 days of the year. Coming from the states and ESPECIALLY L.A., not having a variety of foods available at all times of the day and night is something I didn’t think existed anywhere on this planet. I was so used to it, however I now have witnessed and see that this is for real in not just korea but in MANY parts of the world. The diversity that I valued but didn’t place on a pedestal is now something I truly miss and mainly because of the food. You can go to Itaewon to get international cuisine but if you live outside of Seoul, that’s an hour – 5 hour ride for you. I haven’t eaten in the school cafeteria since September. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Korean food but I cant manage to eat rice and kimchi every single day at the same time, every-single-day. My advice, pack a lunch.

Look out for: 3 reasons why you SHOULD move to Korea

Is teaching with EPIK in South Korea really teaching?

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Update: Bookmark and visit the new online location for this bloghttp://www.blackeltabroad.com

Well alright… I guess I can no longer prolong this post ( or I’ve forced myself to get around to writing it rather)

The time has come for yet another intake for EPIK, Spring addition and mainly this post is more geared to those of you who are applying who have already taught, who have advanced degrees in teaching, have done the CELTA, and/or have 3+ years of teaching experience somewhere in the world OR who may want to begin a career in teaching and using EPIK to get your foot in the door… I’ve got news… ummm… yea, you won’t find it here.

Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing opportunity, it DOES still count on your resume as a year of teaching, you will walk away with some beneficial techniques (mainly for discipline and non-verbal communication) that you can use in the future, but as far as spending REAL time on lesson planning, innovating new ways to teach grammar (which will NEVER happen – I’ll explain why later), developing yourself as a teaching professional, and being able to add in depth lessons and the like to your arsenal of teaching magic… well just keep reading.

#1. You wont EVER teach Grammar! – EPIK doesn’t hire waygooks for that. They hire us for the cultural exposure for the kids and for them to come to your class “to play games. They have English 2 other times in the week in the other classroom”

#2. You see AT LEAST 120 Korean speaking kids in one day – There’s NO room for you to give the individual attention to lower-level students like real teachers in a small focused setting often do; there’s NO way to accurately assess your 4-5 classes a day and give the proper assignments for each to really help them advance in their English proficiency. Why? Because they come to your class “to play games”

#3. Odds are your co-teacher lesson plans by bookmarking the textbook in chronological order – I’ll tell you, after the CELTA I’m ready to tackle a lesson plan like nobody’s business, like adding the materials to it and everything! I don’t think my co-teachers could find me a template in the whole school if they wanted to. It’s just not the culture. My first experience was my main co-teacher coming around the table, showing me the textbook (on a Friday) and saying, “Mia, for Monday ummm we will do page this and that… ummm. speaking and listening. Can you do the warm up?”

#4. The only lesson planning template you may see will be on the application you filled out to get here – Enough Said.

#5. For my CELTA people, you’ll probably realize why you trained to teach adults – Don’t get me wrong, some days the kids are a joy and can be on their best behavior however, MOST days they aren’t. And having around 30 of them all at one time is the reason I go home tired every day. Not saying adults are better, but there’s a different level of discipline you will need with them. They SHOULD already know how to conduct themselves and usually non-Americans are far better acting (before you really get to know them) so you can spend time actually engaging with them and learning from them as well as teaching your students. Also too, the textbooks in Korea are less than decent. The cd’s and dialogues are really boring which also helps to push the kids to totally check out of what’s going on.

#6. The word that I frequently read when people speak of after school classes is “babysitting” – See #4. You won’t be conducting any MAJOR lessons so at times the job can feel like a form of babysitting. And I’ve worked at a daycare… trust me… I know what that looks like.

#7. It can’t be teaching when school dinners reign supreme over actual school – Korean principals, VP’s, Teachers, Head-teachers and everyone else goes hard in the paint when it comes to socializing in Korea. There’s been a blog dedicated to only the pictures of drunken Koreans (usually always men) laid out in the street, literally left for dead and just because you have a high-ranking job means nothing! When I first got here I was very hesitant on drinking around my principal and fellow teachers but then I was QUICKLY informed that drinking was a part of the culture and actually NOT drinking was frowned upon. No L7’s allowed here~

#8. “They have practice” – Practice for Sports Day, Performance Day, Get up and Dance day all take precedence over ANY and I mean ANY thing you may have going on. You could be giving the most important test of your students’ lives (or so you may think) and find out 10 mins before or 10 mins after the class has started that your kids are in music practicing violins for I can play violin day. It’s a major contradiction of the school is so important philosophy here when students will miss class in a flash for something that can show the school and kids off to their parents.

#9. The best time to start EPIK is in the Spring – You show up in the middle of the school year and you have to just pick up where the previous teacher left off. It’s definitely been a brow-raising experience because I can’t go backwards and teach the fundamentals of what they should already know because we HAVE to follow the book, and in the 5th grade textbook, learning nouns, verbs and greetings have “already been covered”

Word of advice: Don’t come here taking your “teaching experience” too seriously. They will make note of it but then it wont matter in 2 weeks. If you let it upset you, then I have no advice for you really. LOL I say if it comes to that, consider this a year for a break and possibly recharging. Spend your deskwarming coming up with techniques that you can use for sometime in the future.

Disclaimer: All scenarios are different. And I’m not saying all EPIK’ers who come to Korea have these experiences, however, this is a compilation of what I’ve read, heard, and have seen to be true.