This is the 2nd post in a 5-part series about how to make your EPIK job awesome! This one is really important. Doing your research into the culture before you come is vital to managing your expectations about the life you will have at your school. In general, but especially in regards to your job, it is important to be prepared for the unexpected. While in most situations there’s nothing you can do but accept it, there are a few tips I have to share that may alleviate some of the stress caused by last minute situations that can occur in your school.
Don’t take it personally
As you will soon find out, if you haven’t already, things are often done at the last minute in Korea. The workplace is no exception. Expect to be notified of an unplanned class, or a staff dinner, or of a “super important document” that needs to turned in, at what seems like the very last possible minute. My first piece of advice is to not take any of it personally. They are not singling you out, or not telling you on purpose. Either your coteacher just found out 2 seconds before telling you, or he/she is simply busy and forgot. Both are likely and shouldn’t be taken to heart.
My second piece of advice is to be proactive. There are some variables you can control here. Just in case you have a surprise class one day, make a folder on your desktop with ready-to-go lessons for each grade you teach. It can be a review lesson, or a themed lesson, a slang class, or just as simple as a downloaded movie ready to go! That way when your coteacher does drop the bomb on you that you have class in 2 minutes (…or 2 minutes ago!) then you can already have something prepared without stressing out too much about it! These lessons will also come in handy for the “in between classes,” as I like to call them. The period after final exams but before the new school year is the most likely time that your schedule will change at the drop of a hat. Some schools will make you continue to teach the book even after exams, but if not, I’d go for one of these lessons!
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