I always smile when I think of the story of two people I happen to know talking in a staff room in Turkey. One of them had just left South Korea after teaching in that fine nation for a few years and the other’s connection to Korea was mostly through people she knew and interacted with online. This teacher who had never been to Korea (though she’ll be warmly welcomed when and if she can make it!) had an extremely positive impression of English teachers in Korea. She was thinking of what she saw as plentiful opportunities for PD and overall professionalism and commitment to the craft of teaching from English teachers. This might not sound like a common description of teachers (especially foreign teachers) in Korea but it’s the impression she had. I think foreign teachers in Korea often have (and yes, often earn) a not-so-great reputation. There can be a lot of debate about how and if this not-so-great reputation is earned. One thing I am pretty sure of, though, is that there is a lot of professional development opportunities available for English teachers in South Korea. That is the subject of my brand new post over at the KOTESOL non-blog article collection something.
Go on. Click it.
I realize in the post (which can be found here and you really need to click on if this post you are currently reading is to make any sense!) I might have given an overly cheerful analysis of things. I can even sense the eyes of a few friends rolling as they think something like, “Yeah there are opportunities but you need to be in the right situation to get the most of these opportunities” and “It is easy for those who don’t teach 40 hours a week to talk about professional development opportunities” and “C’mon, Mike, I know you are not that positive or optimistic about everything” and “Yeah there are opportunities but employers don’t care as much as they *should about teachers’s PD.” I suppose I’d concede all these points while maintaining there are a lot of opportunities for PD for English teachers in Korea.