By Bryan Dalma
I started working as an English teacher right after I graduated from college in 2012. At first, I thought it would just be a temporary job as I am not really a teacher by profession. Looking back, I was a novice in so many ways but the English as a Second Language (ESL) industry embraced my raw skill in teaching and nurtured me to be as confident as I am right now. Able to handle students from beginner level to advanced, and from young learners to adult. “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” as they say, and that is how I see myself in my chosen career.
Ever since I started teaching, I have only taught Koreans. And being with them for almost eight (8) years now, I could say that they are the most adorable people I have met in my life. They are always eager to learn English, they take the initiative, and they show high respect to their teachers, not to mention their cuteness and very unique culture.
They are also very punctual, and that is something I learned from them. Because for them, every minute matters.They have this culture of “Pali Pali” which means “hurry up”. So, you can expect that they always want to do things quickly and efficiently. No wonder they have a very efficient transportation system and high speed internet connection in their country. And when it comes to English lessons they tend to ask for a more practical and faster method in learning the language. As an English Teacher who follows the science of teaching, it can sometimes be challenging so aside from teaching the language, you also have to make them realize the effectiveness of the process from basic to advance and of course, the art of waiting.
For those who are wondering if Filipino English Teachers can go to Korea and work there as English teachers, the answer is NO. We are not considered native English speakers so we are not legally allowed to work there. I was able to teach Koreans when I worked in an academy for Koreans in Manila, (they also come to the Philippines to study English) and later I shifted to work as a home-based online English Teacher. Let’s just hope that in the future, Korea will consider the competence of Filipino English teachers. While we are hoping for their doors to open for Filipino teachers, it is best to start establishing your career in teaching, such as attending Online TEFL courses, and getting work experience in the ESL industry. Meanwhile you may consider applying for other countries that accept non-native English speakers to work as English Teachers. Find them here.
Being an English teacher has blessed me so much. It is a very flexible job where it allows me to work from the comfort of my home so I get to have a work-life balance. Apparently, it is among the industries that continue to survive amidst the pandemic that the world is currently faced with. While the world quarantines, online English teachers continue to work. Moreover, as I said in a previous article, English is a never ending market of opportunities as people will continue to study English to catch up with the era of globalization.