Teaching ESL in Korea with a Kid
“I am a 51 year old American with a 9 year old daughter. Would I be able to bring my daughter with me if I got a teaching job in Korea?”
(I’m answering the question assuming you’re a single mom. If you’re married, your husband could home-school/take care of your child and none of the stuff I talk about below will be a problem).
It’s kind of a terrible plan for the following reasons.
What about School?
I certainly wouldn’t put a foreign kid into a Korean school for a host of reasons including: large class sizes compared to Western countries (ie: no one will hold her hand), inability/unwillingness of anyone in the school to speak English to her, Korean being quite a difficult language to learn for an English speaker, lack of communication between you and the teachers and finally, the biggest reason of them all: bullying.
Foreign teachers in Korea with kids leave before their kids enter school
It should say a lot to you that many English teachers here who are married to Koreans and have kids leave precisely when their kids get to school age because they don’t want them in the Korean school system.
Koreans are Not Kind to “Different”
She will most certainly be bullied by her classmates because in Korea, people seem to seize upon any and every opportunity to assert their superiority over just about anyone who is perceived to be inferior, of which your daughter most certainly will be due to her lack of language skills.
Teachers are also known to bully the weak and there was just a report in the news only a few months ago about a teacher being disciplined for her repeated bullying of a mixed race kid. But, here’s the thing: her punishment was less severe because she had won an award of some sort at some point in her career. Crazy. And certainly not recommended.
Korean Parents = All Kinds of Crazy Action to Avoid Korean Schools
Let it be indication to you that Korean parents are almost willing to give their left arm in order to get their kids out of the education system here. They’ve even been known to forge passports and other such crazy stuff to get their kids into international schools. Speaking of that…
Are you Independently Wealthy?
Where does that leave you? International schools? Also a pretty terrible idea unless you’re independently wealthy, which is probably not the case if you’re coming to Korea to teach English. They’re ridiculously expensive and are for-profit businesses so it’s unlikely that they’ll have lots in the way of scholarships, etc.
Home-Schooling? Not a Great Plan
Home-schooling? Yes, it’s possible. But, what is she going to do while you’re at work all day? Due to the language barrier, you’ll have kind of an impossible time finding someone to look after her. And assuming you find someone who can speak English, it will just be way too expensive and impossible for you to actually make any money after paying for that.
A 10 year old I guess could stay at home alone, but it’ll be pretty terrible in a foreign country when she’s totally and completely alone, would it not?
40+ ESL games and activities, delivered straight to your inbox: