Having to stay late at school is one of the biggest complaints among EPIK teachers. On one hand I think that if were possible for EPIK teachers to go home early after classes it would really help out the program, but on the other I don't believe that it would be well received by the Korean teachers.
Most EPIK teachers teach at more than one school. Some teach at one or two, others at more than one a day each day of the week. Part of me wants to say that for that reason, EPIK teachers should be allowed to go home early. But on the other hand, EPIK teachers are spared the administrative burdens that every Korean teacher has to deal with on a daily basis. EPIK teachers also don't have to hassle with the exams. EPIK teachers also get return airfare and paid accommodation and aren't even required to have a teaching degree.
Here it is, what you all have been waiting for: your chance to bitch about EPIK...just kidding. Post here about problems you have experienced with the EPIK Program and be sure to let people know which POE it was so that they can better chose which POE they want to go to. You can also use this space to write about how the program can be improved so we can submit a recommendation manual to both every POE and the main EPIK office.
Does you EPIK POE do something good? Write about that too so it can be included in the list of suggestions for the program as a whole.
I know a lot of people are asked to teach afterschool classes. I was asked to do this and I'm having a lot of fun with it, as it is a group of students who WANTED to do it, and it is a small class (two classes of 10 each right now), so it's easier to get through material. I would think it would be harder for those who are not with a co-teacher and don't know Korean, as I find that I have to use a lot of Korean during mine. I'm not sure if my school didn't put a co-teacher with me because I know Korean or what, but I'm guessing co-teacher's wouldnt want to stay late as Korean teachers have their hands full enough, as is! ;)
I'm really happy with my class, but there has been a lot wrong with it. For starters, there wasnt really a focus to the class, because it was just a "conversation" class and most of the basic conversation things you would teach are in their text books. I wanted to do other stuff and I've been having a good time, using my native skills with double meanings, humor, idioms, etc. I did ask the kids what they wanted to learn in the class, but they didn't really know. Thus, my lessons are all "conversation" based, but vary from week to week. This is fine I think and the classes have been going really well, but I'm thinking that with my next set I'm going to get a better group going.
There have been a lot of English camps going on around the country, a lot with joint schools working together. I know a lot will also go on during winter break, but there are always some during random weekends, as well.
I have done 2 of them so far and they are a lot of fun. I can totally understand teaching all week and then wanting the weekends off, but it can be a good way to travel a bit and get a refreshing new bunch of kids who are so excited to have you (as maybe they don't have a native teacher). Also, it's a good way to try different levels of kids. The first camp I did was a elementary school, and I teach at a junior high. This showed me that the elementary kids are very bright, a little more loud than my kids, which I live, but overall, I think I would stick to middle schoolers. I would like to try a high school camp though, as I think it would be interesting to see the difference in level (hopefully higher!).
Post here about your EPIK pay. Is it on time? Do deductions coincide with what is written on your contract? Are your questions taken seriously and answered in a timely manner or are they brushed aside?