I get a lot of questions about teaching in Korea. It’s one of the reasons that I have a playlist devoted to those questions and topics. In fact, I even make a point to address some of the more common ones on the Vlog Channel. However, one of my friends has taken this a bit further and written a book.
Teaching in Asia: Tales and the Real Deal is the first outing for this self-proclaimed enthusiast of social media. As a result, he’s been sharing the information for years between his numerous blogs and YouTube channels. Kevin was kind enough to forward me a copy of the book to review and I sat down at my desk and read it in one go. It’s that quick and good.
The first thing many do when deciding to come to Korea or Japan to teach is hit up the Internet. While it was easy to find information in 2000, in 2012 there’s just so much out there – people can literally become paralyzed reading all the search results. Teaching in Asia takes Kevin’s 10 year history of teaching ESL abroad and places it in one location. Sure it provides links to several reputable sources, but for me, the strength of the book comes from the Tales portion of the subtitle.
Anyone can go to Google and research about recruiters, schools, and life abroad. That’s not hard. However, very few do a good job of sharing those experiences. In this book, Kevin shares stories about first arriving in Korea and candidly explains that he may have made a mistake. He goes through many of the ups and downs of teaching in different schools. That’s what I found most valuable, since it was new information and something that many can relate to and act as a guide should someone be placed in that position.
With so much information out there, days can be lost researching just what to do. Teaching in Asia: Tales and the Real Deal provides a good framework for answering the most common and burning questions in an entertaining way. Sitting down to read it won’t take more than three hours and the information you’ll glean from it will easily save that much time or more than if you were conducting the research yourself on the ‘net.
Teaching in Asia: Tales and the Real Deal is available in the Amazon Kindle Store. It’s less than $6 and certainly worth picking up if you’re thinking about teaching in Korea or Japan. I don’t get anything out of a sale, but think it’s a good buy if nothing more than for reading his stories.
About the author: Kevin O’Shea was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada. Before making the move to South Korea in 2002 to teach, he worked in the Electronic Game Development industry. Kevin taught in both Seoul and Busan, South Korea for more than five years before returning to Canada to become an elementary school teacher. He now works as a teacher at an international school in Japan where he lives with his wife and son. When not writing, Kevin is blogging, video blogging, spending time with his family and running marathons (literally).