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  • empress
  • Explorer

    • 8

    • October 16, 2021, 06:06:51 am
    • Massachusetts
EPIK Personal Essay
« on: September 23, 2022, 10:30:09 pm »
Hello all!
I am writing my personal essays for EPIK rn, and I'm wondering how "fancy" I guess to go? I can get kind of flowery, and obviously there is a word limit so that'll stop me from going crazy, but I'm wondering who my audience is I suppose. Should I assume my audience has a good grasp of English? Or should I simplify my language a bit?
Any advice on how to write the personal essays would be great actually. I hate talking about myself and I have never taught before so the teaching philosophy question is particularly difficult.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2022, 11:11:24 pm by empress »


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

    • 3811

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: EPIK Personal Essay
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2022, 11:51:21 pm »
Write clearly and be straightforward.

A nice turn of phrase is great but flowery language won't help.

Don't talk down to the reader, these people are probably smarter than you, even if their English is middling at best.  You've probably heard here and/or elsewhere about lousy admins or co-teachers, and that is a true thing.  But it is not because they are stupid--passing the teacher qualification exams here is really really tough, and they are really really smart.  They just have personality issues, unhealthy attitudes, distrust of foreigners (possibly due to having been burned 10 years ago by some dumbass who got through the system when they were hard up for NSETs).  You can't change that.

This isn't ideal, and nowadays I think the hiring process is tough.  Put your best foot forward, talk about your accomplishments and your goals, but don't lie, don't do word salads, and stay away from witty remarks, puns, etc.

For people who've never taught before, I always suggest they think about a teacher or teachers that impacted them when they were students, and try to identify the characteristics that made them good teachers.  Write about the ways their model might help you be a good teacher, too.  Make it personal.

Just a few thoughts.

Good luck!


  • empress
  • Explorer

    • 8

    • October 16, 2021, 06:06:51 am
    • Massachusetts
Re: EPIK Personal Essay
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2022, 11:59:02 pm »
Write clearly and be straightforward.

A nice turn of phrase is great but flowery language won't help.

Don't talk down to the reader, these people are probably smarter than you, even if their English is middling at best.  You've probably heard here and/or elsewhere about lousy admins or co-teachers, and that is a true thing.  But it is not because they are stupid--passing the teacher qualification exams here is really really tough, and they are really really smart.  They just have personality issues, unhealthy attitudes, distrust of foreigners (possibly due to having been burned 10 years ago by some dumbass who got through the system when they were hard up for NSETs).  You can't change that.

This isn't ideal, and nowadays I think the hiring process is tough.  Put your best foot forward, talk about your accomplishments and your goals, but don't lie, don't do word salads, and stay away from witty remarks, puns, etc.

For people who've never taught before, I always suggest they think about a teacher or teachers that impacted them when they were students, and try to identify the characteristics that made them good teachers.  Write about the ways their model might help you be a good teacher, too.  Make it personal.

Just a few thoughts.

Good luck!

Thanks so much! I hope I didn't come across as condescending to Korean teachers, I didn't mean to, I just want to make sure I'm understood :lipsrsealed: They are most definitely smarter than me :laugh: I've had a lot of good teachers, plus my mom was a teacher for 10 years, so I totally have some people to pull from. Thanks again!


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5685

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: EPIK Personal Essay
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2022, 07:46:39 am »
Write clearly and be straightforward.

A nice turn of phrase is great but flowery language won't help.

Don't talk down to the reader, these people are probably smarter than you, even if their English is middling at best.  You've probably heard here and/or elsewhere about lousy admins or co-teachers, and that is a true thing.  But it is not because they are stupid--passing the teacher qualification exams here is really really tough, and they are really really smart.  They just have personality issues, unhealthy attitudes, distrust of foreigners (possibly due to having been burned 10 years ago by some dumbass who got through the system when they were hard up for NSETs).  You can't change that.

This isn't ideal, and nowadays I think the hiring process is tough.  Put your best foot forward, talk about your accomplishments and your goals, but don't lie, don't do word salads, and stay away from witty remarks, puns, etc.

For people who've never taught before, I always suggest they think about a teacher or teachers that impacted them when they were students, and try to identify the characteristics that made them good teachers.  Write about the ways their model might help you be a good teacher, too.  Make it personal.

Just a few thoughts.

Good luck!

Passing exams is more about habits and being really good at memorizing.  You'd be surprised how many straight A students walk away with average intelligence and are not deep thinkers when it comes to life.  Many have average IQ scores but can memorize and regurgitate well.  They also accept what the professor tells them at face value and goes with it.  Of course some are highly intelligent too.  Some folks with average test scores can be highly intelligent but aren't good memorizers or have their mind all over the place thinking of too many things at once.  It's really a measure of what you do in a job once working or how quickly you can think of solutions in a crises without simply going for the rule book inflexibly.  Anyways, this is off topic.  But when someone got great marks, okay, show me what you can do now before I will be impressed.  Remember a lot of so called smart Harvard and Yale people crashed the financial system in 2008 and are crashing it now with inflation and money printing.   Not so smart after all.
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are still blocked and I can't see them.


  • Augustiner
  • Expert Waygook

    • 626

    • December 06, 2021, 01:18:06 pm
    • Anyang
Re: EPIK Personal Essay
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2022, 12:08:20 pm »
Passing exams is more about habits and being really good at memorizing.  You'd be surprised how many straight A students walk away with average intelligence and are not deep thinkers when it comes to life.  Many have average IQ scores but can memorize and regurgitate well.  They also accept what the professor tells them at face value and goes with it.  Of course some are highly intelligent too.  Some folks with average test scores can be highly intelligent but aren't good memorizers or have their mind all over the place thinking of too many things at once.  It's really a measure of what you do in a job once working or how quickly you can think of solutions in a crises without simply going for the rule book inflexibly.  Anyways, this is off topic.  But when someone got great marks, okay, show me what you can do now before I will be impressed.  Remember a lot of so called smart Harvard and Yale people crashed the financial system in 2008 and are crashing it now with inflation and money printing.   Not so smart after all.

I sometimes think Hangook comes across as selfish, but here he comes and provides an example of how not to write for the OP.  How thoughtful providing OP with a reminder to proofread her writing.

OP, I would include something about preferring a student centric approach, rather than having a teacher centric one where they just listen to you.  That is something that always get positively remarked upon with my open classes.  They don't want to see you lecturing, but rather want to see the students' abilities activated.  I'd put in something along those lines. 


  • lonestar_mel
  • Adventurer

    • 25

    • January 03, 2022, 11:45:11 am
    • Asan-si, Republic of Korea
Re: EPIK Personal Essay
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2022, 01:35:01 pm »
Hi Empress!

I wanted to also let you know other options besides EPIK that is also public school! EPIK applications are quite tedious but if you want to go that route, answering the prompt questions clearly and concisely will be the best way. Flowering the response might cause the reader to get bored. Stick to the point and you should be okay!

With that said, I recommend you look into CNOE; this is the Chungcheongnam-Do Office of Education. The application process is MUCH easier and they are in higher demand right now. You won't have to write an essay, but they ask similar questions in the application and a video is required.

Good luck!


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5685

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: EPIK Personal Essay
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2022, 09:02:21 am »
I sometimes think Hangook comes across as selfish, but here he comes and provides an example of how not to write for the OP.  How thoughtful providing OP with a reminder to proofread her writing.

OP, I would include something about preferring a student centric approach, rather than having a teacher centric one where they just listen to you.  That is something that always get positively remarked upon with my open classes.  They don't want to see you lecturing, but rather want to see the students' abilities activated.  I'd put in something along those lines. 

I just made the mistake of clicking read on this.  So, I saw it.  Anyways, his trolling asides, my point is marks aren't everything.  A lot of people you think are smart aren't always as smart as you think.  When a crises hits or something outside of the playbook happens, they can't think their way out of a paperbag. 

As for an essay letter, I never had to do these.  So I am not sure what is involved, but I assume you blab on about liking kids, being a team player, teaching Sunday school or something.  I doubt they would verify whether what you wrote is true or untrue.  Stretch it on with real examples (real or made up), how you handled yourself, took initiative to solve a problem, handled conflict, etc. 

(I had done behavioral interviews in the west before.)
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are still blocked and I can't see them.


Re: EPIK Personal Essay
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2022, 09:08:43 am »
Handgoo's impressive cope with all the excuses on how he keeps 'accidentally' reading these ignored users posts. Put your arms down slenderman!


  • Augustiner
  • Expert Waygook

    • 626

    • December 06, 2021, 01:18:06 pm
    • Anyang
Re: EPIK Personal Essay
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2022, 09:17:06 am »
I just made the mistake of clicking read on this.  So, I saw it.  Anyways, his trolling asides, my point is marks aren't everything.  A lot of people you think are smart aren't always as smart as you think.  When a crises hits or something outside of the playbook happens, they can't think their way out of a paperbag. 

As for an essay letter, I never had to do these.  So I am not sure what is involved, but I assume you blab on about liking kids, being a team player, teaching Sunday school or something.  I doubt they would verify whether what you wrote is true or untrue.  Stretch it on with real examples (real or made up), how you handled yourself, took initiative to solve a problem, handled conflict, etc. 

(I had done behavioral interviews in the west before.)

The best thing you can do is not give tips on writing.  You don't write well at all.  The OP is fine.  Stop muddying the waters for her. 

Hmm...is this a deliberate attempt to get her to write some gibberish essay as part of your misguided mission to keep young teachers from coming to Korea?