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EPIK Self Medical Assessment & Cerebral Palsy
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WanderingEducator



Joined: 27 Dec 2012

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: EPIK Self Medical Assessment & Cerebral Palsy Reply with quote

Hi everyone. I am a newly certified teacher looking to teach English in South Korea through EPIK. I have all/most of the necessary qualifications (Masters degree, TEFL certificate, Teaching experience) but one thing that has been concerning me about my application is the EPIK Self Medical Assessment.

On the application, they ask about physical disabilities.

I was born with a mild case of Cerebral Palsy, which has left me with a slight limp. I am otherwise able-bodied and do not need any special accomodations. It has never impacted my working performance, but since it is somewhat noticeable I doubt it is something I would be able to reasonably leave off of the application.

Would EPIK deny my application on the basis of Cerebal Palsy/a slight limp? I am debating discussing the issue with my recruiter, though I've read here that some would advise against it.

Does anyone have any experience with EPIK/foreign teachers in Korea with slight physical impairments?

Thanks in advance!
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waynehead



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Location: Jongno

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the underlying medical issue is no longer a concern for you, I would avoid referencing it at all, and just mention casually the after-effect. Something like "I have a slight limp" would be much less likely to raise eyebrows. It's cruel, unfair, and just plain wrong, but if you reference a medical condition by name your application may not be accepted.
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PigeonFart



Joined: 27 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^------What he said.
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PigeonFart



Joined: 27 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^------What he said.
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WanderingEducator



Joined: 27 Dec 2012

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

waynehead wrote:
Since the underlying medical issue is no longer a concern for you, I would avoid referencing it at all, and just mention casually the after-effect. Something like "I have a slight limp" would be much less likely to raise eyebrows. It's cruel, unfair, and just plain wrong, but if you reference a medical condition by name your application may not be accepted.


So, Waynehead, just to clarify, you're saying that I should still reply "yes" to the "do you have any physical disabilities" question, but I should only mention the slight limp in my explanation?
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just say that you have no health problems. If it's only a slight limp, you can explain that away as a sports injury or something if asked later on.

You likely won't get the job if you admit to having CP. It's stupid, but it's the way it is here.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Answer yes and your application goes to the bin.

If there is NO issue (other than a limp) then say no.

IF there is a chance of a flareup then I am of the opinion that Korea may not be the best option.

Knowing that you are a certified teacher, masters, tefl and classroom experience it does however beg the question why you want to be an assistant to a Korean teacher in an entry level position when there are MUCH BETTER (entry level) OPTIONs for you to choose from.

http://www.tes.co.uk/jobs/ (pick a region on the planet)
http://www.ibo.org/ (apply to individual schools-not IBO)
http://www.searchassociates.com/ (fee to join)
http://www.edb.gov.hk/index.aspx?nodeID=1300&langno=1
public schools in Taiwan
International and bilingual schools in Thailand

etc.

.
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WanderingEducator



Joined: 27 Dec 2012

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttompatz wrote:
Answer yes and your application goes to the bin.

If there is NO issue (other than a limp) then say no.

IF there is a chance of a flareup then I am of the opinion that Korea may not be the best option.

Knowing that you are a certified teacher, masters, tefl and classroom experience it does however beg the question why you want to be an assistant to a Korean teacher in an entry level position when there are MUCH BETTER (entry level) OPTIONs for you to choose from.

http://www.tes.co.uk/jobs/ (pick a region on the planet)
http://www.ibo.org/ (apply to individual schools-not IBO)
http://www.searchassociates.com/ (fee to join)
http://www.edb.gov.hk/index.aspx?nodeID=1300&langno=1
public schools in Taiwan
International and bilingual schools in Thailand

etc.

.


Though visually it does not amount to much more than a limp, I don't think it would be possible for me to go to Korea saying I have no physical disabilities and convincingly pass the initial medical exam, able-bodied as I am.

I was looking to Korea mostly because I'm a big fan of Korean culture, and teaching in Korea would have been a good chance for me to get some money to pay off my student loans while getting the opportunity to live abroad. I had looked into Taiwan a while ago as well, but the mere fact that most of the teaching jobs there are essentially illegal didn't make me feel too comfortable.

I'll definitely look into other options too, but Korea is my top choice. How about applying to public schools outside of EPIK?

Thanks for your help, btw.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WanderingEducator wrote:

Though visually it does not amount to much more than a limp, I don't think it would be possible for me to go to Korea saying I have no physical disabilities and convincingly pass the initial medical exam, able-bodied as I am.

I was looking to Korea mostly because I'm a big fan of Korean culture, and teaching in Korea would have been a good chance for me to get some money to pay off my student loans while getting the opportunity to live abroad. I had looked into Taiwan a while ago as well, but the mere fact that most of the teaching jobs there are essentially illegal didn't make me feel too comfortable.

I'll definitely look into other options too, but Korea is my top choice. How about applying to public schools outside of EPIK?

Thanks for your help, btw.


PUBLIC school jobs in Taiwan are NOT the same as working in a bunch of dodgy buxibans (Taiwanese version of a hagwon). They require that you be a properly licensed and certified teacher with a clean background. They would be comparable to working in a proper, international school in many places. It is a government job.

The HK NET program also is far and away above what EPIK/GEPIK are. Again, valid teacher status in your home country is a minimum requirement and you would be working for the government as well.

It doesn't matter EPIK/GEPIK/other PS job or hagwan... the medical is the same and it is immigration who usually says "no" as a matter of policy regardless of your real abilities and level of handicap. You are not a citizen of Korea but applying to be transient labor (think white collar versions of Mexican fruit pickers).

You must really like Korea to go through all the crap to land an entry level job as a language assistant in a public school at $25k + benefits / year when you should be looking at substantially more than that for an entry level job as a proper teacher (US$36k + benefits in Taiwan, US$50-60k in HK).

Good luck.

.
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WanderingEducator



Joined: 27 Dec 2012

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttompatz wrote:
WanderingEducator wrote:

Though visually it does not amount to much more than a limp, I don't think it would be possible for me to go to Korea saying I have no physical disabilities and convincingly pass the initial medical exam, able-bodied as I am.

I was looking to Korea mostly because I'm a big fan of Korean culture, and teaching in Korea would have been a good chance for me to get some money to pay off my student loans while getting the opportunity to live abroad. I had looked into Taiwan a while ago as well, but the mere fact that most of the teaching jobs there are essentially illegal didn't make me feel too comfortable.

I'll definitely look into other options too, but Korea is my top choice. How about applying to public schools outside of EPIK?

Thanks for your help, btw.


PUBLIC school jobs in Taiwan are NOT the same as working in a bunch of dodgy buxibans (Taiwanese version of a hagwon). They require that you be a properly licensed and certified teacher with a clean background. They would be comparable to working in a proper, international school in many places. It is a government job.

The HK NET program also is far and away above what EPIK/GEPIK are. Again, valid teacher status in your home country is a minimum requirement and you would be working for the government as well.

It doesn't matter EPIK/GEPIK/other PS job or hagwan... the medical is the same and it is immigration who usually says "no" as a matter of policy regardless of your real abilities and level of handicap. You are not a citizen of Korea but applying to be transient labor (think white collar versions of Mexican fruit pickers).

You must really like Korea to go through all the crap to land an entry level job as a language assistant in a public school at $25k + benefits / year when you should be looking at substantially more than that for an entry level job as a proper teacher (US$36k + benefits in Taiwan, US$50-60k in HK).

Good luck.

.


Thank you for the invaluable feedback, ttompatz.

Indeed, Taiwan and HK definitely do seem like enticing options, but wouldn't I still run into the same issues regarding my mild CP in those places just as I would in Korea? Or are they not as strict about that kind of stuff in other places?
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rollo



Joined: 10 May 2006
Location: China

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HK not as strict and there is not such an emphasis on looks and image. I think you could do okay in Korea but i think you will be asked about your limp constantly and do you always want to be fibbing. Good luck whatever you decide to do.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WanderingEducator wrote:
Thank you for the invaluable feedback, ttompatz.

Indeed, Taiwan and HK definitely do seem like enticing options, but wouldn't I still run into the same issues regarding my mild CP in those places just as I would in Korea? Or are they not as strict about that kind of stuff in other places?


Not "not as strict" but perhaps a bit more "enlightened" and not as "focused on image" and more "focused on quality".

That is not however to say that other jobs (outside of the government or international school jobs) in those same countries don't have the same issues as hagwons in Korea. Taiwanese buxibans may have a different name but the crud is the same.

The nice thing about NET in HK and Gov't jobs in Taiwan is that you don't need bucket loads of prior experience post certification. They are great, entry level jobs for newly certified teachers.

.
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WanderingEducator



Joined: 27 Dec 2012

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttompatz wrote:
WanderingEducator wrote:
Thank you for the invaluable feedback, ttompatz.

Indeed, Taiwan and HK definitely do seem like enticing options, but wouldn't I still run into the same issues regarding my mild CP in those places just as I would in Korea? Or are they not as strict about that kind of stuff in other places?


Not "not as strict" but perhaps a bit more "enlightened" and not as "focused on image" and more "focused on quality".

That is not however to say that other jobs (outside of the government or international school jobs) in those same countries don't have the same issues as hagwons in Korea. Taiwanese buxibans may have a different name but the crud is the same.

The nice thing about NET in HK and Gov't jobs in Taiwan is that you don't need bucket loads of prior experience post certification. They are great, entry level jobs for newly certified teachers.

.


What would be the best way to apply for government/public school jobs in Taiwan? The recruiting sites I've seen seem to place you in buxibans, or at least teaching kindy illegally. Are there any recruiters/web sites you would recommend, or is the application process completely different?
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there were lots the last time I looked. It just takes some time to work through the chaff ....

Simply google "Taiwan government school jobs".
Job listing sites like this one will come up: http://www.careerjet.com.tw/public-school-jobs.html
and there are the usual run of recruiters:
footprints
teachaway
etc.
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kinship



Joined: 24 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
IF there is a chance of a flareup then I am of the opinion that Korea may not be the best option.


Just to make a clarification. Cerebal Palsy is a lack of oxygen at birth which causes different levels of disability depending upon the amount of time the baby is without air and it does not 'flare up' at any inconvenient time. It is a permament and specific disability

OP, if you think you can't pass the medical then look to another country and spare yourself any problems that may arise if you fail. If you want to come to Korea, then I would explore other options other than teaching.
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