December 15, 2017, 10:01:03 PM

Author Topic: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February  (Read 8462 times)

Offline Pecan

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #80 on: December 06, 2017, 10:38:46 AM »
I have never said anything suggesting our experiences should be the same.  Our contracts might be.  The public school mandate is the same...we should be working ourselves out of a job by encouraging and empowering our counterparts to take on more and more of the class time.

Yes you do mention this quite a lot.  I've got no idea where this comes from though.  The handbook?  I've never heard this from anyone other than you.
Are you being serious?  (sorry it is hard to tell with all of the trolls lurking about)

What do you think the objective/goal was for bringing us over here?

Offline 미국인병

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #81 on: December 06, 2017, 10:40:36 AM »
Are you being serious?  (sorry it is hard to tell with all of the trolls lurking about)


I haven't noticed any.

Offline koreakorea

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #82 on: December 06, 2017, 10:42:59 AM »
I have never said anything suggesting our experiences should be the same.  Our contracts might be.  The public school mandate is the same...we should be working ourselves out of a job by encouraging and empowering our counterparts to take on more and more of the class time.

Yes you do mention this quite a lot.  I've got no idea where this comes from though.  The handbook?  I've never heard this from anyone other than you.
Are you being serious?  (sorry it is hard to tell with all of the trolls lurking about)

What do you think the objective/goal was for bringing us over here?

Absolutely serious. 

I'm having trouble understanding why you think we're brought over here to ensure the KETs teach more of the class.  Can you explain?

Online DMZabductee

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #83 on: December 06, 2017, 10:54:16 AM »
I have never said anything suggesting our experiences should be the same.  Our contracts might be.  The public school mandate is the same...we should be working ourselves out of a job by encouraging and empowering our counterparts to take on more and more of the class time.

Yes you do mention this quite a lot.  I've got no idea where this comes from though.  The handbook?  I've never heard this from anyone other than you.
Are you being serious?  (sorry it is hard to tell with all of the trolls lurking about)

What do you think the objective/goal was for bringing us over here?

Absolutely serious. 

I'm having trouble understanding why you think we're brought over here to ensure the KETs teach more of the class.  Can you explain?

I get Pecan's point, and maybe that is the goal in the mind of the bureaucrats somewhere, but the experience on the ground for the majority tends to be that the more competent the NET is, the less the KET does (or wants to do).

Maybe someone should give a copy of THE HANDBOOK to the KETs at my school, as they seem blissfully unaware of the objectives. They should have plenty of time to read up on the purported goals of the NET program while I teach the classes  :wink:

Offline parkerynp

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #84 on: December 06, 2017, 10:55:35 AM »
Quote
The public school mandate is the same...we should be working ourselves out of a job by encouraging and empowering our counterparts to take on more and more of the class time.

I work at 3 public schools (2 HS and 1 Mid) and my experience has been the exact opposite.  On the flip side, my CT's have so much paperwork and other bureaucratic BS to deal with I would feel bad "encouraging" them to take over a majority of the class time.  And I imagine that if I mentioned the "mandate" in our contract I would experience an enormous amount of passive aggressive behavior that it wouldn't even be worth the conversation.  I like the fact I'm helping them with their enormous work load.

You're situation (pecan) must be very unique. 

Offline parkerynp

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #85 on: December 06, 2017, 10:59:49 AM »
Orrrrrrr

I am being lied to about the amount of paperwork and other responsibilities they have and I have chosen to believe my CT's proclamations of being overworked. But its whatevs...my CT's like me and my work relationship has been positive.

Offline Dave Stepz

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #86 on: December 06, 2017, 11:08:38 AM »
Orrrrrrr

I am being lied to about the amount of paperwork and other responsibilities they have and I have chosen to believe my CT's proclamations of being overworked. But its whatevs...my CT's like me and my work relationship has been positive.

That's how it should be.  I teach in high school and generally, I'd be pissed off if I were them because they have to or are expected to work late.  This semester I've taught night classes from Monday to Thursday and now we are in December, I'm tired, but I can have three weeks of holiday in the winter.  They can't.  I take as much of the burden off them as possible, I plan and teach my own classes, and they come along and participate.  This semester for one of the level 2 classes, we do the uni entrance test texts, so I make the worksheet with enjoyable intros and follow-up activities.  My co-teacher does her translation part because she will put that text in the test, so she knows what she has taught the students when making the questions.  We always have a tooing and froing in class too, which is great.  All in all, our system works really well. 

To me, elementary was the absolute worse for co-teachers being a pain in the ass, and when I taught middle I had total control.  I'd also add that, to me, elementary teaching is the biggest waste of money with regards to native speakers. 
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 11:11:39 AM by Dave Stepz »

Offline Pecan

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #87 on: December 06, 2017, 11:48:15 AM »
I'm having trouble understanding why you think we're brought over here to ensure the KETs teach more of the class.  Can you explain?
I think you've misread something or are simply yanking my chain.

I never stated the above with regards to the KETs teaching more.

The contracts are boilerplate, so we can be utilized however each school and their staff see fit.

That said, the goal has ALWAYS been to work ourselves out of a job.

When this program was started in '95, it was established to help the Korean English teachers to get up to speed and be able to teach English in English in the classroom, and the rest was born from that.  "Experts" were supposed to come and show them.  It was only ever a stopgap measure.

Sorry, but I'm really struggling to understand why this is so incredibly difficult for a few of you to grasp.

We used to cover this in orientation.

The reality on the ground is sure to be very different for many of you, but that is NOT the point.

The objective and goal has never changed since I first arrived here 22+ years ago.

If you are in the country and your position is to teach elementary with homeroom teachers who can't speak a lick of English, the obvious thing would be to take the lead of the class.  Make a plan with your coteachers for how to transition, so by the end of the year, THEY are leading (it make take longer, but the point is that the responsibility should shift at some point).

Obviously, if you aren't worth a darn to begin with, not sure what, if any sort of help you would be with guiding them  to become better teachers, apart from giving them a free period (that isn't aiming low, but it's failing to start).

Again, ever situation is going to be different, your "starting" point, etc., but if you aren't aiming to achieve that I'm truly perplexed.

Consider yourselves lucky, I suppose, because I certainly wouldn't be renewing your contract.

To those that get it,

You know why we are always asked, "Has your co-teacher's English improved?  Has your co-teacher's teaching improved? etc."

Offline kobayashi

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #88 on: December 06, 2017, 12:03:28 PM »
let me explain the situation with Pecan to everyone.

he's probably around 50 years old, and male. has been in korea for decades.

if his school situation is similar to most people's, his co-teachers are probably around 30 years old and female. which means they'd find it difficult to have an open and honest conversation with a male 20 years older than them, especially given korean culture. so they basically just let him do whatever he wants.

you know that ajeosshi coteacher i'm sure all of us have had at some point who is completely useless at teaching and just sits at the back chilling out, but you or anyone else in the school can't really so anything to them because they're so old and have been around for so long?

well, Pecan is that ajeosshi teacher.

Offline MaximusPrime

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #89 on: December 06, 2017, 12:18:53 PM »
let me explain the situation with Pecan to everyone.

he's probably around 50 years old, and male. has been in korea for decades.

if his school situation is similar to most people's, his co-teachers are probably around 30 years old and female. which means they'd find it difficult to have an open and honest conversation with a male 20 years older than them, especially given korean culture. so they basically just let him do whatever he wants.

you know that ajeosshi coteacher i'm sure all of us have had at some point who is completely useless at teaching and just sits at the back chilling out, but you or anyone else in the school can't really so anything to them because they're so old and have been around for so long?

well, Pecan is that ajeosshi teacher.

:shocked: :shocked: :shocked: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Offline Pecan

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #90 on: December 06, 2017, 12:19:19 PM »
let me explain the situation with Pecan to everyone.

well, Pecan is that ajeosshi teacher.
That was pretty funny :)

For what it is worth, I never sit, not in the back or anywhere, unless I am helping a student as a partner for an activity or with a group for a communicative activity or other.

My time is split pretty even with them 20/20, but my time is PPP, ASAP, so my presentation and instruction time is just enough so my kids understand what to do.  After that, they are producing.

Whenever they wish to change things up, we do, like when things are dragging in the day, we will change roles half way through our consecutive 4 classes of the same material and I will cover the content in the book, and they will do the communicative activity (what many refer to as a speaking game or other).

kobayashi, I appreciate the jab, though I'm not Korean, but a "black" Norwegian :)

Offline Piggydee

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #91 on: December 07, 2017, 01:51:22 PM »
Not sure as it was mention before.  (Sorry if it was but I was scanning past the arguments so if it was confirmed already than my bad)

Just got news from my co-teacher:
But yes TEACHERS who teach regular free classes (not hired on afterschool teachers) DO NOT HAVE TO TEACH 1ST AND 2ND GRADE NEXT YEAR.  Good news for me as I REEEEEALLY STRUGGLED WITH my 1/2 kids this year.  So it's back to the days where I taught only 3~6.  I was quiet fine with that arrangement.   :angel:

Online MayorHaggar

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #92 on: December 07, 2017, 02:21:05 PM »
I have never said anything suggesting our experiences should be the same.  Our contracts might be.  The public school mandate is the same...we should be working ourselves out of a job by encouraging and empowering our counterparts to take on more and more of the class time.

Yes you do mention this quite a lot.  I've got no idea where this comes from though.  The handbook?  I've never heard this from anyone other than you.
Are you being serious?  (sorry it is hard to tell with all of the trolls lurking about)

What do you think the objective/goal was for bringing us over here?

Absolutely serious. 

I'm having trouble understanding why you think we're brought over here to ensure the KETs teach more of the class.  Can you explain?

I get Pecan's point, and maybe that is the goal in the mind of the bureaucrats somewhere, but the experience on the ground for the majority tends to be that the more competent the NET is, the less the KET does (or wants to do).

Maybe someone should give a copy of THE HANDBOOK to the KETs at my school, as they seem blissfully unaware of the objectives. They should have plenty of time to read up on the purported goals of the NET program while I teach the classes  :wink:

The purpose of a public school NET is basically to be a school mascot and a symbolic prestige object that the school can brag about. You're basically like the live feed Dokdo HDTV in the hallway or one of the perpetually unplugged electric toilet seats in the teacher's bathroom. It's why you're seen as simultaneously important and disposable.

If the purpose of NET's was to actually teach English, then schools wouldn't do so much to undermine your teaching. It's the whole Asian concept of face, all they care about is the surface appearance, like a photo of a white person interacting with smiling Korean kids. They don't want to get involved with anything that requires hard work or communication.

Offline CJ

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #93 on: December 07, 2017, 02:28:11 PM »
I have never said anything suggesting our experiences should be the same.  Our contracts might be.  The public school mandate is the same...we should be working ourselves out of a job by encouraging and empowering our counterparts to take on more and more of the class time.

Yes you do mention this quite a lot.  I've got no idea where this comes from though.  The handbook?  I've never heard this from anyone other than you.
Are you being serious?  (sorry it is hard to tell with all of the trolls lurking about)

What do you think the objective/goal was for bringing us over here?

Absolutely serious. 

I'm having trouble understanding why you think we're brought over here to ensure the KETs teach more of the class.  Can you explain?

I get Pecan's point, and maybe that is the goal in the mind of the bureaucrats somewhere, but the experience on the ground for the majority tends to be that the more competent the NET is, the less the KET does (or wants to do).

Maybe someone should give a copy of THE HANDBOOK to the KETs at my school, as they seem blissfully unaware of the objectives. They should have plenty of time to read up on the purported goals of the NET program while I teach the classes  :wink:

The purpose of a public school NET is basically to be a school mascot and a symbolic prestige object that the school can brag about. You're basically like the live feed Dokdo HDTV in the hallway or one of the perpetually unplugged electric toilet seats in the teacher's bathroom. It's why you're seen as simultaneously important and disposable.

If the purpose of NET's was to actually teach English, then schools wouldn't do so much to undermine your teaching. It's the whole Asian concept of face, all they care about is the surface appearance, like a photo of a white person interacting with smiling Korean kids. They don't want to get involved with anything that requires hard work or communication.

Sadly, that's the truth right there. I feel for those who actually take this job seriously.

Offline Pecan

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #94 on: December 07, 2017, 02:30:12 PM »
If the purpose of NET's was to actually teach English, then schools wouldn't do so much to undermine your teaching. It's the whole Asian concept of face, all they care about is the surface appearance, like a photo of a white person interacting with smiling Korean kids. They don't want to get involved with anything that requires hard work or communication.
Cynical much?

I take exception to the bolded :/, but true.

Seriously though, how are you being undermined?

No "hard work" required here...

Online Cyanea

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #95 on: December 08, 2017, 01:22:36 AM »
If the purpose of NET's was to actually teach English, then schools wouldn't do so much to undermine your teaching. It's the whole Asian concept of face, all they care about is the surface appearance, like a photo of a white person interacting with smiling Korean kids. They don't want to get involved with anything that requires hard work or communication.

And of course now they are still unaware as to why the whole crazy a/s system has inevitably collapsed.


Korean education started failing the moment they removed cp.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 01:28:43 AM by Cyanea »
Catch my drift?

Offline travelinpantsgirl

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #96 on: December 08, 2017, 07:49:27 AM »
The only problem I have with Pecan's point of working ourselves out of a job, is the fact it is a two way street. You can be the best teacher (NET) in the world, with credentials and metrics to back it up, but you cannot drag someone to the fountain of knowledge. If someone (KETs for example) have zero desire to learn/take advice from the NET in their school then the "goal of the program" is a moot point. This is the same for our students, you cannot make a student learn anything. The only difference is you CAN make a student come to class and they MAY inadvertently learn something. You cannot make your supposed coteacher come to class or even if they do, you cannot make them care. So you cannot put the failure of the program to fulfill its potential solely on the native teacher. In most situations, KETs do not view us as credible resources to learn anything about teaching for several reasons:
1) We are not Korean 2) We are not licensed by Korea (even if some of us are licensed in our home countries) 3) they think we cannot understand the Korean educational system, so therefore our knowledge, experience, point of view has little value to most of them (see #1 and #2)  4) hierarchy. We simply do not fit anywhere on the ladder. (See # 1). I have had a sum of 12 coteachers (including homeroom teachers) across 7 years and only two of them saw the value a NET provides to the classroom and utilized me in a way that furthered the initial objective of having NETs in the classroom. One is now my BFF and the other was so qualified, she definitely didn't need me in the classroom but utilized me efficiently and believed in 50/50 class time sharing and management, she was a fantastic teacher, but abusive as hell outside the classroom (to me). If my experience and my numbers (which is a teeny tiny margin in the scope of things) are indication of the overall stats of the program, I'd say by now, this idea of NETs in the public school classroom, is just image grooming and everyone knows it.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 07:52:04 AM by travelinpantsgirl »
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Offline 미국인병

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #97 on: December 08, 2017, 07:59:12 AM »
The only problem I have with Pecan's point of working ourselves out of a job, is the fact it is a two way street. You can be the best teacher (NET) in the world, with credentials and metrics to back it up, but you cannot drag someone to the fountain of knowledge. If someone (KETs for example) have zero desire to learn/take advice from the NET in their school then the "goal of the program" is a moot point. This is the same for our students, you cannot make a student learn anything. The only difference is you CAN make a student come to class and they MAY inadvertently learn something. You cannot make your supposed coteacher come to class or even if they do, you cannot make them care. So you cannot put the failure of the program to fulfill its potential solely on the native teacher. In most situations, KETs do not view us as credible resources to learn anything about teaching for several reasons:
1) We are not Korean 2) We are not licensed by Korea (even if some of us are licensed in our home countries) 3) they think we cannot understand the Korean educational system, so therefore our knowledge, experience, point of view has little value to most of them (see #1 and #2)  4) hierarchy. We simply do not fit anywhere on the ladder. (See # 1). I have had a sum of 12 coteachers (including homeroom teachers) across 7 years and only two of them saw the value a NET provides to the classroom and utilized me in a way that furthered the initial objective of having NETs in the classroom. One is now my BFF and the other was so qualified, she definitely didn't need me in the classroom but utilized me efficiently and believed in 50/50 class time sharing and management, she was a fantastic teacher, but abusive as hell outside the classroom (to me). If my experience and my numbers (which is teeny tiny margin in the scope of things) are indication of the overall stats of the program, I'd say by now, this idea of NETs in the public school classroom, is just image grooming and everyone knows it.

This is an exceptional break down of it all.

"In most situations, KETs do not view us as credible resources to learn anything about teaching..."

I've had extensive talks with veteran NET as well as Koreans here who have been in and left the educational system, and the main consensus is while NETs -- especially through EPIK and such -- are given extensive training on how to operate within the ideal classroom/workplace environment, more often than not the KET are not fully briefed or prepared for how to utilize and handle the NET. They have documents for it, but apparently they often don't go through them due to being busy or not particularly caring.

This is why there are so many situations where NETs feel uncomfortable in their position, either feeling like they are overworked or simply given a BS role in the classroom. I still remember the "average day for an NET" video EPIK showed us it went something like.

James wakes up.

James eats breakfast and commutes.

James meets with his CTs and goes over the plans for the days lesson(s)

James gives class with CTs.

After class, James and CTs review what worked and what didn't and make plans for next class

James eats lunch

After lunch, James spends some time making materials.

James finishes early and converses with his coworkers, or gets ahead on some more work

James goes home.

- END -

That is NOTHING like the situation I or anybody I know has, mainly because the CTs often just place work on us and otherwise ignore us. Sure, they're busy, but to the degree that this is an issue...

Online MayorHaggar

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #98 on: December 08, 2017, 08:06:41 AM »
The only problem I have with Pecan's point of working ourselves out of a job, is the fact it is a two way street. You can be the best teacher (NET) in the world, with credentials and metrics to back it up, but you cannot drag someone to the fountain of knowledge. If someone (KETs for example) have zero desire to learn/take advice from the NET in their school then the "goal of the program" is a moot point. This is the same for our students, you cannot make a student learn anything. The only difference is you CAN make a student come to class and they MAY inadvertently learn something. You cannot make your supposed coteacher come to class or even if they do, you cannot make them care. So you cannot put the failure of the program to fulfill its potential solely on the native teacher. In most situations, KETs do not view us as credible resources to learn anything about teaching for several reasons:
1) We are not Korean 2) We are not licensed by Korea (even if some of us are licensed in our home countries) 3) they think we cannot understand the Korean educational system, so therefore our knowledge, experience, point of view has little value to most of them (see #1 and #2)  4) hierarchy. We simply do not fit anywhere on the ladder. (See # 1). I have had a sum of 12 coteachers (including homeroom teachers) across 7 years and only two of them saw the value a NET provides to the classroom and utilized me in a way that furthered the initial objective of having NETs in the classroom. One is now my BFF and the other was so qualified, she definitely didn't need me in the classroom but utilized me efficiently and believed in 50/50 class time sharing and management, she was a fantastic teacher, but abusive as hell outside the classroom (to me). If my experience and my numbers (which is a teeny tiny margin in the scope of things) are indication of the overall stats of the program, I'd say by now, this idea of NETs in the public school classroom, is just image grooming and everyone knows it.

It doesn't matter what the NET's goals or purpose or ability are when the Korean public school system abdicated its educational role to hagwons decades ago. It doesn't matter what subject, English, math, science, the kids simply cannot get "good enough" grades on Korean public school tests without going to hours and hours of hagwons. If Korean kids are good at English it's because of all the hagwons they go to, it has nothing to do with an "amazing, hard-working" NET at an "amazing" school.

Offline Dave Stepz

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Re: Seven Thousand English Teachers to be Axed by February
« Reply #99 on: December 08, 2017, 08:57:25 AM »
Like most things in Korea it can be seen as an image thing, 'look he has a Mercedes' 'look isn't she cute?' 'wow, she has a Chanel bag and an iphone' 'Hey, that school has a handsome foreign teacher'.  It isn't only in education that image matters, it is widespread through Korean culture.  As is the real meaning behind those things.  'Hey, he has a Mercedes, but he got it through a bank loan for the next 7 years' 'Look, isn't she cute, but she had plastic surgery to achieve it' 'She has a Chanel bag and iphone, but she acts like a child' (bad analogy, sorry) 'That school has a handsome foreign teacher, but he's hopeless at teaching'.  The first part seems to be more important than the second part in the Korean way of thinking.  It takes some getting used to that way of thinking and the understanding behind it.  That's if you can rationalise it.  To me, the second part is more important than the first, every day of the week. 

Take this into PS education and it is still apparent with this way of thinking.  From my point of view and from my experience here, foreign teachers in elementary school are a complete waste of money.  Korean teachers are much better at showing and teaching the basic phrases that elementary students need to learn to pass their tests there than the little time they may or may not have with a foreign teacher.  Who themselves could be completely ineffectual because they don't grade their language or they just have a Korean teacher translating everything for them rendering them pointless.  But Korean parents seem to think that as a picture of their little Minsoo with a foreign teacher is the most important thing.

Why the government is cutting middle and high school doesn't make sense to me.  Surely, by middle school and high school, the students have learned enough grammar taught by the Korean teacher and have enough English knowledge to then be able to put it into practice.   I'm not saying all foreign elementary teachers are crap, just that their effectiveness compared to the cost of them is much lower than of that in middle and high.  Also, it does depend on co-teachers, and vps and principals, of course, but from experience middle and high school students seem to be more aware of themselves and their behaviour (I'm going to get flamed for that comment).  They have less black/white thinking that elementary kids have (not all!!!) and have developed the grey areas for thinking, which they then can transfer into classroom learning. 

When I've talked to my numerous co-teachers over the years they've all had different ideas about how they view the role of the native teacher.  In some ways, I've based my opinion of them on their thoughts about it.  Some like their students to have the exposure to a foreign teacher even if it is only for an hour a week, others want their students to get different points of view on culture, some want their students to hear and use authentic English, others want their students to listen carefully and improve their listening ability, some want the students to see different ways of teaching students (what I have now), a few just want the foreign teacher to be seen and not heard  >:(.  It really is that diverse here.  Bar the final reason (I've had that with two schools) the other ones are all legitimate reasons to have a good native teacher, but knowing the education system, those reasons are just a little too soon for elementary students and far more beneficial later in school life.  But as we know by high school and the inevitable university entrance test there is less need for students to have native teacher classes other than to improve their listening for the listening section. 

In my high school now, I see that the 'Student Record' is actually very important to students hoping to get into a good university.  At the moment, I have control over 20% of their assessment and in the tests, my questions usually amount to 12% of the final score (not much) but like I said it counts to their student record and eventually their university entrance.  My students showed me the amount of paperwork they have when applying to university.  It has all their scores from their elementary, middle and high schools, homeroom teachers, teacher reports etc.  Maybe in my case, after going through the whole system from elementary 1st grade through middle to high school 3rd grade (and teachers' classes), I can see that the right foreign teacher can be useful and really beneficial to students.  But Korea needs to rethink its priorities and move deeper than just the superficial face value of things, it is there and is slowly changing, but it just isn't across the board. 

tl:dr - just another five paragraph ramble