March 26, 2019, 07:56:17 PM


Author Topic: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!  (Read 2716 times)

Offline Allpointseast

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Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« on: October 27, 2018, 11:49:02 PM »
 :sad: I wasn't going to post this review. After all, the events took place some months ago, and other people have experienced worse things than  this. Almost everything that happened at Jungchul Language School Jr. told me that THIS boss was the cool, supportive, fair-minded boss everyone in Korean hagwons dreams of having.
    The story starts just before I finished my contract in Gyeonggi-do. I was looking for jobs, and this very positive Korean American lady boss was keen to have me. She-I will call her Chloe- respected my teaching experience, was impressed by my successes at a certain big chain hagwon, and felt I'd be an asset to her school. Chloe looked at my references and told me to come to Cheongju in Chungbuk Province. I did so.
    I got to stay in a hotel, for free,  till my apartment was ready. The boss took all the staff out for dinner, and I got to meet the departing teachers, a couple from South Africa. We had a great time. The boss had explained the hagwon's methodology and I kept thinking that it sounded amazing-particularly because I have taught in far worse places. We were to start work fairly soon.
    The next day, we were to go downstairs from the hotel, and I'd be picked up at midday. But the boss came to me early.. She was practically in tears. She had bad news for me. For a moment I expected that she'd not been able to contact my references, or that they had changed their minds about me. But it was not that. The parents had seen my photo and decreed that I WAS TOO OLD TO TEACH IN THE HAGWON! They had been on the phone threatening to take their kids out of school if I taught them. So, I had to leave, before I had even started teaching there. I was shocked.
    I had to leave immediately. But if I had to leave so soon, the other new teachers would have been afraid parents would turn on them next, for being too shy, having a lisp, not smiling enough, using the wrong colour marker pen or whatever. I still have sympathy for Chloe, and I'm inclined to positive views of that hagwon. But letting the parents have that much control is a bad sign. Chloe wanted to keep me on, she said but the school was only a year old so she did not feel secure enough to take that risk.
    But it was unfair dismissal. Should I have gone to the labour board? What do you think?
    Another issue is that the job would have started as soon as the old contract ended. After a year at Jungchul Language School, I'd have had more than enough money to do a master's degree which might have improved my chances of gettting other types of teaching jobs, or other jobs in general.
    Instead, I was sent on a wild goose chase.

Offline Cyanea

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2018, 06:24:46 PM »
The parents had seen my photo and decreed that I WAS TOO OLD TO TEACH IN THE HAGWON! They had been on the phone threatening to take their kids out of school if I taught them.

How old are you btw?

That is pathetic and typical small-minded ageism and it is in fact against the law.


Quote
But it was unfair dismissal. Should I have gone to the labour board? What do you think?



Yes, you should've gone to the labour board. Your problem is proving the ageism. unless you specifically have recordings of that conversation, you might have trouble.

its high time ageism was seriously tackled in Korea. The elderly are excluded from employment from about the age of 45 onwards and basically left to starve.
Catch my drift?

Offline KoreaBoo

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2018, 06:47:36 PM »
You did better than others.  Iíve seen people left at the airport when the owner didnít like the physical appearance of the teacher at Incheonn airport.   

You just experienced the reality that you are merely a dancing monkey to the parents, nothing more. 

Offline teacher1988

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2018, 09:04:54 PM »
That really sucks.

I'd say you were too kind to Chloe though. I understand that parents' demands are out of her control, but you should have given her a hard time despite her tears so that she compensates you for all your lost time and wages. It's her responsibility as a business owner to be prepared for these kinds of setbacks, not yours. At that point she either keeps you or she gives you some "severance" package that will hopefully last you until your next job.

The only loser here is you if you play nice with these people; you've essentially ended up with no job, no income, and no CV builder for several months even though you had signed a contract already. That's a pretty darn big loss by all counts and it sounds like you just said "Ahh that's too bad... not much you can do, Chloe. Guess I'll need to brush up my resume again."

Anyways hope everything worked out for you in the end.

Online Piggydee

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 07:51:32 AM »
You should defiantly get the labor board involved.  You have done nothing wrong but BE OLD.   Those parents are stupid!   Their children are probably crumby anyways.   I remember at one hakwon I worked at where I WAS ALREADY FULLY EMPLOYED AND HAD WORKED AT FOR 4 MONTHS already, we had a new student who was suppose to be in my class.  For whatever damn reason, the little girl would cry the moment I gave here a nice warm Snow White Disney Princess greeting.  "Why hello there.  You're pretty!  예쁘다  :-* :-*"  That's all I would say to the snot and she would start crying her head off and screaming like I was a zombie from the Walking Dead.  I'd even give her chocolate to let her know, "hey I'm one of the cool ones."  Well needless to say, this got the director looking at me funny as if I was a mistake to be hired.  Thankfully for me there were 4 other teachers 3 of which were gypos that the director used and shuffled that kid to their class instead.  And guess what.  She ended up quitting ANYWAYS 3 months later!  A lot of these "picky kids with pickier parents"  either cause problems in the class, aren't very bright and don't learn squat in your class, or end up quitting the hakwon a few months later.  I can't believe this director "Chole"  ended up siding with parents and crumby children who probably aren't worth squat anyways.  I'm really sorry to hear that but the fault is on them. They should have known who they were hiring before they made you sign on the dotted line!  I bet you anything, "Chole" will try to "save face" and say something in retaliation about you that you "got drunk at the company dinners" or you showed up late, or you were "no mannner"  :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:  I wish you best of luck in all of this!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 02:34:15 PM by Piggydee »

Offline fishead

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 11:03:23 AM »
 Did you sign a contract that is legally binding? There are laws against this kind of dismissal. They are supposed to give at least two months notice and a letter outlining why they chose to dismiss you. You need to go to the labour board.  Plus ageism is also illegal

Online Piggydee

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 01:05:10 PM »
Try messaging her in Kakao or any other messenger to get proof that you were fired because of your age.  Start out the conversation with her like "Geeze are you sure you have to let me go because the parents don't like how old I am?  Can't we work things out?"  If she confirms that "yes you are being let go because of your age"  then bingo!  You have all the proof you need to go to the labour board about this situation.   By the way, I also have a friend who recently went to the labour board for back pay and not allowing her to leave her stink hole job for better pastures.  She was able to win her case.  I have no doubt that you have a strong case here but you need proof.  Like I said she can come back and say lies about you that you were mean to her or you were drunk during company meetings etc.   If she had no proof or witness to her lies than you have a stronger case with your text messages. 

P.S. may I suggest you jump to public school after this.  In public school, it doesn't matter if the kids or parents don't like you because you are old/fat/boring.   You were hired to teach English not be a comedian, not be a Disney Talent at Epcot in Disney World, and sure as hell not walk a damn run way.   Actually this is a blessing in disguise.  I worked at a hakwon that prided itself on only hiring young, fresh faced, white people so that they could look good for the parents.  I was only hired because another guy they wanted couldn't get his documents on time and they needed me to replace a runner.  Seriously if you see a hakwon that doesn't have much diversity in their staff (race, size, age etc) then I would steer clear of those because they are hell on earth to work for.   Public school really doesn't make a big deal about appearance just so long as you dress decent and not like straight out of a rock band that partied all night. 

Offline Cyanea

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 08:49:08 PM »
Plus ageism is also illegal

It is, although still absolutely rampant in this society.


What you can do is put your case to the human rights board.


Quote
Prohibition of Unfavorable Treatment
Any person shall not be subject to removal from his/her office, transfer to another position, disciplinary action and unjust treatment, or other unfavorable measures in status or treatment on account of his/her petition, statement, witness, presentation of materials or reply under this Act.

How to make a complaint :
https://www.humanrights.go.kr/site/homepage/menu/viewMenu?menuid=002004001
Catch my drift?

sligo

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2018, 10:05:27 PM »
Did you sign a contract that is legally binding? There are laws against this kind of dismissal. They are supposed to give at least two months notice and a letter outlining why they chose to dismiss you. You need to go to the labour board.  Plus ageism is also illegal

Did your contract actually start?  The contract is only binding between the dates on it. 

Offline Cyanea

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2018, 06:57:48 AM »
I worked at a hakwon that prided itself on only hiring young, fresh faced, white people so that they could look good for the parents.  I was only hired because another guy they wanted couldn't get his documents on time and they needed me to replace a runner.

A lot of hogwons are like this now, their mentality is basically that they are never satisfied with anyone. They live in hope of some idealized fantasy teacher that doesn't exist, so they replace the teachers they have constantly on the offzchance of hitting the jackpot. They never do, the parents and students themselves are likewise incapable of being satisfied.
Catch my drift?

Online OnNut81

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2018, 12:18:22 PM »
Good that you've warned people about this place.  As nice as Chloe was it doesn't sound like she was able to back up her decisions with action.  You've likely figured out you're better off not having started that job. 

As an offshoot, you managed to trigger PiggyDee about hakwans (again.)  She got so riled up she didn't even bother reading your post in full before the memories came flooding back based on some of her comments below:

Like I said she can come back and say lies about you that you were mean to her or you were drunk during company meetings etc.

 bet you anything, "Chole" will try to "save face" and say something in retaliation about you that you "got drunk at the company dinners" or you showed up late, or you were "no mannner"


Chloe (Chole) would have to be incredibly beguiling to convince them the person who never worked for the company was getting loaded at company dinners and had no manners.  If she's just a crumby liar it won't work. 

Online Piggydee

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2018, 12:22:35 PM »
I worked at a hakwon that prided itself on only hiring young, fresh faced, white people so that they could look good for the parents.  I was only hired because another guy they wanted couldn't get his documents on time and they needed me to replace a runner.

A lot of hogwons are like this now, their mentality is basically that they are never satisfied with anyone. They live in hope of some idealized fantasy teacher that doesn't exist, so they replace the teachers they have constantly on the offzchance of hitting the jackpot. They never do, the parents and students themselves are likewise incapable of being satisfied.

Truth.  After I left the before mentioned hakwon, I heard that they hired a whole crop of fresh out of college teachers who treated the job like an extended spring break than actually put in the work that was required of them.  After the way that hakwon treated me, I was happy to see they were hemorrhaging students and had multiple problems after that. ( i.e. student got electrocuted; no worries the student was fine.  Apparently, he/she was trying to stick scissors in an outlet and caught a tiny bit of current, another one got lice and thus started an infestation with an entire class, and new generally lazy Native teachers not preforming the way my alumni did)  Glad to hear they were a complete nightmare staff to that horrible boss I had.  What can I say....it's karma  :azn:

Offline hangook77

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2018, 02:41:13 PM »
I worked at a hakwon that prided itself on only hiring young, fresh faced, white people so that they could look good for the parents.  I was only hired because another guy they wanted couldn't get his documents on time and they needed me to replace a runner.

A lot of hogwons are like this now, their mentality is basically that they are never satisfied with anyone. They live in hope of some idealized fantasy teacher that doesn't exist, so they replace the teachers they have constantly on the offzchance of hitting the jackpot. They never do, the parents and students themselves are likewise incapable of being satisfied.

This ain't new.  It was even worse a decade or two ago.  The only difference was pre recession that there were less foreigners here and some hakwons had to settle for an old person, a fat person, a non North American accent, etc.  When the Great Recession flooded the market for a time, a lot of of teachers like this got the boot.  Even the old GEPIK program had done this as apparently principals had a say in the hiring unlike EPIK.  Recruiters hit them up and sent pictures of beautiful blond haired slim white American young females.  The ajossis went nuts at the time, I guess.  A lot of 40 year olds got dropped even when some schools wanted to keep their teacher.  All very fake.  Things have ebbed a bit and Koreans seem to be trying to get away from looks compared to the past. 

I would say this was a weak school and would have been bad to work for.  It is much more rare than before.  I see plenty of schools hiring average regular people nowadays.  They are out there.   The school judging on looks is more and more rare.  But you had better be prepared to demonstrate that kids will like you and that you're a fun teacher any way you can.  If you're old and grey, dye the hair.  If you're obese, try to get the weight down and wear clothes that can hide it a bit.  Fix your appearance to some extent. 

As for your work offer being pulled, I would have demanded some kind of severance or compensation in order to go away quietly into the night.  Otherwise, I'd stick around and be an obnoxious pain.   

Offline Cyanea

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2018, 02:46:04 PM »
I worked at a hakwon that prided itself on only hiring young, fresh faced, white people so that they could look good for the parents.  I was only hired because another guy they wanted couldn't get his documents on time and they needed me to replace a runner.

A lot of hogwons are like this now, their mentality is basically that they are never satisfied with anyone. They live in hope of some idealized fantasy teacher that doesn't exist, so they replace the teachers they have constantly on the offzchance of hitting the jackpot. They never do, the parents and students themselves are likewise incapable of being satisfied.

This ain't new.  It was even worse a decade or two ago.  The only difference was pre recession that there were less foreigners here and some hakwons had to settle for an old person, a fat person, a non North American accent, etc.  When the Great Recession flooded the market for a time, a lot of of teachers like this got the boot.  Even the old GEPIK program had done this as apparently principals had a say in the hiring unlike EPIK.  Recruiters hit them up and sent pictures of beautiful blond haired slim white American young females.  The ajossis went nuts at the time, I guess.  A lot of 40 year olds got dropped even when some schools wanted to keep their teacher.  All very fake.  Things have ebbed a bit and Koreans seem to be trying to get away from looks compared to the past. 

I would say this was a weak school and would have been bad to work for.  It is much more rare than before.  I see plenty of schools hiring average regular people nowadays.  They are out there.   The school judging on looks is more and more rare. 

Ya think?

From what I've seen you can be the most popular teacher in the school, but all they care about is whether the parents will like how you look.


Korean bosses are NEVER satisfied, no matter what. They always have that displeased demeanour going on constantly, its a control technique to keep you on your toes. And even the best teachers get discarded at some point because the Korean mentality is one of always wanting more and never being happy with what they have.
Catch my drift?

Online theman3285

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2018, 08:12:13 AM »
Lol. OP bailed on this thread faster than Chloe bailed on him.

Offline hangook77

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2018, 12:18:50 PM »
I worked at a hakwon that prided itself on only hiring young, fresh faced, white people so that they could look good for the parents.  I was only hired because another guy they wanted couldn't get his documents on time and they needed me to replace a runner.

A lot of hogwons are like this now, their mentality is basically that they are never satisfied with anyone. They live in hope of some idealized fantasy teacher that doesn't exist, so they replace the teachers they have constantly on the offzchance of hitting the jackpot. They never do, the parents and students themselves are likewise incapable of being satisfied.

This ain't new.  It was even worse a decade or two ago.  The only difference was pre recession that there were less foreigners here and some hakwons had to settle for an old person, a fat person, a non North American accent, etc.  When the Great Recession flooded the market for a time, a lot of of teachers like this got the boot.  Even the old GEPIK program had done this as apparently principals had a say in the hiring unlike EPIK.  Recruiters hit them up and sent pictures of beautiful blond haired slim white American young females.  The ajossis went nuts at the time, I guess.  A lot of 40 year olds got dropped even when some schools wanted to keep their teacher.  All very fake.  Things have ebbed a bit and Koreans seem to be trying to get away from looks compared to the past. 

I would say this was a weak school and would have been bad to work for.  It is much more rare than before.  I see plenty of schools hiring average regular people nowadays.  They are out there.   The school judging on looks is more and more rare. 

Ya think?

From what I've seen you can be the most popular teacher in the school, but all they care about is whether the parents will like how you look.


Korean bosses are NEVER satisfied, no matter what. They always have that displeased demeanour going on constantly, its a control technique to keep you on your toes. And even the best teachers get discarded at some point because the Korean mentality is one of always wanting more and never being happy with what they have.

In addition to what I have said above, kids do seem to like me a lot.  So, it seems to keep me mostly safe.  However, a real jerk boss can come along and be exactly like you describe.  I moved from one town to another due to an interfering supervisor years ago who was like what you described.  I wasn't going to say anything when I left, but he started yelling at this other girl for smiling, screaming she had to respect him.  He was such an @$$ that I told a lot of the moms in the town I was leaving because of him a week before I left.  The education office actually demoted him just as I left.  (I'm not saying it's due to me, but some of the moms didn't want me to leave.)  I guess they did bring him back a year later and put the foreigners through hell.  He was always calling them, getting them to go into the education office, criticizing them, implying they were idiots even when he didn't give them the right directions due to his poor English.  But, in years of being here, he was the only bad supervisor I ever had.  A couple of others were strict but rational people who didn't scream and yell.  Mostly in my other towns, they left me alone and just let me teach at my schools. 

Another time I went to the same school for two years (one year as my main school and another year I went there 5 days a week).  I had a great experience at this middle school.  Then, for the 3rd year, I got sent back two days a week as my minor school.  New teachers, new teachers room.  Not saying anyone was really awful, but the atmosphere changed quite a bit and I didn't like it.  Less friendly it felt, more stiff, etc.  I was glad the education shifted me to another minor school second semester.  (I did get this young conversation teacher who tried to boss me around even though I was older than her, she wasn't in charge of me, and I had been at the school longer than her.  I pushed back.  But, I didn't like the vibe at all.) 

My point is things can go well, but they can change depending on supervisor, vp, principal, coteachers, etc.  But if the kids like you, it is easier to keep your position or plea with the education office. 

Offline Allpointseast

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2018, 02:45:54 AM »
   Well, thanks everyone for all the interesting replies. I apologise for not getting back to this thread sooner, but I was offline for a while. I did not have access to the internet at home or work, except on my mobile, and now the problem is fixed.
   As far as Jungchul Language School Jr. goes, it seems that the parents got very used to the young South African couple they had last year. The guy was tall, blonde, handsome, and the girl was young and pretty. (I met them and they are actually nice people). They were about to leave Korea for a big church wedding back home. They were the type of foreigner that more conservative Koreans want. So, basically, I got the impression the parents did not want the South African couple to leave, and that all new teachers would be compared to them! This does actually happen. I will say in Chloe's favour that she did have a person of colour on her payroll. He was half-Korean and half Egyptian, so there was some variety.
   I do not think that the teachers at that school will have an easy time this year. If gossipy, prejudiced parents have so much power they can fire people before teaching has started, what does that tell you about working conditions or management? Moreover, the policy of letting the parents see teachers' photos for approval before the semester starts makes it seem too like a beauty contest.
So, maybe it was a good thing that I did not actually work there. If I had, I would have found that parental interference would have rendered the job impossible.
 

 

Offline SuperDoodle23

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2018, 04:00:58 PM »
I'm really sorry that you went through that, but it sounds like you dodged a bullet. It's better to know that the owner and parents are this unreasonable than to get really locked in and find out. Honestly if a director/owner isn't going to put up a fight with this kind of nonsense then it's probably best to not work for them. A good owner should be able to filter out this kind of stupid stuff. I've seen first hand hawon owners try to make 1 unreasonable parent happy and as a result leave 10 kids in the process only for that 1 unreasonable parent to disappear after a few months. There are some people in life that will NEVER be happy and a good owner should be able to recognize this. Be happy you didn't get sucked into this nonsense. Chalk it up as a learning experience.

Offline Nevermore

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2019, 11:50:32 PM »
It sounds like it was for the best that you didn't wind up there. Because if it wasn't an ageism thing, it probably would have been something else if the parents really have the school in their pocket like that. They would have found something to complain about, and ending the contract half way would have been hell. I've heard of this happening a lot with hagwons because at the end of the day it's not like public school, it's more of a business, and the parents have the money and power.

Does anyone know what's up with the ageism thing, though? Would they rather have a younger less-experienced teacher than an older more-experienced teacher? I feel like it's the opposite everywhere else.

Offline oglop

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Re: Told to Leave School Before I Had Even Seen the Kids!
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2019, 10:28:58 AM »

Does anyone know what's up with the ageism thing, though? Would they rather have a younger less-experienced teacher than an older more-experienced teacher? I feel like it's the opposite everywhere else.
i've heard this many times (not directed at me, but other teachers)

"wow, you're so pretty. you must be a really good teacher"

i also guess hagwon owners think younger people have more energy and would be more relatable to the kids, and they can also pay them much less. younger, less experienced people are less likely to complain, too