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Author Topic: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers  (Read 2792 times)

Offline persimmon14

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Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« on: January 02, 2019, 10:19:27 AM »
I have a question and wondering if anyone here knows or has experience in this.
I'm an EPIK teacher. I just found out from my school last week that they won't renew me
next year.  We completed the contract and they will help me with letter of recommendations
to another school that I find for next year.

But I spoke with an EPIK coordinator and they told me that if you don't renew a contract at the SAME
school (whether because they don't want to renew you or you choose not to renew), you are essentially
ending your ties with EPIK as well.  Meaning, if you wanted to apply to another school for March, you can't simply
be re-assigned or transferred to another school.  EPIK coordinator said you would have to re-apply to become
an EPIK teacher again and "IF" they accept you, you could be ready to teach in March 2020!

So that means if you don't renew a contract, you're basically OFF the team and can't work for a whole year.
The only way to work in March 2019 right away is to work for a NON-EPIK school, ie., a city-funded school that can do their own hiring.

This sounds like it's a penalty or a blackmark on the NET for not renewing a contract.  If we've completed a contract, why are we being punished or penalized like this?   I thought they would simply re-assign you / move you to another school that is looking for a teacher, but essentially, not renewing means you not only leave your current school after Feb. 28, but you are also leaving EPIK.     Ouch.

The workaround sounds to me like you'd have to tell your school to agree on a RENEWAL but then tell them we request a transfer to "X" school so that they can get what they want (a new teacher for next March) and I can get what I want (to be placed in a new school in March).

What's your take on this?   I found this to be really surprising.  It's pretty much a penalty for not renewing a contract (either your choice or the school's choice).  So, you almost don't want to stay at a school long enough to the point they would make this decision one day (because even if you've been at your same school for years, at one point, they'll want a change).  This is encouraging teachers to transfer BEFORE they have a chance to not renew you. 

So they want to encourage you to stay at the same school by renewing AND they want to encourage you to not stay at the same school because you increase the chance they will not renew you and then you are penalized for 1 year of not being able to work in EPIK, and possibly ever, if they don't re-accept you when you re-apply.


Online Mister Tim

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2019, 12:47:58 PM »
If you're with EPIK, then your contract is with your Provincial Office of Education, not your school directly. Renewing a contracts means renewing with the PoE, and if the school you had been working at no longer needs/gets an NET, then you'd be moved to a new school.

If you aren't renewed, then that means your PoE isn't renewing you for some reason, and you can't just transfer to another public school in your province. It's always been the case that if you want to change provinces, you have to reapply and go through the whole EPIK application process again.

Sometimes, however, a school will go through EPIK to find a teacher but then have you sign a private contract directly with them (my province at least used to call that a "private hire"). In that case, non-renewal would also mean you'd need to go through the entire application process again, because as far as EPIK is concerned, you don't actually work for them or a PoE. The same rules as a Province transfer would apply.

I have no idea why you're being told you have to wait until 2020, though. Maybe your representative got confused about the date change or something? I'd double check about that.

Offline Piggydee

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2019, 01:56:35 PM »
So if you school can't renew with you because they lost funding then you can bounce to another school but if your school doesn't want to renew with you because let's say they didn't dig your work ethic or whatever reason (didn't get along etc.) then you can't be transferred to a new school and therefore you can't work within the EPIK network for at least a year?  Or you have to go through the hiring process all over again like as if you were a brand new hire?  Am I understanding this correctly?

Offline Foreverparadise

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2019, 02:27:50 PM »
I was on an EPIK contract from 2012-2016. They did not renew my contract because of budget cuts.
But if that is going to be a black mark on me, then I will be better of staying in my teaching position
here in Canada.

Offline sleepy

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2019, 02:56:41 PM »
Quote
So if you school can't renew with you because they lost funding then you can bounce to another school but if your school doesn't want to renew with you because let's say they didn't dig your work ethic or whatever reason (didn't get along etc.) then you can't be transferred to a new school and therefore you can't work within the EPIK network for at least a year?  Or you have to go through the hiring process all over again like as if you were a brand new hire?  Am I understanding this correctly?

I think you created this thread with the new user name 'persimmon14', Piggydee.???

Offline Piggydee

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 03:02:18 PM »
Quote
So if you school can't renew with you because they lost funding then you can bounce to another school but if your school doesn't want to renew with you because let's say they didn't dig your work ethic or whatever reason (didn't get along etc.) then you can't be transferred to a new school and therefore you can't work within the EPIK network for at least a year?  Or you have to go through the hiring process all over again like as if you were a brand new hire?  Am I understanding this correctly?

I think you created this thread with the new user name 'persimmon14', Piggydee.???

Funny but I already got renewed thank you.   :cheesy:

Offline pizzaman

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 03:59:00 PM »
If you don't renew at your school for any reason, it doesn't count as a black mark. I believe you are misunderstanding the situation or what was told to you. A lot of people apply in similar situations to you. It depends on if you were declined by your school for financial reasons or by the office of education for performance reasons. If your school decided not to have a foreign teacher or if they no longer had the budget for it, you can ask your office of education to be moved to a new school in the area. If you were declined a renewal due to performance renewals, you can not request this of your office of education.

You would need to change offices of education which would require applying to EPIK once more and going through the process. Luckily you can get most of your old documents as official copies for moving locations from your current one. EPIK requires reapplication for transferring offices of education for all applicants in that situation and many of them are passed on to new locations without issue.

Offline Mezoti97

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2019, 04:42:59 PM »
But I spoke with an EPIK coordinator and they told me that if you don't renew a contract at the SAME
school (whether because they don't want to renew you or you choose not to renew), you are essentially
ending your ties with EPIK as well.  Meaning, if you wanted to apply to another school for March, you can't simply
be re-assigned or transferred to another school.  EPIK coordinator said you would have to re-apply to become
an EPIK teacher again and "IF" they accept you, you could be ready to teach in March 2020!

Unless something has changed recently, the above is not true (at least, not in my experience). One year, I renewed within the same MOE/POE but didn't stay at the same public school and transferred to a different public school (under the same MOE/POE) in a nearby neighborhood from my previous public school, and I didn't have to reapply from scratch through EPIK all over again. My understanding is that it is only if you want to work at a public school under a different MOE/POE, in which case you would then have to reapply from scratch through EPIK all over again.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 04:45:20 PM by Mezoti97 »

Offline purpleparrot

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2019, 09:32:15 PM »
I know that for Gyeonggi-do we were only given the option to either renew with our school or leave.  They took away the option to transfer within the province this year.   You used to be able to transfer within the province w/o re-applying (I'm pretty sure) but this year it was either renew or leave (and re-apply to EPIK all together).


Offline persimmon14

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2019, 09:37:24 PM »
@Mezoti97 - That's because your RENEWED your contract.  As long as you renew it, you don't have to re-apply again and you were able to transfer to another school.   I said in my post that if you DON'T renew a contract, you can't work at another EPIK school (in the same province). 

I don't want to transfer to another province. I want to stay in my current area, but I just wanted to work at another school in my area that was looking for a teacher for March.   Since I was not renewed by my current school, I was told (correctly) by my coordinator that I can't simply transfer or apply to another school.  I would have to re-apply to EPIK again which starts around Fall 2019 for intake for the 2020 March year.  Yes, that is why I would have to wait 1 full year to work again within an EPIK school in my same area/province.   

To clarify some other responses:  It was not due to lack of funding or no longer needing a NET.  I was not renewed and the reason given in my official meeting with the Principal, VP, Head Teacher and Co-Teacher, was that I had already been at this school for a very long time (7 contracts) and they felt they wanted a change or a new experience and "culture".   At first, I thought to myself, that's a reasonable explanation, but the more I thought about it, I don't think that may be the truth behind it, but only the "nice" answer to write in the official notes of the meeting and reason for not renewing.   If it was related to performance or some other problem, they never told me in the meeting (perhaps they are actually doing me a favor by writing this as the reason instead of something bad as the reason for not renewing me).  I don't know, but it's a guess.

So what doesn't make sense to me is if a teacher has dedicated, committed, and shown loyalty for 7 contracts (obviously I must've have been doing something right in order for them to have wanted to keep me for so long), but suddenly gets told at the end of the year that they don't want to renew me citing my length at this school, it seems be a strange outcome that my reward for all these years for sticking around and then finally not getting renewed is to get "laid off" from not just the school, but from EPIK itself (NOTE: The VP is new, only been here 6 months.  The Principal is also new, only been here 1.5 years.  All the teachers are new - 2 years or less - so maybe that is part of the reason not really knowing me like the old teachers did whom I had all great relationships with).  I thought it would be more like completing the contract (fulfilled) and then going to a new school in March.   I didn't think it would mean getting released from both the school AND all potential other EPIK positions within my province.  That doesn't seem to add up?

My reward is to be unemployed for a full year, and wait to re-apply to EPIK again in Fall 2019 and hope that I will get re-accepted by EPIK and then be able to continue my teaching at a new school in this area.  That's awfully harsh.

The only options I have left is to apply to a non-EPIK school (city-funded school) OR to move out of the province and go to an entirely different province.  I'm not even sure how long that would take for me to apply to another PoE?  Would I have enough time for the March 2019 year? 

Another workaround that I thought of was, what if my school and I re-negotiated the contract signing and this time write it down as BOTH agreed to renew the contract.  Then after that, I would request a transfer to another school nearby.  This way, my school will still get what they want (a new teacher/experience/culture) for March 2019, and I would be able to transfer to a nearby school that is wanting me to come in for an interview.  I wouldn't have to go through the entire process of re-applying to EPIK and waiting a whole year.

Do you think this could be a possibility?
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 09:42:08 PM by persimmon14 »

Offline buckybee

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2019, 07:54:37 AM »
I had a problem with in my province dealing with language in the contract and what I was understanding vs what the province was understanding. What I did was contact my epik coordinator from when I first applied because they are well versed on how the contract is supposed to be. However, since every province is different, send them a scan of where it says this information in your contract and ask them if your understanding is accurate. In my case, the contract was accurate but I was also in the right because their was literally no way to comply with the contract.
Long story short, clarify, make sure their wasn't a language barrier, use your resources, and see if their is anything else you can do about this situation.

Even if their is new contract changes, this sounds shady and unreasonable.

Offline lelsasser

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2019, 08:13:53 AM »
I know that for Gyeonggi-do we were only given the option to either renew with our school or leave.  They took away the option to transfer within the province this year.   You used to be able to transfer within the province w/o re-applying (I'm pretty sure) but this year it was either renew or leave (and re-apply to EPIK all together).

Is your position a private hire or through EPIK? IF so, I think that is because GEPIK technically has been absorbed into EPIK as of last year. It used to be separate. Although, there is still a lot of us who are still the 'true' GEPIK as we have not been merged with EPIK. We are city hall contract hires.

Offline persimmon14

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2019, 09:48:03 AM »
I know that for Gyeonggi-do we were only given the option to either renew with our school or leave.  They took away the option to transfer within the province this year.   You used to be able to transfer within the province w/o re-applying (I'm pretty sure) but this year it was either renew or leave (and re-apply to EPIK all together).

Thanks for that information.  Is there any written evidence of this? Where did you get this information? I don't recall this being anywhere in the contract.

Offline hangook77

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2019, 01:14:50 PM »
If your school didn't give you a bad review (and aren't lying to you about that), then yes, you can be transferred within the same province.  The coordinator is either being ignorant, lazy, or doesn't want to tell you the real reason (IE school writing bad review).  Tell her you want to move to another school, though you may have to do another town and another type of school (IE  Elementary to Middle).  If she gives you drivel, tell her you are with the same employer (POE) and there is no reason they can't send you to another school because there will still be openings.  But, if she continues to give you drivel, tell her you will go into the office in person and speak to her about it.  Take a day off (write it down as chuljang on the attendance sheet and tell the school to pound sand if they have a problem with it since they aren't renewing you anyhow.)  If she continues to be a bitch, speak to the Koreans.  Be polite but insistent on the points.  A coordinator just regurgitates.  Go to the source directly if need be.  But get the direct answer after insisting on being allowed to transfer to another school.  At least if you get it resolved now, you can, if necessary, find one of those direct hire provincial EPIK recruiters.  You may be in a rural area far away for a year, but you'll have a job if you need one.  Might have to chill on a D10 for a bit and stay in Seoul till their job opening later in spring comes along.  Best of luck.  Report back how it goes if you go this route.

Offline purpleparrot

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2019, 01:33:57 PM »
I know that for Gyeonggi-do we were only given the option to either renew with our school or leave.  They took away the option to transfer within the province this year.   You used to be able to transfer within the province w/o re-applying (I'm pretty sure) but this year it was either renew or leave (and re-apply to EPIK all together).

Thanks for that information.  Is there any written evidence of this? Where did you get this information? I don't recall this being anywhere in the contract.

I'm an EPIK teacher in Gyeonggi-do (hired by EPIK in 2016).  Every year in mid-November I'm given a form about my plans for the next year.  When I was given the form in Nov 2016 and Nov 2017, there were three options that we could choose:  1) I want to renew with my same school; 2)  I want to change schools within Gyeonggi province (something along those lines); 3) I don't want to renew (with school/province).  Now the form I was given in Nov 2018 only had two options:  1) I want to renew with my school; 2) I don't want to renew.  They took away the transfer option.  Actually this didn't surprise me as my friend contacted the EPIK coordinator in July about wanting to transfer schools in Gyeonggi for 2019.  The coordinator told her that she would have to completely reapply to EPIK even if she wanted to stay in Gyeonggi....so it looks like this was something new they started to do this year.

I do think it's weird that the coordinator told you that you couldn't apply for one year.  I understand if there is not enough time for you to apply for March 2019, as placements have probably already filled up or are about to.  But I don't understand why you can't apply for August 2019 or even late intake for April/May. 
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 01:36:19 PM by purpleparrot »

Offline hangook77

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2019, 01:55:50 PM »
I know that for Gyeonggi-do we were only given the option to either renew with our school or leave.  They took away the option to transfer within the province this year.   You used to be able to transfer within the province w/o re-applying (I'm pretty sure) but this year it was either renew or leave (and re-apply to EPIK all together).

Thanks for that information.  Is there any written evidence of this? Where did you get this information? I don't recall this being anywhere in the contract.


I'm an EPIK teacher in Gyeonggi-do (hired by EPIK in 2016).  Every year in mid-November I'm given a form about my plans for the next year.  When I was given the form in Nov 2016 and Nov 2017, there were three options that we could choose:  1) I want to renew with my same school; 2)  I want to change schools within Gyeonggi province (something along those lines); 3) I don't want to renew (with school/province).  Now the form I was given in Nov 2018 only had two options:  1) I want to renew with my school; 2) I don't want to renew.  They took away the transfer option.  Actually this didn't surprise me as my friend contacted the EPIK coordinator in July about wanting to transfer schools in Gyeonggi for 2019.  The coordinator told her that she would have to completely reapply to EPIK even if she wanted to stay in Gyeonggi....so it looks like this was something new they started to do this year.

I do think it's weird that the coordinator told you that you couldn't apply for one year.  I understand if there is not enough time for you to apply for March 2019, as placements have probably already filled up or are about to.  But I don't understand why you can't apply for August 2019 or even late intake for April/May.

Must be a Gyeong gi thing.  Must be arseholes up there.  Find another province and tell them to shove off. 

Offline m.corless

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2019, 10:59:06 PM »
I don't want to transfer to another province. I want to stay in my current area, but I just wanted to work at another school in my area that was looking for a teacher for March.   Since I was not renewed by my current school, I was told (correctly) by my coordinator that I can't simply transfer or apply to another school.  I would have to re-apply to EPIK again which starts around Fall 2019 for intake for the 2020 March year.  Yes, that is why I would have to wait 1 full year to work again within an EPIK school in my same area/province.   

With most P/MOEs the evaluation score needed to transfer within your province is actually higher than the score needed to just stay at your current school. If your principal/VP/co-teachers didn't give you a high enough evaluation score to transfer and also don't want to keep you, then unfortunately you're SOL. That being said there is no reason why you would have to wait a whole year to reapply with EPIK. Because you're in Korea now the official documents (criminal record check, degree, reference letters) are super easy to access so you could technically reapply for March/April 2019 right now since EPIK hasn't closed yet. They may reject you if your school doesn't give a solid reference check when they call, but it's an easy thing to try. If the timing doesn't work for whatever reason the next time you could apply to EPIK would be in a month or so for the Fall 2019 spots. You are also free to apply to other public school programs or hagwons, anyone who hires outside of EPIK anytime.

Offline Mezoti97

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2019, 08:56:35 AM »
@Mezoti97 - That's because your RENEWED your contract.  As long as you renew it, you don't have to re-apply again and you were able to transfer to another school.   I said in my post that if you DON'T renew a contract, you can't work at another EPIK school (in the same province). 

Okay, I guess I misunderstood. However, you did write in your initial post "if you don't renew a contract at the SAME school" (see below), which is why I wrote what I wrote in my previous reply. In the situation I described in my previous reply, I stated that one year I did not renew at the same public school but transferred within the same POE/MOE to another public school under the same MOE/POE. So I guess maybe you probably meant, "if you don't renew a contract at the same MOE/POE." 

But I spoke with an EPIK coordinator and they told me that if you don't renew a contract at the SAME
school
(whether because they don't want to renew you or you choose not to renew), you are essentially
ending your ties with EPIK as well.  Meaning, if you wanted to apply to another school for March, you can't simply
be re-assigned or transferred to another school.  EPIK coordinator said you would have to re-apply to become
an EPIK teacher again and "IF" they accept you, you could be ready to teach in March 2020!

* * *

As for this:

Another workaround that I thought of was, what if my school and I re-negotiated the contract signing and this time write it down as BOTH agreed to renew the contract.  Then after that, I would request a transfer to another school nearby.  This way, my school will still get what they want (a new teacher/experience/culture) for March 2019, and I would be able to transfer to a nearby school that is wanting me to come in for an interview.  I wouldn't have to go through the entire process of re-applying to EPIK and waiting a whole year.

Do you think this could be a possibility?


I doubt it, but I suppose it would depend on your relationships with your current principal, vice-principal, and co-teacher/handler and also whether they already submitted your evaluation form (with your evaluation score) to your MOE/POE -- in which case, if they already did, then I would assume that it's probably too late and unlikely that any changes can be made at this point. Even if they haven't already submitted it to your MOE/POE, as another poster mentioned, you do need a higher evaluation score in order to be able to transfer to another school within the same MOE/POE, and I don't know how likely it is that your principal, vice-principal, and co-teacher/handler would be willing to fudge the score so that you can transfer within the same MOE/POE. Again, I guess that would depend on your relationships with them, but personally, I don't think any of my previous principals, vice-principals, and co-teachers/handlers at any of my previous public school jobs would have ever been willing to do something like that.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 07:40:10 AM by Mezoti97 »

Offline Allpointseast

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2019, 09:21:22 PM »
 This DOES seem harsh:
Quote
[/So that means if you don't renew a contract, you're basically OFF the team and can't work for a whole year.
The only way to work in March 2019 right away is to work for a NON-EPIK school, ie., a city-funded school that can do their own hiring.

This sounds like it's a penalty or a blackmark on the NET for not renewing a contract.  If we've completed a contract, why are we being punished or penalized like this?   I thought they would simply re-assign you / move you to another school that is looking for a teacher, but essentially, not renewing means you not only leave your current school after Feb. 28, but you are also leaving EPIK.     Ouch.
quote]
  So you can be good enough for EPIK, good enough to complete a contract and get a reference from the school, but still  get what is essentially a black mark. EPIK sounds really horrible.

Offline persimmon14

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Re: Not renewing = penalty black mark on English teachers
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2019, 11:12:44 AM »
For more clarification.  I was told that Gyeonggi province of education (GPoE) has a policy that does not allow for internal transfers regardless if you renew your contract or not.   WOW.   Other provinces do not have this policy and internal transfer is possible.   This is hard to believe.   I believe this policy came into effect as recent as this past March 2018 school year.

I've spoken with many people via email and phone and to be honest, it sounds like there's just a lot of confusion and misunderstandings and not everyone seems to understand or know exactly how everything works.  There's massive confusion about these policies, schools, EPIK and actual Provinces of Education (ie. GPoE, SMOE).   

I'm still trying to get it sorted out.  I was also part of that GEPIK switching over to EPIK ordeal and the huge amount of inconveniences that event also put on GEPIK teachers like me who have been serving with GEPIK for a long time..... we didn't get a renewal bonus even though I renewed at my same school because TECHNICALLY it was not a renewal but a new contract because it was previously GEPIK and now turned EPIK.   At that time, I thought the same thing.  Why loyal, long-time GEPIK teachers who have an excellent record got penalized during that transition?  For doing nothing wrong and nothing in our control, the education system shuffles things up and made it a huge problem for us.  We had to re-apply (get all the documents again), forfeit a renewal bonus, and possibly be relocated to a new school (fortunately for me at the time, I was able to get placed right back at my same school I've always been).