July 19, 2018, 04:35:53 AM


Author Topic: Difficulties applying to EPIK/public schools while in Korea  (Read 1944 times)

Offline Foreverparadise

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I was happy to have the chance to return here to South Korea nearly 4 years ago
after I left my previous job in Japan. I came back to Korea with the expereince I had
teaching EFL all these years since I started my teaching career in Gyeonggi-do back in
2006. I was away for 3 years until I came back here to Korea, but this time I am not
in Gyeonggi-do.

I love my work, I love my students, and I love the good quality of life I have for myself
here in Korea. However after 4 years of living and working in the local area where I am,
I will be leaving this fall. The reason is the same old thing that neitizens here have always
talked about, cutbacks to NET's in the public school system. I know two people who
used to work in my local area and are now elsewhere in Korea, I know another fellow
who is leaving this summer, I will follow him, another NET will be here until winter, and a married couple will be leaving in March of 2017.

What I find discouraging is the fact that I have to apply directly to EPIK for a public
school teaching position, or to an office of education. But what I really find to be a hassle is that I have to order a new Criminal Record Check from a digitizing fingerprinting agency back in Canada, and I have to get my university degree(s) notarized from the province in Canada where I graduated. For me to do that while I am here in Korea until this October is just a hassle and also expensive. One of the offices of education also wants a You Tube video link from me about teaching in Korea. Well I am not a video graphics expert and if
they get a video link from me, it will have to be to the best of how I could do it.
Besides, applying through one of the recruiting agents here in Korea for a new teaching position in the same province or elsewhere, I feel there is no point in doing that while I am here as long as I do not have an updated Criminal Record Check or Letters of Refference.

If I should go directly back to Canada this fall, it would be cheaper for me to get other documents ready for application. But even if I apply from back in Canada (through a recruiter or directly to EPIK), If they see that I have 10 years of expereince of teaching EFL, I doubt that they would want to consider me, because they are looking to hire mostly newbie teachers who have little to no experience at all because salaries for them are cheaper than it is for experienced teachers like me. Also due to the cutbacks and more limited teaching positions for NET's in the public schools, you would reccomend for me to apply for the private institutions right? Well guess what? I refuse to work for the private institutes here in Korea because too many of these schools are being operated by too many unscrupulous Koreans. As a result of that, I might not have a chance to teach here in Korea again.

I am still not going to be negative about this. I just had an interview with an employer in Thailand, and I may get a chance to move there and continue in my teaching career. If I can have a chance to teach elsewhere in Korea I will, if not then I can always go somewhere else.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 07:51:24 PM by taeyang »

Offline AlivePoet

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Re: Might Not Have a Chance Again.
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2016, 05:15:04 PM »
Don't worry too much about the future. There will continue to be jobs available here. You might not like the conditions or the hoops you'll have to jump through to get them, but you're making the choice to leave now. No use worrying about or predicting job availability until you're set to return.

Offline orionchocopie

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Re: Might Not Have a Chance Again.
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2016, 06:03:10 PM »
Cool story, bro.

Offline robobob9000

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Re: Difficulties applying to EPIK/public schools while in Korea
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2016, 08:28:03 PM »
I fail to see how it would be more of a hassle than if you were living in Canada. You would still be doing all that stuff by internet or by phone anyway. The only thing you need to do in-person is the fingerprinting, and you can easily do that at any police station here in Korea.

About 70% of public school teachers cycle out every year. There's always going to be new job postings despite cutbacks. And many of those jobs that do get cut end up getting re-added a year or two later after parents throw a fuss.

Teaching EFL abroad is a job that is always going to have instability, just because of the nature of the job. Foreign jobs are always going to get cut first whenever there's a budgeting problem. If you really want a stable teaching job then you should go back to your home country and get certified to teach a different subject. If you're unwilling to go through the relatively trivial EPIK paperwork then maybe that's a sign that your heart just isn't into it anymore and you should think about trying something else. Follow your dreams, you don't have to keep teaching EFL just because you did it for 10 years :) Honestly it sounds like you've become a little racist towards Koreans: "I refuse to work for the private institutes here in Korea because too many of these schools are being operated by too many unscrupulous Koreans." so perhaps it would be best to just move on.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 08:33:14 PM by robobob9000 »

Offline Foreverparadise

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Re: Difficulties applying to EPIK/public schools while in Korea
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 08:21:58 AM »
I fail to see how it would be more of a hassle than if you were living in Canada. You would still be doing all that stuff by internet or by phone anyway. The only thing you need to do in-person is the fingerprinting, and you can easily do that at any police station here in Korea.

About 70% of public school teachers cycle out every year. There's always going to be new job postings despite cutbacks. And many of those jobs that do get cut end up getting re-added a year or two later after parents throw a fuss.

Teaching EFL abroad is a job that is always going to have instability, just because of the nature of the job. Foreign jobs are always going to get cut first whenever there's a budgeting problem. If you really want a stable teaching job then you should go back to your home country and get certified to teach a different subject. If you're unwilling to go through the relatively trivial EPIK paperwork then maybe that's a sign that your heart just isn't into it anymore and you should think about trying something else. Follow your dreams, you don't have to keep teaching EFL just because you did it for 10 years :) Honestly it sounds like you've become a little racist towards Koreans: "I refuse to work for the private institutes here in Korea because too many of these schools are being operated by too many unscrupulous Koreans." so perhaps it would be best to just move on.

I am not being racist towards Koreans, not all Koreans in the private sector are unscrupulous, but it is a problem for several Koreans who run most of the hagwons. But it's not just in the hagwons, because unscrupolous business practices and abuse of power has always been and is a problem for many Koreans who are in the levels of business authority because of the influences of Confucianism. But again not all Koreans are like that.

Also another reason why I refuse to work for hagwons is because they have working conditions that I do not approve of. I also do not support their working hours and I do not support their limited annual vacation times. That's why I am better off teaching in the public school system so I can continue to have all the holidays I can have, as well as the vacation time I could even spend with my family and my girlfriend overseas.

If it is time for me to move on, I will move on. The fact of the matter is I love my work and I love my students. If I can continue in Korea I will, if not then I have to move on.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 08:32:47 AM by Foreverparadise »

Offline robobob9000

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Re: Difficulties applying to EPIK/public schools while in Korea
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 09:44:13 AM »
I am not being racist towards Koreans, not all Koreans in the private sector are unscrupulous, but it is a problem for several Koreans who run most of the hagwons. But it's not just in the hagwons, because unscrupolous business practices and abuse of power has always been and is a problem for many Koreans who are in the levels of business authority because of the influences of Confucianism. But again not all Koreans are like that.

Also another reason why I refuse to work for hagwons is because they have working conditions that I do not approve of. I also do not support their working hours and I do not support their limited annual vacation times. That's why I am better off teaching in the public school system so I can continue to have all the holidays I can have, as well as the vacation time I could even spend with my family and my girlfriend overseas.

If it is time for me to move on, I will move on. The fact of the matter is I love my work and I love my students. If I can continue in Korea I will, if not then I have to move on.
I just want to point out that you could've wrote that you just don't want to work for hagwons. Instead you singled out the race of the business owners, and used it to explain your opinion.

Obviously I sincerely doubt that any NET is racist. You'd have to be fairly liberal to even consider living abroad in the first place. But racism is not binary decision, it's a continuum.

Offline Foreverparadise

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Re: Difficulties applying to EPIK/public schools while in Korea
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 11:15:20 AM »
I am not being racist towards Koreans, not all Koreans in the private sector are unscrupulous, but it is a problem for several Koreans who run most of the hagwons. But it's not just in the hagwons, because unscrupolous business practices and abuse of power has always been and is a problem for many Koreans who are in the levels of business authority because of the influences of Confucianism. But again not all Koreans are like that.

Also another reason why I refuse to work for hagwons is because they have working conditions that I do not approve of. I also do not support their working hours and I do not support their limited annual vacation times. That's why I am better off teaching in the public school system so I can continue to have all the holidays I can have, as well as the vacation time I could even spend with my family and my girlfriend overseas.

If it is time for me to move on, I will move on. The fact of the matter is I love my work and I love my students. If I can continue in Korea I will, if not then I have to move on.
I just want to point out that you could've wrote that you just don't want to work for hagwons. Instead you singled out the race of the business owners, and used it to explain your opinion.

Obviously I sincerely doubt that any NET is racist. You'd have to be fairly liberal to even consider living abroad in the first place. But racism is not binary decision, it's a continuum.

OK to be more politically correct, I will say that I do not trust myself working for hagowns because too many of them are being runned by unjust people that's all. So if I offended anybody I apologize.

Offline SkidMarx

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Re: Difficulties applying to EPIK/public schools while in Korea
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 11:54:09 AM »
What I find discouraging is the fact that I have to apply directly to EPIK for a public school teaching position, or to an office of education. But what I really find to be a hassle is that I have to order a new Criminal Record Check from a digitizing fingerprinting agency back in Canada, and I have to get my university degree(s) notarized from the province in Canada where I graduated. For me to do that while I am here in Korea until this October is just a hassle and also expensive. One of the offices of education also wants a You Tube video link from me about teaching in Korea. Well I am not a video graphics expert and if they get a video link from me, it will have to be to the best of how I could do it.
Besides, applying through one of the recruiting agents here in Korea for a new teaching position in the same province or elsewhere, I feel there is no point in doing that while I am here as long as I do not have an updated Criminal Record Check or Letters of Refference.

If I should go directly back to Canada this fall, it would be cheaper for me to get other documents ready for application. But even if I apply from back in Canada (through a recruiter or directly to EPIK), If they see that I have 10 years of expereince of teaching EFL, I doubt that they would want to consider me, because they are looking to hire mostly newbie teachers who have little to no experience at all because salaries for them are cheaper than it is for experienced teachers like me. Also due to the cutbacks and more limited teaching positions for NET's in the public schools, you would reccomend for me to apply for the private institutions right? Well guess what? I refuse to work for the private institutes here in Korea because too many of these schools are being operated by too many unscrupulous Koreans. As a result of that, I might not have a chance to teach here in Korea again.

Last year, my first public school switched from GEPIK to EPIK at the last minute. Everyone at my school, despite liking me and wanting me to come back, thought I was righteously screwed for your aforementioned reasons (needing a new CRC and apostilled copy of my degree, despite having submitted those documents to Suwon Immigration back when I arrived in 2012). So I feel your pain. However, I managed to find a workaround and squeaked in by the seat of my pants, at least partially because my cool principal lobbied hard to get me rehired. Needless to say, I had a rather stressful winter sorting it out, but it isn't impossible to do. I'm not comfortable sharing what happened openly but if you want to PM me, feel free. It may have only worked in my unique situation (ha!) but you never know.

Additionally, I worked three years at three different hagwons and they are a mixed bag, as a rule. The first was run by a bizarrely stoic Korean man who gave us a lot of work and not much direction so I wasn't a big fan but I tried to take in as much as I could. The second was a smaller school, with me taking over for a friend who had to leave. I took her recommendation and while there were bad days, overall it was a better experience. To get my third job, I went with a recruiter another friend recommended, asked for a small school and got exactly what I wanted: teaching small kindie classes in the morning and small elementary ones in the afternoon, everyone left me alone to teach how I wanted and while it had it's ups and downs, it was an awesome experience overall. I'm still friends with the owner and recently attended her wedding. I even got to live a year in north Seoul, which was a really amazing. I also made more money in private.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you know what you're doing and know what to look for, hagwons can be good too. I don't regret changing over because I like a new challenge and my current school is incredible but there are elements of private schools that I do miss.

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Difficulties applying to EPIK/public schools while in Korea
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 04:15:36 PM »
Programs like EPIK might build seniority perks into their contracts, but South Korea does NOT want us to stay, and they expect us to work a year or two then leave. It doesn't matter how professional or well-loved you are, you will still be seen as disposable by your school and province. Korean schools are already very chaotic with Korean teachers coming and going at the end of each year (I've been told they have to rotate to another school after 3 years), and they just don't see the point in having stable, happy, professional teachers who are invested in the school and the town. After 3.5 years in Korea I kinda think Koreans associate upheaval and uncertainty with learning, kinda like how they seem to associate loud noises with selling things at a store.

In my old province they cut everyone who was on a spring intake contract. Didn't matter how many years you had, or how successful you were, if you were on a spring contract you were cut. It would have made a lot more sense to have done some evaluations and try to keep the best teachers and let go weaker/newer teachers on spring and fall contracts, but nope.