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Career Venue => Contract, and Job Related Issues => Topic started by: oli125 on September 20, 2017, 09:39:23 am

Title: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: oli125 on September 20, 2017, 09:39:23 am
Today at 4:30 pm i will have finished 2 years at my public middle school in Ulsan. Overall it has been a really enjoyable 2 years and most definitely the easiest 2 years of work that I will probably ever do in my life, and I feel I may come to regret my decision not to continue.
My school is a rural (dormitory) school with only 280 kids, most of whom have really high  English levels.  I taught 13 classes a week which were all textbook based classes. I never once had to lesson plan, grade or set homework and I was completely left alone by my co teachers and never made to go out for dinners or weekends away(which was ideal for me). It's really is a cushy gig. However, I am sat now thinking and reflecting on my time here and there are certainly somethings that I will not miss. This got me to thinking about what other people think about the same topic.
here is my list of things I won't miss, in no particular order:

-My commute. 1 hour by car in the mornings due to traffic.
- The endless hours of desk warming, even during the term. I only teach 13 classes per week, but still have to be at my desk from 8.30- 4.40. This one I could have made more enjoyable if I didn't procrastinate so much.
- Watching ALL AND I MEAN ALL teachers fill their trays to the brim at lunch time, then throw half of it away. This one annoys me a lot, as it really doesn't send a good message to the kids and I'm against food waste for many reasons.
-Teachers brushing their teeth in the office sink. The sound kills me.
- Feeling awkward about having my own snacks and trying to eat them secretly because I didn't bring snacks for everyone, EVERYDAY.
- The feeling that I will never progress in this field and in knowing that I could stay here for 3, 4 or 5 years and still be at the same level I am at now. This is a common one I think, esp for married guys like myself who plan to be here for a long while.


That's all I think...
How about you guys? Also, sorry if this is  bit trivial, but i'm bored at my desk:/

Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: weirdgirlinkorea on September 20, 2017, 10:05:11 am
I came in 2010, from the US where the economy was still horrible (even now that it's better, there's nothing for me because I have been gone so long) and I had to work 75 hours a week just to survive and I wasn't even making it, every month I had to skip something so something else would get paid. I barely slept. It was dreadful. Coming here and having so much vacation and weekends and nights to myself and no freaking horrible customers to deal with gives me the perspective that this is the sweetest deal ever. Would I ever quit? If I came into a good deal of money that would allow me to write full time, then yes, I could quit this without regret. But being here I have traveled more than was ever possible even when I had a kickass corporate job (before the economy tanked) because corporations really don't let you take more than a week or two (if you're lucky) at a time. Having to sit at my desk when I don't have any classes is a nuisance but I find that I get more accomplished than if I had stayed home. There, I'd just lay in bed and do nothing. Here, I am already awake, so I can do my hobbies and get paid for it. I am leaving this job in February, but I will continue to seek this kind of employment, I hate hagwons. There isn't much I don't like except office politics but that's pretty much the same everywhere except how it plays out is different.

Today at 4:30 pm i will have finished 2 years at my public middle school in Ulsan. Overall it has been a really enjoyable 2 years and most definitely the easiest 2 years of work that I will probably ever do in my life, and I feel I may come to regret my decision not to continue.
My school is a rural (dormitory) school with only 280 kids, most of whom have really high  English levels.  I taught 13 classes a week which were all textbook based classes. I never once had to lesson plan, grade or set homework and I was completely left alone by my co teachers and never made to go out for dinners or weekends away(which was ideal for me). It's really is a cushy gig. However, I am sat now thinking and reflecting on my time here and there are certainly somethings that I will not miss. This got me to thinking about what other people think about the same topic.
here is my list of things I won't miss, in no particular order:

-My commute. 1 hour by car in the mornings due to traffic.
- The endless hours of desk warming, even during the term. I only teach 13 classes per week, but still have to be at my desk from 8.30- 4.40. This one I could have made more enjoyable if I didn't procrastinate so much.
- Watching ALL AND I MEAN ALL teachers fill their trays to the brim at lunch time, then throw half of it away. This one annoys me a lot, as it really doesn't send a good message to the kids and I'm against food waste for many reasons.
-Teachers brushing their teeth in the office sink. The sound kills me.
- Feeling awkward about having my own snacks and trying to eat them secretly because I didn't bring snacks for everyone, EVERYDAY.
- The feeling that I will never progress in this field and in knowing that I could stay here for 3, 4 or 5 years and still be at the same level I am at now. This is a common one I think, esp for married guys like myself who plan to be here for a long while.


That's all I think...
How about you guys? Also, sorry if this is  bit trivial, but i'm bored at my desk:/
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: ESL6 on September 20, 2017, 10:13:36 am
Oli125



Man the food thing at lunch kills me.

Everyday I see the same people dish up an amount of food, barely eat anything and then repeat the next day.

I just so badly want to ask why dish up so much??
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: eggieguffer on September 20, 2017, 10:15:22 am
Oli125



Man the food thing at lunch kills me.

Everyday I see the same people dish up an amount of food, barely eat anything and then repeat the next day.

I just so badly want to ask why dish up so much??

Because when you dish it up you're really hungry and when you start tasting the food you suddenly lose your appetite?
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: oglop on September 20, 2017, 10:35:42 am
i (mostly) enjoyed my time at public school but i do not miss

- desk warming (by far the worst bit)
- being part of the office politics
- having a co-teacher
- the dickhead principal
- camps
- the shite english textbooks
- not being allowed to turn on the air conditioner in summer or heater in winter
- school lunches (most days)
- lack of communication and organisation
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: MayorHaggar on September 20, 2017, 10:38:55 am
- no a/c in summer

- no heat in winter even when it's like -15 outside

- "the principal says to come play volleyball."
  "Okay give me a minute to save this file and I'll be right th..."
  "THE PRINCIPAL SAYS TO COME PLAY VOLLEYBALL NOW."

- hoesiks

- classes being completely disorganized and getting cancelled/rescheduled at the last minute Because Korea

- feral kids running around on top of the desks; Korean teachers being completely unwilling to help with discipline because they don't have any bureaucratic responsibility over the class


Really though I could put up with all the above except for the no heat in winter thing. Eff that, it's 2017 not 1017.
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: weirdgirlinkorea on September 20, 2017, 10:39:12 am
This is the crap I hated most about teaching public elementary. (well except the principal bit, because I have never had a DH one.) My last (elementary) school lunches were so horrible many of my students would skip lunch and sneak out to the mart across the street and buy snacks to eat.
This high school lunches are amazeballs but I don't eat them anymore because I got fat off them lol also, I am too lazy to go to the other building to eat there.

i (mostly) enjoyed my time at public school but i do not miss

- desk warming (by far the worst bit)
- being part of the office politics
- having a co-teacher
- the dickhead principal
- camps
- the shite english textbooks
- not being allowed to turn on the air conditioner in summer or heater in winter
- school lunches (most days)
- lack of communication and organisation
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: sweetkat on September 20, 2017, 11:13:17 am
Two years ago this week, i finished my public elementary school job in Korea.

I miss the third, fourth and fifth graders.
I miss the freedom of teaching in the class. (here in china i teach at a training school that has a methodology and a schedule of teaching that is silly and more for show than actual results)
I miss open classes being only twice a year (maybe) instead of having hte parents come in the class now every six weeks.

What I don't miss:
camps.....never have to do those again.
lack of discipline.
coteachers on power trips and control freaks
speech contests
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: junakiii on September 20, 2017, 11:26:51 am
1- totally agree about the food waste. i guess they aren't taught to only take what u intend to eat.
2- being told something last minute. the good ol' korean surprise =_=
3- also agree about the lack of heating and cooling. being at school without AC or heat is just suffering until u want to die
4- the type of education in korea- no practicality, just rote memorization. i can write a whole essay about this.
5- apologists for student behavior. students get away with everything. one tried to set the school on fire and he wasn't even suspended, let alone disciplined other than a short lecture.
6- CTs who just sit there and twiddle their thumbs in class. or better yet, the ones who disappear until the end of class (which isnt legal btw according to my contract)
7- no control over assessments. being asked, "is this gonna be on the exam" and i can't say yes or no because i have no say. my 1st years (middle school) have no midterms or finals this semester and it drives me nuts bc they just don't participate in class since they don't have to study for anything.

there are things i liked too, but my experience here made me decide to go back home at the end of my contract.
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: DMZabductee on September 20, 2017, 11:28:32 am

- feral kids running around on top of the desks; Korean teachers being completely unwilling to help with discipline because they don't have any bureaucratic responsibility over the class


This.

This is really the only thing that irks me at PS. Ican use the aircon in summer, heater in winter. Even deskwarming is a breeze. Free time to do...whatever!

But those middle school first graders act like animals on a jailbreak every day, screaming, play fighting, real fighting, climbing over shit, throwing stuff, slamming computers and screens.  I mean I was a kid once too. I tried that crap. And I was told to stop or be punished. And I knew it wasn't acceptable. Here....

I've had two CTs in four years who were decently strict yet fair with the discipline, but all the rest of the time? Non, je n'aime pas ca.  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: tadpole511 on September 20, 2017, 12:38:10 pm
Pretty much the same as everyone else.

1) The lack of communication

1A)  :-* Tadpole Teacher, this is very, very important. I must interrupt and derail the entire lesson to tell you this very important thing.
       :police: Absolutely sure this can't wait ten minutes til after class?
       :-* Yes. Very important.
       :police: *Organizes students to do the activity by themselves for a couple minutes*
       :-* There is a teacher's meeting after school.

1B)  :-* Oh, Tadpole Teacher, homeroom teacher asked why you didn't come to her classroom. You missed class.
       :police: I don't have that class today?
       :-* Yes, you do. Why would you say you don't?
       :police: No one told me this class got changed to this day. I'm sorry I missed it. I have a free period tomorrow. Can I do the lesson tomorrow?
       :-* Yes, they will be here in five minutes. Please prepare *Lesson they aren't even supposed to be on for another two weeks*.
       :police: They don't do this lesson for a while. We're on this other lesson.
       :-* Oh, I changed it. How do you not know?

2) There are a few coteachers I won't miss in the slightest (luckily, most of mine were cool, but we all have at least one that drives us nuts). And the entire idea of having to plan with a coteacher that simultaneously wants absolute control over the entire lesson and to actually doing nothing.

3) The students coming stampeding into the classroom followed immediately by loud crashes, yelling, and ear-splitting screams of "TEEEEAAAACCCCHHHHHH AAAAAAAA!!!" If I'd acted like that at any point during my childhood, even as a 3rd grader, my @ss would've been handed to me on a silver platter.

4) Never getting straight answers about anything ever/things changing at the last minute

5) Being expected to attend meetings and trainings that are entirely in Korean and I can't understand a single word being said, but it's of the absolute utmost importance that my butt is in that seat and not lesson planning like I could be
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: yirj17 on September 20, 2017, 12:56:13 pm
I won't miss elementary much (the shrieking, the endless energy, the grabby hands).  Even though the kids can be cute and funny, I'm just better suited for working with older kids.  Far less draining.  I won't miss that coT who translates every little word (what, who, where) and frequently has to use the computer during class because she's "so busy."  Who will randomly and inconsistently decide she wants to control the lesson.  Who will tell me I "had better not do x, y, z" then turns around and does exactly "x, y, z."  :rolleyes:

I will miss my middle schools.  The students and coworkers and chill atmosphere.  The near full autonomy I'm given in conducting my classes.  I will miss having access to Korean drums and the free group lessons.  The lunch ladies have always been lovely as well.  My housing. 

I won't miss having to work at 4 schools. 
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: CJ on September 20, 2017, 03:09:46 pm
Not miss:
English camps
Split vacations
Older co-teachers who want to dominate everything I do in class and who get offended if I've been to some places in Korea they have not
Being offered rice cake every 10 mins
Dealing with apathetic students who only want to memorise words
Office politics
Having no one want to sit next to me during lunch
No career path and a max 2.7 pay
Desk warming
Having teachers sleep in class
No being told anything

Miss:
Vacation time
Severance and pension
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: yirj17 on September 20, 2017, 03:19:29 pm
^how silly of me, I will also very much miss the vacation time. 

And the generally low cost of living.  I can be reasonably frivolous here while also saving good chunks of money at the same time. 
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: Mr.DeMartino on September 20, 2017, 03:25:00 pm
Oli125



Man the food thing at lunch kills me.

Everyday I see the same people dish up an amount of food, barely eat anything and then repeat the next day.

I just so badly want to ask why dish up so much??

Because when you dish it up you're really hungry and when you start tasting the food you suddenly lose your appetite?

This, plus the fact that they're kids. Expecting restraint when it comes to food with kids is a silly notion. The average 10 year old would take a single bite out of each slice of pizza if they could, then finish it off with a side of fried chicken skins, leaving behind the chicken. I mean we're talking a demographic that could make an entire meal out of M&Ms and Pringles.
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: elsbethm on September 20, 2017, 03:28:33 pm
Oli125



Man the food thing at lunch kills me.

Everyday I see the same people dish up an amount of food, barely eat anything and then repeat the next day.

I just so badly want to ask why dish up so much??

Because when you dish it up you're really hungry and when you start tasting the food you suddenly lose your appetite?

This, plus the fact that they're kids. Expecting restraint when it comes to food with kids is a silly notion. The average 10 year old would take a single bite out of each slice of pizza if they could, then finish it off with a side of fried chicken skins, leaving behind the chicken. I mean we're talking a demographic that could make an entire meal out of M&Ms and Pringles.

I do believe the original comment referred to teachers filling up their trays and then wasting their food.  I would hope that they would have more restraint than your average 10 year old.
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: yirj17 on September 20, 2017, 03:31:50 pm
I do believe the original comment referred to teachers filling up their trays and then wasting their food.  I would hope that they would have more restraint than your average 10 year old.

Reading comprehension tends to fall to the wayside when a contrary comment can be shoehorned in. 
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: Mr.DeMartino on September 20, 2017, 03:44:05 pm
Things I miss
Sports Day
Having considered an acceptable part of my job duties to play soccer and basketball with the kids during lunch and getting in a free workout
School Lunch- moderation is the key and it's nice to have a stable meal with variety
The old school English songs from the national textbook. They had a certain charm.
Speech contests. Winning is the greatest feeling in the world.
Coffee time in the staffroom and turning it into a mini cafe with gourmet coffee and tea
Drinking time with the male teachers who were all about pool or screen golf, not sexybangs
The various activities that the students would partake in and the projects they'd do
Watching them develop and grow as people and students, especially when they excelled
The discipline we were allowed to unleash the first couple of years
My coteachers who took the job seriously and helped me improve as an educator. Also the ones that didn't do crap but were happy to cover the rare day I needed them to because I always covered for them
Hoesiks
The fact that there is still some rote memorization (seriously, we knock it, but it is necessary for a lot of basic things)
Catching students at the PC Bang
Supportive parents
Old teachers with old school hobbies- woodcarving, fishing, farming, archery
Summer lunchtime driving range breaks with the principal
Bringing back foreign food treats from Seoul and sharing them

Things I don't miss
The songs they replaced the national textbook ones with
Principal dragging the male teachers to a Wassexy20yearsagoba ng
English Camp prep
The rules and regulations crackdown on corporal punishment
Kids farting, puking, crying, etc.
Having to periodically shout at work
Too much rote memorization
Catching ex-students smoking
Teacher Trips (Mountains=Car Sickness)
Office politics
Watermelon season
Grape season
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: Mr.DeMartino on September 20, 2017, 03:46:47 pm
Oli125



Man the food thing at lunch kills me.

Everyday I see the same people dish up an amount of food, barely eat anything and then repeat the next day.

I just so badly want to ask why dish up so much??

Because when you dish it up you're really hungry and when you start tasting the food you suddenly lose your appetite?

This, plus the fact that they're kids. Expecting restraint when it comes to food with kids is a silly notion. The average 10 year old would take a single bite out of each slice of pizza if they could, then finish it off with a side of fried chicken skins, leaving behind the chicken. I mean we're talking a demographic that could make an entire meal out of M&Ms and Pringles.

I do believe the original comment referred to teachers filling up their trays and then wasting their food.  I would hope that they would have more restraint than your average 10 year old.

Fair point.

Regardless, the school makes a set amount anyway and whatever is left over gets composted. If they throw it into the food waste bin, big effin deal.

I personally am very picky about how much I eat and don't waste. But I also absolutely refuse to eat excess food once I've had enough and if there's leftovers I have zero hesitation about throwing that stuff out (unless of sufficient amount to save). I'm not going to eat excess calories because of some sunk costs fallacy. 
Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: weirdgirlinkorea on September 21, 2017, 07:38:02 am
Ah yes, I also forgot, deep nasty nose pickers who suddenly yell out "sungsaegnim koh pi! (teacher bloody nose/nosebleed!) because they were digging so hard  :huh:

Kids farting, puking, crying, etc.

Title: Re: what will you/ do you not miss about public school?
Post by: weirdgirlinkorea on September 21, 2017, 07:40:31 am
I shit you not, my last elementary recycled leftovers for the next day, as long as it was untouched. We had scrambled eggs/omelette crap too many days to count.

Fair point.

Regardless, the school makes a set amount anyway and whatever is left over gets composted. If they throw it into the food waste bin, big effin deal.

I personally am very picky about how much I eat and don't waste. But I also absolutely refuse to eat excess food once I've had enough and if there's leftovers I have zero hesitation about throwing that stuff out (unless of sufficient amount to save). I'm not going to eat excess calories because of some sunk costs fallacy.