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  • KarineESL
  • Explorer

    • 9

    • September 28, 2018, 03:05:33 pm
    • Korea
Paying for teacher outings?
« on: October 18, 2018, 01:45:27 pm »
I used to work in a hagwon and now it's my first time going through the public school system.
My co-teacher just asked me if I wanted to join the school's teacher club. I had no idea what that was.
She explained that it was like a "family" group for all our school's teachers. All the teachers get together for outings, dinners and stuff. She also mentioned it cost 25 000 won / month to be a part of this club. The price would be deducted from my monthly pay check.
I want to have a good relationship with my co-teachers, is this really the way to go?

What is everyone else's experience with this?


  • JVPrice
  • Expert Waygook

    • 658

    • August 29, 2017, 10:26:13 am
    • Cheongju
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 01:52:05 pm »
From what I've experienced, yes, this is the best way to build a relationship with your co-teachers. It's some of the few times you'll see them outside of school and not be in "work mode." It's typically just a trip to some Korean restaurant where you'll sit down. The Principal or Admins will say some stuff, you'll toast and then eat. As the foreign teacher, and you should expect this, nobody will probably say much to you (unless your Korean is top notch), so it can get boring pretty quickly.

I personally think they're fine until they decide to drink and stay out all night. Short outings are the best, imo.
The World Ends With You


Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 02:00:33 pm »
it's a good thing to be apart of.  they also use that money for gifts if someone gets married, funerals, births, coffee for the teachers room, etc.  every school i was at always gave back and split whatever monies was leftover at the end of the school year.  if you miss an event though, that's on you.   and you can always say "no" to an outing.  just tell them it's too short notice or you have to the shits.  no one ever questions that excuse


Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 02:05:56 pm »
Some teachers meet up multiple times a month, so it might be worth feel out what you are committing to. I don't go to all of them because my teachers meet pretty often, but some of my favorite memories are from these. No joke, though, at some schools teachers stay out super late on school nights drinking, so feel out what the culture is of your school. At my school it's a mix of getting meals together and occasionally other activities like hiking.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1469

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 02:22:14 pm »
Depends on the school. But based on my experience, those private-public schools teachers tend to be closer (or they really hate each other) since often they've worked the same office for decades. And the smaller the town is, the tighter the bond tends to be. But the culture of each school can be drastically different.


  • Piggydee
  • The Legend

    • 2522

    • October 15, 2013, 07:32:43 am
    • South Korea
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 02:27:34 pm »
3 (going on my 4th) year at the same school and I've only gone on these outings twice.  I'm glad my school let's me bow out of these things.   :P


Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 02:31:15 pm »
You might as well do it. One possible downside is that they'll just be happy that you're there but might not make an actual effort to make you feel included lol. In my case, all the teachers would converse in Korean for 25 min straight, then one would suddenly remember I exist and say something in broken English to me then go right back to speaking in Korean with everyone else lol. They'll be happy that you're there but depending on the situation, you might just be sitting there awkwardly the entire night hoping they decide to go home lol.


  • debbiem89
  • Super Waygook

    • 429

    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 02:41:25 pm »
In my school if there are no outings, I cannot go because I'm in my second school or they didn't use it for anything else it gets refunded into my bank account.

I must say though the trips are TEDIOUS AF.

I have one co teacher who makes an effort to chat to me at our school dinners so if I sit next to him it's enjoyable. If not its sitting on the floor for 2-3 hours while everyone ignores me.

The ones that are actual trips are even worse and the teachers in my school only go from sheer obligation. They hate them...I mean who wants to spend the weekend with their co workers?!

I still pay because I don't like to ostracise myself. Even if no one talks to me I feel like it's good to show my face at the dinners at least. (and the food is usually good!) Some schools are totally cool for you to say no (and even relieved that the burden of the foreign teacher coming has been lifted!) but some can get funny with you and take it as a bit of a slight.


  • oglop
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1848

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 02:47:43 pm »


I must say though the trips are TEDIOUS AF.

yeah, do yourself a favour and don't bother going. these outings are the worst



Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2018, 03:20:15 pm »
My Grandma has died 9 times in the last 3 years.
Who is here in 2019?


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1010

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 04:24:55 pm »
You have to strike a balance.

Go to the dinners but don't go to the outings.

Catch my drift?


  • KimDuHan
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1244

    • January 15, 2015, 11:48:59 am
    • Seoul
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 07:21:08 pm »
I used to work in a hagwon and now it's my first time going through the public school system.
My co-teacher just asked me if I wanted to join the school's teacher club. I had no idea what that was.
She explained that it was like a "family" group for all our school's teachers. All the teachers get together for outings, dinners and stuff. She also mentioned it cost 25 000 won / month to be a part of this club. The price would be deducted from my monthly pay check.
I want to have a good relationship with my co-teachers, is this really the way to go?

What is everyone else's experience with this?

It's a trap! The first one may be fun but there is a steep decline. Odds are everyone will speak in Korean and you'll feel awkward. Also don't give your coworkers fuel for the fire.


Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2018, 09:53:49 pm »
There is noting wrong with that.
I usually went on my own outings.


Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2018, 11:22:44 am »
I personally feel like only suckers (at least, as far as native teachers go) sign up for these things. First of all, yes, they use the money collected for outings, dinners, and then for gifts for things like weddings, funerals, baby showers, etc. That said, as a foreign teacher, you don't count in that last regard. If you get married, have a parent or spouse die, or have a baby... they aren't going to give you squat out of that fund. At best, they might pass a hat around the office and see who wants to donate. But you aren't getting that social club money.

Also, most of the time (at least in my case), this social club thing meant that we'd go out for dinner once a month. I don't know about you, but I can eat much better than 삼겹살 once a month for $25. They also changed it up on me once and started doing an "at work games/snacks" day at around 4:30 once a month. I think that was because no one liked having to drive to a place and then drive home. The school was already super rural. And the problem with that was that if I stayed for their meeting, I'd miss my bus and have to wait two and a half hours for another bus.

I mean, if you wanna kid yourself and tell yourself that you're suddenly closer with the people you sat around and ate with in silence (unless you're pretty good at speaking Korean), then by all means... I personally found that I could skip these things, save my money, and instead I'd buy them shareable gifts when I went on vacations, or I'd bring back special gifts for co-teachers, principal, and VP... sometimes I'd bring treats to the office to share with people. That seemed to do just as much to bring us closer together, and it didn't involve overspending for awkward dinners.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 4939

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2018, 11:56:57 am »
I personally feel like only suckers (at least, as far as native teachers go) sign up for these things. First of all, yes, they use the money collected for outings, dinners, and then for gifts for things like weddings, funerals, baby showers, etc. That said, as a foreign teacher, you don't count in that last regard. If you get married, have a parent or spouse die, or have a baby... they aren't going to give you squat out of that fund. At best, they might pass a hat around the office and see who wants to donate. But you aren't getting that social club money.
I think that as with most things, your mileage may vary depending on your school. I got boat loads of moolah from my school when I got married, in addition to what my coworkers brought individually (despite having been asked not to bring cash).
   Also, they helped out with some hefty hospital bills a couple years back, which was really appreciated.
 
I mean, if you wanna kid yourself and tell yourself that you're suddenly closer with the people you sat around and ate with in silence (unless you're pretty good at speaking Korean), then by all means... I personally found that I could skip these things, save my money, and instead I'd buy them shareable gifts when I went on vacations, or I'd bring back special gifts for co-teachers, principal, and VP... sometimes I'd bring treats to the office to share with people. That seemed to do just as much to bring us closer together, and it didn't involve overspending for awkward dinners.
If you don't end up taking part in hweshiks, this is a pretty good alternative. Drop a few man-won every month or two, and everybody will love you, even if you blow them off every time there's an event. It's the appearance of caring that's appreciated, I think.
   I don't go to school outings very often since I changed schools, but at my last school, I really did enjoy them (they definitely went out of their way to keep me included). To each their own, I guess.  :undecided:
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 11:58:42 am by kyndo »


  • fishead
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1139

    • April 23, 2010, 07:58:05 am
    • Yangju Korea
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2018, 12:13:57 pm »
 I signed up for it last year and I got a round trip airfare to Jeju Island and back. A night in a  accomidation full Sashimi dinner on the island two nights hotel stay Seafood soup and Jeju pork dinner . All you can drink beer and soju.


  • JVPrice
  • Expert Waygook

    • 658

    • August 29, 2017, 10:26:13 am
    • Cheongju
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2018, 12:22:44 pm »
So, there are (at least) two types of these 'teacher outing funds.'

There's one that is deducted by the administration office automatically from your paycheque every month (it will be included on your paystub). This, like lunch deductions, legally requires you to sign a simple consent form stating that you consent to these automatic withdrawals from your salary. Some schools may not get the native teacher to sign the consent form (only 2/3 of mine have), but they should, officially.
This type of fund goes towards full-school dinners and events, including retirements, start and end of semester things, etc. If the whole school is involved, it comes from this fund. Usually this is only 10,000 per month, and the consent form is just a formality. You really should be paying this.

Then, there are ones for various groups in your school, depending on how your school is organized. Some schools group their native teacher with the subject teachers. Others will group you with a grade of teachers, like all the 6th grade teachers, for example. These are usually like 15-25,000 per month, and cover outings with that specific group of teachers. These are, in my experience, unpleasant. Unless you really like your coworkers. They may be a little miffed if you opt out, but you can opt out. This also usually covers the expenses of snacks and coffee in whatever shared office you might be in. That is a LOT of money to pay monthly to cover the expenses of ordering expensive roll cakes, going to eat pasta, or the other things that small groups of teachers often do together.

I think this is very worth noting. The OP only mentioned a 25k won fee.  I've never heard of this fee until now, as I've only had the 10k won fee for outings that you've mentioned. A noticeable difference. Not to mention that I've had outings with just a small group of teachers as well. The second one sounds like it wouldn't be too bad if you're at least placed with your co-teacher (and their English is up to par).

« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 12:32:12 pm by JVPrice »
The World Ends With You


Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2018, 01:06:38 pm »
The small fee that everyone has to pay into has never been asked by any of my schools. I assume that is just because everyone has to anyways and it was probably one of those sheets you sign that you have no idea about when you join a new school.

I always go to the school wide wheshiks that everyone joins.

But there is also a teacher optional dinners each month that you could pay and go. Mine was something crazy like 30-40 dollars a month. I asked why it was so expensive and she said it covered drinks and going to noreabang or things after. Maybe there were other random things too?
But I drive so no drinking. My Korean is shit past getting around and basic stuff that would be used up after the first outing. That just seems like a lot of money for some awkward times. 

To each their own but  I think opting out was the correct idea.


  • elsbethm
  • Veteran

    • 117

    • September 29, 2016, 09:26:54 pm
    • gangwondo
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2018, 01:52:33 pm »
I got guilted into it by my "coteacher". 30 000 is the monthly fee at my school. I try to skip out on as many dinners a possible, but it's not quite wasted money because it keeps the peace.
This year I'm a little pissed because we had to pay an extra 60 000 for our teacher outing which ended up being cancelled.  They just rescheduled it for next week- we get to drive 2 hours on nauseating mountain roads to get to a 'nearby' city for 회 and a movie. 
I've been trying to come up with a good excuse to get out of it, but now I just think I'm going to tell them the truth. 

Responding to the posts saying there are multiples types of outing funds-That's not true at every school. My schools only have the one fund. Probably because they're small, rural schools.  So, OP, your school may have multiple funds or just the one. I recommend double-checking with your CoT.

Now responding to the OP's question "Is this the way to go?"-It depends.  I'm physically very isolated at my schools.  My office at my main school is at a far end of the school, my classroom at my travel school is in it's own building. I also don't have a dedicated English CoT. The staff at my schools are all super friendly so it's not like I'm being excluded or shunned, we just don't have many opportunities to interact during the work day.
My first few months in Korea I didn't pay (or go) because I was focused on settling in and trying to figure out what the heck I was doing.  According to my "CoT," this made some of the staff think I was rude and stuck-up.  Paying into the social fund and going to the occasional dinner keeps me in their good graces and appeases the powers that be. I also bring in homemade baked goods every now and again for brownie points.

Next school year, I will no longer pay because I'm planning on leaving the country and am not trying to impress anyone anymore.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 01:56:49 pm by elsbethm »


  • oglop
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1848

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Paying for teacher outings?
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2018, 10:32:40 am »
According to my "CoT," this made some of the staff think I was rude and stuck-up. 
yeah, but it goes both ways. i always found it rude when everyone i was sat with ignored me and spoke only in korean, even though they could all speak perfect english

i eventually stopped caring what the other teachers thought of me, stopped going to these lame outings/ "social" events, just concentrated on doing my job, and had a much more pleasant time