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  • JVPrice
  • Expert Waygook

    • 656

    • August 29, 2017, 10:26:13 am
    • Cheongju
Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2018, 07:58:40 am »
Not at all. Matter of fact, at least in my personal experience, I've received overwhelming praise from friends, family and  strangers alike when I tell them what I do. It's not the best paying job in the world, (and not the most purposeful in Korea's case) but it's a job nonetheless.

We all work because we need money (or have a passion if you're lucky), so there shouldn't be any need to be ashamed. There are those butt-wipes who'll think they're above you because of your position, but it's just down to those people being bad.
The World Ends With You


  • sh9wntm
  • Veteran

    • 198

    • February 23, 2018, 03:23:39 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2018, 08:12:27 am »
Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?

In my 'conscious mind' I think its a noble profession to teach or be a professor. That being said when I was a teacher in Korea I felt a bit bad when people asked me what I did and I said I was a teacher. Its weird because being a teacher/professor is basically public service.

In a separate thread a user called ESLturtle said he is a teacher and a business man. Does anyone else in Korea have a hybrid career like him?

Despite the fact that most of us have a mastery of English ingrained in us, the true challenge of the job is living in foreign country where no one speaks your language, adapting to cultural differences, being away from family and friends, organizing and disciplining students in the language you're trying to teach them in, and in many cases having no help from schools on curriculum or material. It's not for everyone and takes someone who's very patient, kind, well-organized, versatile, confident and intelligent. Don't let people cut you short. You are your best hypeman.


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2018, 08:15:10 am »
Why would anyone be embarrassed to be working in any job? This reminds me of the scumbags that blame all of life's problems on immigrants stealing their jobs but when offered the chance to clean toilets or drive a truck at the job centre they refuse to do the job because they are better than that. So instead they sit in the house all day getting stoned and or drinking and pop out half a dozen kids and live off the government until they eventually die.

I do feel slightly embarrassed when I meet absolute space cadet waygooks on the street sometimes that somehow managed to be granted a passport.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 08:16:43 am by AvecPommesFrites »
Who is here in 2019?


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2018, 08:21:03 am »
I've read many magazine articles written by foreigners and in the "about me" section at the bottom, half of them write ESL teacher, the other write stuff like photographers, movie directors, novelists, blah blah, etc.

It always makes me chuckle.

Remember: You are the sum average of your 5 closest co-workers.



« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 08:29:18 am by guppy1000 »


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2018, 08:30:54 am »
It's not for everyone and takes someone who's very patient, kind, well-organized, versatile, confident and intelligent.

Well said. You have to be especially flexible teaching in public school, adapting to several different co-teaching styles, which I imagine is why hard headed control freaks can't handle it at all. They are inflexible, impatient and know everything which does tend to piss off co-teachers and principals.


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2018, 08:33:04 am »
I've read many magazine articles written by foreigners and in the "about me" section at the bottom, half of them write ESL teacher, the other write stuff like photographers, movie directors, novelists, blah blah, etc.

It always makes me chuckle.

Or they dress it up and say something like 'traveller, philosopher, observer, entertainer of middle school students' - oh right you're an EFL teacher.


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2018, 08:50:33 am »
Not embarrassed at all.

There are people who managed to make it big in entertainment, and people still give them grief for not having a "real" job, despite the fact that they make more money in a month than those people do in a year.

People are always gonna judge. Rightly or wrongly, for better or for worse, they're gonna judge. As long as you can pay your bills and plot out your own life, who the **** cares? 
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 09:04:48 am by Chinguetti »


  • carter1l
  • Adventurer

    • 63

    • June 08, 2018, 01:00:24 pm
    • Geoje
Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2018, 09:01:03 am »
I'm not embarrassed at all with my position. I will admit that I'm not happy living in Korea long term and will most likely be a "one and done" year teacher, but I feel like I really experience a lot and gained personal and professional experience. As long as you're happy and making enough to get by does it really matter where you work? We're in pretty comfortable positions here in Korea, okay money, free living, travel opportunities we could never imagine at home? There are so many benefits and I feel like those who judge don't fully understand that or don't have the stomach to try it.


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2018, 09:48:33 am »
I come from a family of over achievers and have been pretty much the pride of my family all of my life. When I quit my job to come to Korea, I couldn't be upfront with my parents about why I was coming to Korea but eventually told them I was coming to teach and they were understanding and totally supported my decision. However, 2 years in my dad asked me if I am happy and I thought I was but I stopped and observed and asked myself "Is this my life?" I am not embarrassed to be a teacher per se but I regret staying more than one year and potentially killing my career. I no longer speak about it with as much pride as I did last year, my feelings are also influenced by how easy it is to get a job and stuff. Not a bad thing but I am a competitive person who has had to sweat for everything I have. Now that I have an easy job and life easy, I am just like naaah fam!


  • Savant
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1894

    • April 07, 2012, 11:35:31 pm
Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2018, 10:28:56 am »
Not at all embarrassed and that comes from only working in Hagwons. PS is too much of a crap-shoot to take the risk.

Anyone, who can make it through a full year teaching in Korea, is a star in my eyes.

If you've been here long enough then you are bound to encounter at least one shady employer and that is enough to influence your view of living here.

I earn slightly more than my wife but she leaves earlier in the mornings than me to go to work and comes home later in the evenings. That is a little embarrassing.

Oh yeah, my Korean hasn't improved from Lower-Intermediate.


  • ESLTurtle
  • Super Waygook

    • 283

    • October 25, 2017, 07:58:46 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2018, 02:01:09 pm »
Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?

In my 'conscious mind' I think its a noble profession to teach or be a professor. That being said when I was a teacher in Korea I felt a bit bad when people asked me what I did and I said I was a teacher. Its weird because being a teacher/professor is basically public service.

In a separate thread a user called ESLturtle said he is a teacher and a business man. Does anyone else in Korea have a hybrid career like him?

Hey buddy it's never healthy to compare yourself to others. Here's my two cents on the subject:

If you're GOOD at what you do and are a decent worker (high-ability, impact your work environment/people around you in an effective manner) you should be damn proud of yourself.

If you do the bare minimal and are a stagnant educator that does not utilize dynamic teaching and shows no interest or passion within your working environment, I pity the fool.

Works smart with wits and passion > Works "hard" and has a false sense of success

홧팅~!  :undecided:


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2018, 03:05:16 pm »
Only when I read comments on waygook.org.


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2018, 10:39:59 pm »
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2018, 10:51:13 pm »
Only when I see someone taking the time to insert three smiley faces in response to a comment as lame as that.


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2018, 07:10:49 am »
knew I shoulda put 4.    :sad:


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2018, 11:16:53 am »
a comment as lame as that.

No it's not! You're lame!  :cry: :cry: :cry:


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2018, 11:29:06 am »
I'm not embarrassed at all with my position. I will admit that I'm not happy living in Korea long term and will most likely be a "one and done" year teacher, but I feel like I really experience a lot and gained personal and professional experience. As long as you're happy and making enough to get by does it really matter where you work? We're in pretty comfortable positions here in Korea, okay money, free living, travel opportunities we could never imagine at home? There are so many benefits and I feel like those who judge don't fully understand that or don't have the stomach to try it.

   This is pretty much my sentiment on this subject as well...! I've been here a long time, have seen all manner of changes and turmoil in the industry, but overall, ESL in Korea has been good to and for me and has afforded me opportunities and lifestyle benefits I could not have imagined; so no, not embarrassed in the least!!


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2019, 10:52:52 am »
...interesting post, as I was pondering on the same question the other day.

My two cents:

Yes, at times, I am a little embarrassed.  I am one of those people that...

..."only" has a B.S. and a TEFL Certificate
...has poor Korean skills, despite having been here for a while.  Though, to be honest...there was a time when I was quite motivated in that department but I decided I was better off NOT knowing what Koreans where saying while riding on the subway.  Ignorance can be bliss.

I reflect on my past decisions with some regret.  I did not finish my M.S., due to the fact I realized I was wasting my money on the SJW indoctrination machine. I could have gone another direction, regarding my undergraduate degree but I chose the easy way out (albeit, I actually did enjoy the change and what I ended up studying).  I was never one to be pleasant, in terms with working jobs that that required working with the public..which means, I don't enjoy being abused, with no option for a counter attack.  Furthermore, I did not do well with paying off debt and/or saving money.  I've blown some decent opportunities while burning the bridges behind me. 

So...when I compare myself to those back home, seemingly living "the dream", I am prone to get down.  But, then I try to reflect on the fact, while not flashy, I get to teach kids and have an opportunity to put a little joy in their lives.  This may not mean much to most folks and I've certainly expressed my discontent during an interview, when potential employers back home looked at my resume, not being able to figure out what an ESL teacher does. 

The truth is, not everyone is meant for "great" things.  We all have our own choices and paths to face up to.  Many in this field have gone on to bigger and better endeavors, or, simply have upgraded their skills and moved on, to  a higher level within box.  As the days pass, I become more and more accepting of, "this is what I do". 

Now, while Koreans may look at those of us in this field with suspicion, discontent and arrogance, I admit...sometimes it is a bit embarrassing (however, I have yet to meet one that could actually put a solid lesson plan together or offer any beneficial use in terms of approach or method).  But...at least I know that I am needed (even as a necessary evil) and I will always have a job, or the opportunity to compete...either here or elsewhere.

So, for those of you pondering on the same thing...go forth and do your job and do it well. Many folks in the world have much less.

(But yeah...I gotta invest in some professional development.  On that note, I did approach my employer, inquiring about some specific certifications that may be of some value. She did not have the foresight to see any value in an employee inquiring about it or how it could benefit the school.  It only makes me want to do it more)



Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2019, 01:59:48 pm »
   HELL NO!!

   I have done quite well out of my stay in Korea...it has allowed me a second go-around at life that I could never have imagined when I was slogging through uni back home!

   All due to my being lucky enough to get a uni gig that was actually in my field (fully for the first 8 years... then after a readjustment, transfer to the English Dept. at my school - where I still got to teach my major in a more surreptitious way...).

  So no; not embarrassed in the least - ever!

   And, to further this point, I'm off to enjoy another of the perks of being a non-embarrassed uni minion - the final month of my 3 month winter vaction in a tropical locale that shall not be named due to it potentially triggering assorted SJWs and the like...!
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 02:03:52 pm by Titus Groan »


Re: Are you embarrassed to be a ESL teacher/professor?
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2019, 05:14:07 am »
Am I embarrassed to be an ESL teacher?
As far as being embarrassed its all about perception right?
..how we think people might view us... so let's break it down
1) What the people back home think of me who
doing 'regular' jobs
... some think I'm so brave for working abroad, but others
say come back to 'real life' and stop screwing around
as if life worked a certain way so...
Also, the people back home I know aren't particularly happy... pretty mixed bag
VERDICT: Minor embarrassment
2) What the Korean natives think of me...
There is an elevated  and unique concept of a teacher
in Korea thanks to Confucianism, although it is somewhat distorted,  also, a public elementary school teacher is ranked as the second-best job you can get as a Korean native.  Of course, there is a fair amount of racism, but once most Koreans find out I am a teacher, not a soldier (not that is should be that way) they give me some berth
VERDICT: minor embarrassment
3) what other ESL/EFL teachers think of me
Here is where things get tricky, because of the complexities of how the Koreans and the people back home might view us I think we can become quite self-conscious.  Also, there are teachers that are a 'joke' ... well, there aren't as many scripts and social normals for people to follow, so yeah, maybe a lot of people are doing whatever the heck they want to do.
VERDICT: a little embarrassment

Also, to the businessman part of the question. I'll be briefer. I branched off into that.. two things of note.
1) I think a lot of people love the lifestyle of life in Korea but come to deplore hakwon teacher... so yeah I think s a lot of people branch off
2) Almost anyone can do it here, so I don't take myself to seriously in that regard. I would have never accomplished it in the u.s. the red tape and working within the system kept me in line pretty well. I think a lot of people do get a conflated sense of themselves.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 02:12:57 pm by thomwiley23 »
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