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Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« on: February 25, 2019, 10:47:51 am »
This is specifically about Public schools, and not so much Hagwons. Why?
Because public schools are NOT about making money or profit. It's supposed to be about educating students and providing a service to society.

Hagwons or other businesses are mainly about making profit, so I can understand the business aspect of running those
places and how they place the primary importance on profitability and how their choices/decisions are based with that goal in mind.

The Hen and the Golden Eggs.  If the Farmer's goal is to get as many golden eggs from the Hen, then wouldn't it be in the best interest of the Farmer to take very good care of the Hen?  Why would you want to neglect or abuse or even kill your hen if the goal was for you to get as many eggs as possible?   

I feel in many ways companies operate this way and even the Public school system.  It can apply also to Korean teachers but even more so to Foreign English Teachers.

Of course there are always two sides to the story.  Employees should be professional, shouldn't need to be spoon fed everything, and should have a level of competency to take care of themselves.  Employees have responsibilities to uphold, and to show respect, professionalism, and excellence in their work ethic and production.   Employees probably make up the majority of the reasons why problems exist and leave jobs or get fired...I would say for the most part the ratio is 75% employee's fault and 25% employer's fault.  I could be wrong, but I'd say that is a fair ratio.

But employers ALSO have a responsibility to the employees, as well. It's not like they only need to hire you and then neglect you completely and expect you to provide 110% excellence in everything.   I feel that is the way Korea does things.   They think their only jobs is to hire you and pay you salary/benefits and that is all the reward and all the motivation a teacher should need to be motivated, happy, and provide excellent education to the students with a great attitude.  No excuses!

But I think this is a big problem (maybe not just in Korea but most companies or organizations have this problem).  If you are the owner of a retail store and you hire a bunch of employees to interact and sell your product to the customers, shouldn't you treat your own employees the same way you want your customers to be treated?   Leaders and owners seem to skip the middle man (us) and just look directly at the end result (customer satisfaction/sales) and think all they need to do is command or order their workers to treat the customers with the utmost respect, positive attitude, excellent service, and make sales to keep the boss/company happy.   Isn't this unrealistic?  Isn't this why so many companies and organizations fail?

The newer model (at least it seems modern companies now focus on this) is to focus on your EMPLOYEES.  The key to company success and customers satisfaction is to take care of your employees.  If your employees are treated really well, taken good care, well compensated (I don't mean just financially but in all other aspects of life), think about how that would create the motivation, the respect, the drive and desire, loyalty to want to do your absolute best for your boss or your company.   If they fill you with so much love, how could you not give back that love towards your customers?   Likewise, if the opposite happens (boss/company abuse you, neglect you, make you feel unappreciated, don't care about you or your development), how can we then provide the kind of love, respect, satisfaction and excellence to our customers?

I'm not saying that Korean Public Schools or the Education system is wrong, but I am questioning whether or not they even think about this model/approach.   We have all kinds of evaluations on us as teachers, but there is no such evaluation for us back to the employer or the boss?   They would learn a lot just to listen and receive feedback and find out what went wrong, what could have been improved, what could be done better in the future to prevent these things happening.   While most teachers (i think) end well with their schools and contract situation, there are still so many that don't.  We constantly hear about teachers breaking their contracts, having conflicts or issues with their school or co-teachers, and/or leaving their school after just 1 year or even 2.   

It seems to me that Korean culture is mostly about "not talking" about the problems and just solving them by "getting rid" of the employee and just start fresh with a new hiree.   But if you think about this approach, it creates a massive problem in society overall.  Imagine if that is how every company, every owner deals with their employees, you'd create a massive pool of the labor force as jaded, disgruntled, "damaged goods" so-to-speak people who are just being recycled into the pool to become another companies' problem.   It's like dealing with garbage.  Instead of figuring out how to process waste more efficiently (ie. recycling), they would rather just dig a big hole in the earth and dump trash until it fills up, then cover it up and move onto another landfill.  You can see how this process over time and accelerated if everyone is doing it, will create a massive problem.

Western culture for the most part is about "talking" or fleshing out the problems in the open.  Sometimes it may seem shameful or embarrassing to say things openly vs the Eastern style (Korean) to keep things hidden, not to speak about the problems, and just appear as if everything is good and move on.

I guess this is my way of giving feedback to the system and wish there was a way to actually submit this feedback to the education system.  It would have been nice to see us try to resolve and fix any issues rather than to ignore them , never talk about anything, and then just release them after the employee had given almost a decade of loyalty and service to the same school and suddenly because a new principal or new teachers arrive, they can just give up on you without hardly putting up any effort or fight to save it?  It's very disheartening, and this is why I can understand when so many employees feel the way they do.  It adds up.   The next time they work for someone else, they are just a little more jaded, a little more cynical, and little less of what they used to be....and then the system wonders why so many people are "bad" teachers.  Isn't it also that the employers could be "bad"?  But of course, there is no such thing as that.  Only employees are the problem and the way to fix it is to just change them with a fresh faced newbie who has no idea, so that this process can just be repeated again until the next time the same thing has to be done (discard em, get an innocent bubbly fresh faced and do it again).

I absolutely love my school and job the same now as I did the first time I arrived many years ago.  I am just as energized, passionate, and excited to work and was planning on staying for many more years, too.  I'm just disheartened that it was that easy for them to just end it and not even try to help me to do better whatever it is they thought was the issue.  This is why I think having a new principal every 2 years and changing korean teachers every 2-4 years is difficult.  You never know how things could suddenly change because different personalities and different views enter the environment and what was once a good thing suddenly becomes a bad thing? 

I'll be going to my new school next week with a heavy heart.  I know I will still try my best, but I do feel like "damaged goods" and it made me think, what if this is happening on a wide scale?  I just ask that owners/bosses/companies treat their employees the way they want their customers to be treated.  Take good care of your hens if you expect them to produce for you golden eggs.



  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2019, 12:42:31 am »
This is specifically about Public schools, and not so much Hagwons. Why?
Because public schools are NOT about making money or profit. It's supposed to be about educating students and providing a service to society.


The Hen and the Golden Eggs.  If the Farmer's goal is to get as many golden eggs from the Hen, then wouldn't it be in the best interest of the Farmer to take very good care of the Hen?


It is absurd, but they want you to fail.

A country far away shelled out lots of taxpayers money to fly you there so that they could ignore, undermine and underutilize you for a year. Why? because you're a necessary extra in someone's scheme to extort money from the government.


If Korean govt was actually serious about providing a proper English education to their next generation, there are several things they would do:

a) Hire esl teachers based on qualifications and experience (not youth and looks), and pay accordingly.
b) Listen to what their foreign employees have to say occasionally. Allow feedback, communication and consultation so as to improve the standard.
c) Abolish the E2 slave visa and allow foreign employees ease of movement between jobs. That way employers would have to actually up their standards to retain employees, not simply treat them like dross in the knowledge they can't leave.


Catch my drift?


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

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    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
    • Burning Oil Be Best
Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2019, 01:11:51 am »
"damaged goods" so-to-speak people
I was thinking about that when I was watching I can see your voice s6 episode 6. There was a 24-year-old talent singing her heart out but we all knew she was already 'damaged goods.' I am so sorry for you that you had to transfer to another school even though you were teaching so well there. You did not deserve that. As your colleague I can tell you that we appreciate wonderful teachers like yourself and if you ever feel you've had enough of Korea, we always welcome experienced EFL teachers in Europe. <3
« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 09:55:37 am by SanderB »
Fiat voluntas tua- What you want is allowed


Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 08:15:56 am »
I absolutely love my school and job the same now as I did the first time I arrived many years ago.  I am just as energized, passionate, and excited to work and was planning on staying for many more years, too.  I'm just disheartened that it was that easy for them to just end it and not even try to help me to do better whatever it is they thought was the issue.  This is why I think having a new principal every 2 years and changing korean teachers every 2-4 years is difficult.  You never know how things could suddenly change because different personalities and different views enter the environment and what was once a good thing suddenly becomes a bad thing? 

I'll be going to my new school next week with a heavy heart.  I know I will still try my best, but I do feel like "damaged goods" and it made me think, what if this is happening on a wide scale?  I just ask that owners/bosses/companies treat their employees the way they want their customers to be treated.  Take good care of your hens if you expect them to produce for you golden eggs.

there is no sentiment in the Korean education system.  done your four/five years?  then move, have a quick goodbye ceremony, students cry, you cry a bit and then 2/3 weeks later you're getting introduced nervously in front of your new students.  rinse and repeat.  last week, we had twelve teachers finish, out of them there were three teachers: a very popular Korean teacher, the young special education teacher, and the Social Studies teacher couldn't make it through their speeches without crying, it was kind of painful to watch as finishing at the school was difficult for them, some of the students were crying because they were crying. 

i taught in two middle schools for six years and when they told me the budget was cut in the province for middle school teachers, i had to move.  i got my own ceremony and a special glass award for my long service but essentially as the higher-ups at the education office decided I had to go, that was it.  there has been no middle school teachers in my city and for most cities in my province for the last four years.  brutal, but most of the teachers who've been here for a while have just come to accept that it is just a characteristic of the flawed Korean education system.  supervisors stay for one/two years and then move on meaning there are no real consistent goals to the system other than aiming towards a stupid university entrance test that can dictate your future.  the thing is from figures I heard, the 수시/정시 from last year was about 70/30, changing from 40/60 the previous year.  so students are relying more on interviews and their school reports than going for the uni test.  hopefully, this will lead to the uni test becoming obsolete, as most of us have seen the pressure and pointlessness of this test first-hand.


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

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    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
    • Burning Oil Be Best
Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 10:10:08 am »
Why does the funding for provincial (rural) schools differ from Seoul? Epik was meant to provide qualified English teachers for everyone and make hakwons absolete. I remember doing a homestay and the parents told their son to repeat anything I said. He told me his Korean teacher taught him to say ''pishy'' (fish). So clearly E2s are crucial especially in provincial towns... :-[

And why on earth are E2s moved around from school to school?

From which age does ageism occur? 50? 60? So ridiculous. :sad:
Fiat voluntas tua- What you want is allowed


  • CO2
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Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 11:47:34 am »
there is no sentiment in the Korean education system.  done your four/five years?  then move, have a quick goodbye ceremony, students cry, you cry a bit and then 2/3 weeks later you're getting introduced nervously in front of your new students.  rinse and repeat.  last week, we had twelve teachers finish, out of them there were three teachers: a very popular Korean teacher, the young special education teacher, and the Social Studies teacher couldn't make it through their speeches without crying, it was kind of painful to watch as finishing at the school was difficult for them, some of the students were crying because they were crying. 
I've said this before but I'll say it again.

What is the motivation to make your school the best if you're only there for 2 years? 4 years?

There isn't much. If I was given a house to live in for two years and the owner said, "Hey, you should make your garden the best garden in the city!" I'd think, Why? For what purpose? It's not mine. I won't even be here in 2021.
If I owned a house, I'd make it look goods, there'd be a sense of pride and accomplishment there.

I've heard some Korean teachers defend it. "What if the principal is bad? Then you can escape after years."

Jesus Christ...... that's your excuse? "The principal is a nightmare so all I have to do is half-ass it for three years then I'm free!" Why isn't there a mechanism for maniacs in charge to be brought down a few notches?

If someone is working fine, then keep them. If they're shit, fire them. If they want to move, let them. Write them a reference letter if they were good and wish them luck. Why is this not the case? It's so frustratingly bizarre. 
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • NorthStar
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    • Mouseville
Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2019, 12:48:40 pm »
This is specifically about Public schools, and not so much Hagwons. Why?
Because public schools are NOT about making money or profit. It's supposed to be about educating students and providing a service to society.


The Hen and the Golden Eggs.  If the Farmer's goal is to get as many golden eggs from the Hen, then wouldn't it be in the best interest of the Farmer to take very good care of the Hen?


It is absurd, but they want you to fail.

A country far away shelled out lots of taxpayers money to fly you there so that they could ignore, undermine and underutilize you for a year. Why? because you're a necessary extra in someone's scheme to extort money from the government.


If Korean govt was actually serious about providing a proper English education to their next generation, there are several things they would do:

a) Hire esl teachers based on qualifications and experience (not youth and looks), and pay accordingly.
b) Listen to what their foreign employees have to say occasionally. Allow feedback, communication and consultation so as to improve the standard.
c) Abolish the E2 slave visa and allow foreign employees ease of movement between jobs. That way employers would have to actually up their standards to retain employees, not simply treat them like dross in the knowledge they can't leave.

Well, you know how Korea gets off on making everyone else look bad, so they can say "See...WE ARE better". 

While it does have its faults (and it does), there are reasons why folks don't mind paying their way to Japan. 

Koreans are insecure little hobbits....not sure you can fix that. 


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2019, 01:04:10 am »
And why on earth are E2s moved around from school to school?

a) They don't want foreigners getting a foothold and too comfortable in their country. At least that was the sentiment when they designed the system, before they realized they have an unfolding demographic crisis.

b) Also the principals like to opt for a pretty young female to flatter his ego at the dinner table. So if a recruiter flashes a photo of blondie in his face, he'll drop whatever teacher he has just to have a fitbit roaming round his school.

c) If you stay in a job longer than four years then the employer is obliged to provide you with certain benefits and tenure just like a regular employee, at which point you become exceedingly hard to fire. Obviously they don't want to take you that seriously, so they keep you bouncing around like a cat on a hot plate.


Quote
From which age does ageism occur? 50? 60? So ridiculous. :sad:

More like from about 35.

Korean employers are intimidated by competence and experience. Don't outshine the master!
Catch my drift?


  • debbiem89
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    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
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Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2019, 10:10:16 am »
And why on earth are E2s moved around from school to school?

a) They don't want foreigners getting a foothold and too comfortable in their country. At least that was the sentiment when they designed the system, before they realized they have an unfolding demographic crisis.

b) Also the principals like to opt for a pretty young female to flatter his ego at the dinner table. So if a recruiter flashes a photo of blondie in his face, he'll drop whatever teacher he has just to have a fitbit roaming round his school.

c) If you stay in a job longer than four years then the employer is obliged to provide you with certain benefits and tenure just like a regular employee, at which point you become exceedingly hard to fire. Obviously they don't want to take you that seriously, so they keep you bouncing around like a cat on a hot plate.


Quote
From which age does ageism occur? 50? 60? So ridiculous. :sad:

More like from about 35.

Korean employers are intimidated by competence and experience. Don't outshine the master!

Actually the four year thing isn't true.

In public schools ALL teachers are obliged to change schools after four years. It's only the last year or so been the rule for the GETs.

I think the Korean teachers got arsy that we weren't subject to the same rule and so it became a thing for the GETs too.

Trust me that even after four years...we would NEVER get the same benefits as the Korean teachers.


Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2019, 10:24:21 am »
And why on earth are E2s moved around from school to school?

a) They don't want foreigners getting a foothold and too comfortable in their country. At least that was the sentiment when they designed the system, before they realized they have an unfolding demographic crisis.

b) Also the principals like to opt for a pretty young female to flatter his ego at the dinner table. So if a recruiter flashes a photo of blondie in his face, he'll drop whatever teacher he has just to have a fitbit roaming round his school.

c) If you stay in a job longer than four years then the employer is obliged to provide you with certain benefits and tenure just like a regular employee, at which point you become exceedingly hard to fire. Obviously they don't want to take you that seriously, so they keep you bouncing around like a cat on a hot plate.


Quote
From which age does ageism occur? 50? 60? So ridiculous. :sad:

More like from about 35.

Korean employers are intimidated by competence and experience. Don't outshine the master!

Actually the four year thing isn't true.

In public schools ALL teachers are obliged to change schools after four years. It's only the last year or so been the rule for the GETs.

I think the Korean teachers got arsy that we weren't subject to the same rule and so it became a thing for the GETs too.

Trust me that even after four years...we would NEVER get the same benefits as the Korean teachers.

Keep it under your hat then because about to start my sixth year with my school  :P


  • debbiem89
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    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2019, 10:29:05 am »
And why on earth are E2s moved around from school to school?

a) They don't want foreigners getting a foothold and too comfortable in their country. At least that was the sentiment when they designed the system, before they realized they have an unfolding demographic crisis.

b) Also the principals like to opt for a pretty young female to flatter his ego at the dinner table. So if a recruiter flashes a photo of blondie in his face, he'll drop whatever teacher he has just to have a fitbit roaming round his school.

c) If you stay in a job longer than four years then the employer is obliged to provide you with certain benefits and tenure just like a regular employee, at which point you become exceedingly hard to fire. Obviously they don't want to take you that seriously, so they keep you bouncing around like a cat on a hot plate.


Quote
From which age does ageism occur? 50? 60? So ridiculous. :sad:

More like from about 35.

Korean employers are intimidated by competence and experience. Don't outshine the master!

Actually the four year thing isn't true.

In public schools ALL teachers are obliged to change schools after four years. It's only the last year or so been the rule for the GETs.

I think the Korean teachers got arsy that we weren't subject to the same rule and so it became a thing for the GETs too.

Trust me that even after four years...we would NEVER get the same benefits as the Korean teachers.

Keep it under your hat then because about to start my sixth year with my school  :P

Ahh maybe all the MOE/POEs haven't adopted this rule...


Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2019, 10:40:20 am »
Actually the four year thing isn't true.

In public schools ALL teachers are obliged to change schools after four years. It's only the last year or so been the rule for the GETs.

I think the Korean teachers got arsy that we weren't subject to the same rule and so it became a thing for the GETs too.

Trust me that even after four years...we would NEVER get the same benefits as the Korean teachers.

it depends province to province.

in Chungnam, Korean teachers can stay at the school for a maximum of five years if they want, then should move.  if they want to stay then they can get the principal's blessing to stay for longer.  the headteacher at my school had been here for seven years, but will now be a supervisor, hence him finishing.

the contract teachers can stay as long as they want, my handler being an example.  she's been here for eight and a half years, but every four years the school has to open up her job to other applicants (but essentially she is like me with a year contract that is renewed) and she is interviewed along with them.  last year, we had no other applicants but she still had to do a mock class in English, and also we asked her questions.  it was in line with Education Office policy.  she is on maternity leave this year, (hence 석기 티쳐 coming) and she gets paid for three months on full pay and then a fraction for the rest of the year.  then she'll come back next year and start again, so basically it's a contract teacher coming in a covering a contract teacher.  we interviewed 석기 티쳐 last week, but we were expecting 5 teachers, but only he came, so therefore got the job.  i got to ask questions during his interview. but after i questioned the point of hiring someone just because they came to the interview.  he wasn't really right for the job but the school felt pressured to hire anyone because of the lateness of the appointment.   :undecided:


  • oglop
  • The Legend

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    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
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Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2019, 10:32:05 pm »
i just got a job at a private elementary school. the most striking thing that caught my attention was that all of the teachers and staff (including the Vp and principal) were so friendly. i asked, and most staff had been at this school for 7-14 years, and it felt like a nice community where everyone trusts each other, knows each other and gets on with each other

but if you take any normal public school, where everyone is rotated every 4 years, the atmosphere is totally different, as nobody can build up that friendship or trust. it's such a dumb system to constantly move everyone around for their entire career

maybe i just lucked out and my new school is the odd one out, but i've heard the same about other private schools


  • CO2
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Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2019, 12:39:59 am »
Work together and trust each other but you won't see these people in 3 years, don't get too attached.

 :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2019, 05:04:10 pm »
you won't see these people in 3 years, don't get too attached.


If that is your attitude, then there's not much point in doing anything at all.

Catch my drift?


Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2019, 11:46:52 am »
i just got a job at a private elementary school. the most striking thing that caught my attention was that all of the teachers and staff (including the Vp and principal) were so friendly. i asked, and most staff had been at this school for 7-14 years, and it felt like a nice community where everyone trusts each other, knows each other and gets on with each other

but if you take any normal public school, where everyone is rotated every 4 years, the atmosphere is totally different, as nobody can build up that friendship or trust. it's such a dumb system to constantly move everyone around for their entire career

maybe i just lucked out and my new school is the odd one out, but i've heard the same about other private schools

I fully agree.  While there are good points and bad points to rotating teachers around every 4 years, I agree that it's a dumb system.  Building trust and strong relationships requires time.  They are conditioning everyone to NOT care about building trust, developing strong relationships, and valuing loyalty, resiliency, and long-term investment.  It's like they want us to be unattached all the time therefore have less intrinsic value to the work, the school, the co-workers and relationships, and even the vision / mission of the school or education system because we'll all be thinking "why even bother to invest here when I know I'm not going to be here long, neither are my co-workers, employers, etc."

I think that if any organization has found an optimal match or environment, why change it for the sake of change and then risk creating a worse environment?  These random assignments, swaps, relocations, have no rhyme or reason.  I could understand if there was some braniac group behind it all analysing personalities, talents, skills, age, gender, background, etc., and trying to create an efficient or optimal system, but they are not.  It's just throwing everyone in a can and giving it a good shake and let the chips fall where they may, and then hope somehow we end up with smooth harmonious running systems.

Simon Sinek (you can youtube him) says a lot of what I believed in when it comes to leadership and companies/organizations (and this applies to schools/education).   If employers want their employees to treat customers with respect, good service and satisfaction with a smiles on their faces, but neglect to treat their own employees that way, I don't think that's a good way to build a company/organization.    But when leaders invest in their employees, value them, give them trust, treat them with dignity and respect, then I believe the employees would naturally treat their clients in that same way or even better.  As an employee who is treated this way, I think you would WANT to do your best for your employer because it's not any longer just about a paycheck, you are actually invested and value the long-term health, growth and success of this place.

Simon Sinek shares a good experience about the marines and why they would risk their lives for each other on the battlefield.  They developed a brotherhood and bond that made them more than just be a marine that follows orders or the beliefs the whole, but they wanted to fight for each other.



  • CO2
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Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2019, 11:53:25 am »
you won't see these people in 3 years, don't get too attached.


If that is your attitude, then there's not much point in doing anything at all.

 :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: <------ this was me rolling my eyes at the above statement.
The joys of fauxtherhood


Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2019, 01:46:30 pm »
Real talk.

I've been at my school longer than any other member of staff. On the first day the new bunch of teachers this old hen shouts out loud in front of the entire office "외국인 있어? 외국인 있어? 우리 학교 외국인 있어?". Only thing I could think to say was **** me under my breath then 'Hello'. There's no respect. 왜국인? How about being polite and saying 원어민 you helmet.

I haven't had a pay rise in 8 years and I get nickel and dimed for renewing a visa. It's an official business trip or you can find yourself a new teacher and incur significantly more costs.  :rolleyes:
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 01:49:50 pm by AvecPommesFrites »
Who is here in 2019?


Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2019, 09:46:31 pm »
@OP Terrible situation you're in, but alas that is the unfortunate fate of contract workers; employers are simply unwilling to invest in their employees. There are more and more contract workers even among Koreans. Seems to be a global trend as I've often read that the American job market is on the same trajectory.

One cool trend in America, albeit only a small proportion currently, is that some companies FORCE their employees to spend ~25% of their working week's hours on self improvement. That may come in the form of reading (text)books, attending conferences, attending classes, what have you. Then the remaining 30 hours are dedicated to productivity. One thing I hated about all the jobs I've had was this lack of self improvement aspect. I'd get so bored 3 months into any job since I don't feel like I'm learning anything new and start hating the job around the 3 month mark. I only discovered this about myself relatively recently.

My current job is somewhat challenging and I do learn new things every so often compared to previous jobs I've had but it's certainly no where close to allowing me 10/40 hours in the week dedicated to learning new things. Learning on this job is simply because they keep piling more work on me and assume I know everything or expect me to learn outside work hours. I'm hoping to land a job at one of these types of companies that heavily invest in their employees when I leave Korea in a few months.

Anyways hope you get over this hump and have a better outlook in the near future!
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 09:48:35 pm by teacher1988 »


Re: Are Employers Failing their Employees?
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2019, 02:49:57 pm »
I agree with everything the OP says and it's something I think about a lot.  I mentioned earlier in the thread that I'm in my sixth year at the same school but at no point have I felt like my school appreciates the work I'm doing or even that they are happy with the work I've been doing for the past five years.  Every year, the renewal question comes around and it's always a quick "do you want to stay; I've got to fill the form in".  It's never been "We'd love you to stay because we think you do a really good job and we think you're valuable to this school" or even "I hope you don't leave; we'd miss you".  There's something so box-ticky about Korea.

The orientation (contract signing) we have to go to every year feels more and more like we're being told off in advance.  I feel like I'm sitting on the naughty step.  Like the OP says, how about some positive feedback once in a while.  I mean, the MOE are our employers after all but it feels like we only meet them once a year and that's just for a preemptive dressing down and a quick signature.  See you in a year.

It's impossible to feel like we're "part of the team".  I have no motivation whatsoever to do well in my job because on the face of it, no one cares.  Apparently I get evaluated every year.  No one has ever spoken to me about my performance. 

Western culture for the most part is about "talking" or fleshing out the problems in the open.  Sometimes it may seem shameful or embarrassing to say things openly vs the Eastern style (Korean) to keep things hidden, not to speak about the problems, and just appear as if everything is good and move on.

This was a very hard thing to adjust to.  Working back home I was used to meeting with my manager at least once a month for a sit down chat.  That was always in the calendar.  Apart from that it was easy to just go and have a chat with them about anything.  In my experience here, whenever I've tried to steer the conversation into anything related to my job, my performance, expectations of me, the shutters go up and it's a dead end.  It might be language but I don't know because it's been that way with all my co-teachers over the years.

On development like teacher1988 talks about above - I only wish they would do more of that kind of thing.  We have the mentor/mentee stuff but even that feels like more box ticking.  I remember one year a couple of Korean English teachers came to talk to me and watch my class.  One of them was mainly checking his phone while we were all talking and then they didn't watch my class in the end.  But I'm sure the "Observe native teacher and have a discussion" box got ticked that day and was filed away forever.