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  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1054

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #60 on: May 15, 2019, 11:21:03 pm »
I have worked at two public school jobs before and I can tell your situation is common among waygooks. The system virtually ensures it.

seriously?  no, it isn't common.  this kind of treatment is rare. 

I will re-state what i said:

Quote
They like to select greenhorns and then bully them.

And yes, this is the case at many public schools.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 11:45:41 am by kyndo »
Catch my drift?


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 422

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
    • Gouda cheese Be Best cheese
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #61 on: May 16, 2019, 06:35:02 am »
. I'm on my own.

We are here. :-*
I think it's a Korean thing. I teach at a Korean school for fun on Saturdays and I feel totally neglected by my Korean co-teachers (they're all amateurs doing it for some extra income) So I can tell you that they will find any reason to band together against you no matter your experience or position.

In my case it's completely opposite yours, I'm a highly skilled professional M.ed teaching at a top tier school and they probably fear my criticism of them . :azn: But bottomline: same crappy aloofness.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 06:44:34 am by SanderB »
Fiat voluntas tua- All that you want is allowed


Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #62 on: May 16, 2019, 08:05:27 am »
I hate to sound overly negative, but I think a big problem is that you are trying to use logic and reason with them. Take a good look around you and where you are at. It simply won't work. As we have pointed out to you, if they wanted someone experienced they should have hired someone with experience. They don't want to do that because they don't want to pay someone more qualified a few extra hundred thousand won a month. They will never examine themselves and say " You know maybe this is our fault that we willingly hired someone new and green so that we could pay them less. Maybe we should have hired someone with experience if that is what we wanted.  " 

I can almost guarantee you that the people complaining have a miserable life and you just happen to be low hanging fruit that they can take their frustrations out on.  I am engaged to a Korean lady so I have little choice but to stay here, but I am baffled when people who don't really have strong ties here choose to put up with this kind of abuse and breathe in this cancer dust for 1800 bucks a month.  There are other countries to teach in and with better air quality. I think another part to this equation is that they can see that they can push you around with very little pushback from you. Never be too afraid to walk away.


  • debbiem89
  • Super Waygook

    • 489

    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #63 on: May 16, 2019, 08:23:19 am »
You are most definitely "on your own" that is the case with ALL public school jobs and I'm not just referring to being literally the only foreigner in the school.

Push on as much as you can. Ignore the idea that people are gossiping about you, that won't make anything better. Keep trying your best to teach and take their advice but like someone mentioned SNIP, SNIP, SNIP.

I get you've only been here 3 months and have no teaching experience, but so have 90% of foreign teachers who come here. I would let that "excuse"  go immediately, holding on to that is not helping..it's actually knocking your confidence.  Reframe it.... be like I've been here THREE months I CAN do this.

Do you have a lot of teacher friends in your city? Throw yourself into your life outside of school. Rant to them when you need to and see what they are doing that's working well in their classes.....then try to SNIP.  Make an effort to smile and be confident around the school, the other teachers will notice. The less stressed you are the better your lessons will likely become :) 


  • LIC
  • Veteran

    • 132

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #64 on: May 16, 2019, 02:43:59 pm »
A lot of jive advice here. What you need to do is the next time she gets in your face, GET IN HERS! Scream at her. Tell her that her work is useless crap. Tell the assembled masses that you're not staying at their crap school after the contract and you'll call or write to the local office of education every stinking single day to complain about freaking everything.

Then, get out of Korea and go to a country with actual polite people who want you around.


  • lhelena
  • Waygookin

    • 22

    • March 11, 2018, 01:57:14 pm
    • Anseong-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #65 on: May 16, 2019, 03:18:47 pm »
A lot of jive advice here. What you need to do is the next time she gets in your face, GET IN HERS! Scream at her. Tell her that her work is useless crap. Tell the assembled masses that you're not staying at their crap school after the contract and you'll call or write to the local office of education every stinking single day to complain about freaking everything.

Then, get out of Korea and go to a country with actual polite people who want you around.

Okay, as obvious of a bad idea most of this post is and I hope you were mostly joking. I do agree with telling them you will be filing a formal complaint with the MOE about their behavior towards you and treatment, BUT only when it's time to tell them you won't be renewing. (Although at this point I don't think they need to be told lol)


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 422

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
    • Gouda cheese Be Best cheese
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #66 on: May 17, 2019, 12:04:12 am »
Debbiem89 spake truthfully, she did.
Fiat voluntas tua- All that you want is allowed


  • NorthStar
  • Super Waygook

    • 262

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #67 on: May 17, 2019, 09:36:12 am »
O.P., it seems like they are going to try and get out of there, one way or the other.  You can either grant their wish and move on, or, fight it....and make yourself miserable. 

Do you REALLY WANT to stay there?  Is it worth it?  Do you honestly envision a turnaround from the status quo? 

Either way...don't be  sugar cookie.  If you stay there, you better stand up for yourself,  whist being prepared to take passive aggressive, cowardly, incoming fire from the Koreans.   Sure, the idea of "character development" does have its place...but your health, focus and enjoyment of being abroad are more important

By they way...workers do have the right not to experience harassment and bullying at work.  Perhaps an online petition to the Ministry of Labor would be a nice jab at them (that is, if you don't see yourself staying)?


Keep us informed. 


  • LIC
  • Veteran

    • 132

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #68 on: May 17, 2019, 02:22:44 pm »
A lot of jive advice here. What you need to do is the next time she gets in your face, GET IN HERS! Scream at her. Tell her that her work is useless crap. Tell the assembled masses that you're not staying at their crap school after the contract and you'll call or write to the local office of education every stinking single day to complain about freaking everything.

Then, get out of Korea and go to a country with actual polite people who want you around.

Okay, as obvious of a bad idea most of this post is and I hope you were mostly joking. I do agree with telling them you will be filing a formal complaint with the MOE about their behavior towards you and treatment, BUT only when it's time to tell them you won't be renewing. (Although at this point I don't think they need to be told lol)

Yeah... was mostly BS'ing. However, when I first arrived and got the inevitable question, "How long will you stay?" I answered, "As long as I am happy and treated with respect. As soon as I feel I am being disrespected without justification, I will quit and walk away."

I set the bar and I had several years at the same school of ease, fun and laughs.


Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #69 on: May 17, 2019, 04:18:06 pm »
Yeah... was mostly BS'ing. However, when I first arrived and got the inevitable question, "How long will you stay?" I answered, "As long as I am happy and treated with respect. As soon as I feel I am being disrespected without justification, I will quit and walk away."

I set the bar and I had several years at the same school of ease, fun and laughs.

While I think it's great that you didn't have any problems at your school...I just can't imagine saying that to anyone during a first meeting.  Don't you think that's quite a negative thing to kick off with?  You said it in a jokey way I assume?


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1054

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #70 on: May 18, 2019, 03:12:47 am »
You are most definitely "on your own" that is the case with ALL public school jobs and I'm not just referring to being literally the only foreigner in the school. 

I worked two regular public schools and also did two after school jobs.

After-school gigs are the worst out there. They are the most isolating, lonely and frustrating positions in Korean ESL. They take all the disadvantages of a regular Public school job and multiply them by a factor of a million.

Regular public school jobs depend on your Co-T. They can be nice, but there is also a high incidence of Co-T's who bully, demean, undermine and even sabotage  the FT. So then your year becomes a contest of mind games with a resentful someone who holds all the cards.
Catch my drift?


  • NorthStar
  • Super Waygook

    • 262

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #71 on: May 18, 2019, 08:35:45 am »
Yeah... was mostly BS'ing. However, when I first arrived and got the inevitable question, "How long will you stay?" I answered, "As long as I am happy and treated with respect. As soon as I feel I am being disrespected without justification, I will quit and walk away."

I set the bar and I had several years at the same school of ease, fun and laughs.

While I think it's great that you didn't have any problems at your school...I just can't imagine saying that to anyone during a first meeting.  Don't you think that's quite a negative thing to kick off with?  You said it in a jokey way I assume?

...well, seems to have worked.  I don't think it is a negative thing.  Picking your spot in the ring is not bad choice. 


  • LIC
  • Veteran

    • 132

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #72 on: May 19, 2019, 10:27:24 am »
Yeah... was mostly BS'ing. However, when I first arrived and got the inevitable question, "How long will you stay?" I answered, "As long as I am happy and treated with respect. As soon as I feel I am being disrespected without justification, I will quit and walk away."

I set the bar and I had several years at the same school of ease, fun and laughs.

While I think it's great that you didn't have any problems at your school...I just can't imagine saying that to anyone during a first meeting.  Don't you think that's quite a negative thing to kick off with?  You said it in a jokey way I assume?

...well, seems to have worked.  I don't think it is a negative thing.  Picking your spot in the ring is not bad choice. 

The message is all in the delivery. That's what separates famous comedians from the creepy guy in the cubicle next to you who says the same thing. I was very professional and light-hearted about it.

Having said that and knowing Korea, it's hierarchical nature, and Koreans and their feelings towards personal appearances, I am quite sure that it helped that upon my arrival I was wearing a nice suit, was clean-shaven (I shaved again on the airplane prior to landing), I was in my mid-40's and was not fat and dare I humbly admit, I am quite handsome. I know that sounds terribly egotistical, but I am handsome, that's it. False pride was ever one of my strong suits.

On the flight over I read "Culture Shock: Korea" and learned a handful of very basic phrases. I tried them out with my co-teacher in the restaurant and asked her help with pronunciation etc.  That book saved me some potential hassles throughout my time there.
It was invaluable. I would recommend everyone read it.

It's so easy to get along there-anywhere- if you know the game. And life is just a game isn't it?


  • oglop
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1905

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #73 on: May 19, 2019, 01:58:23 pm »
I humbly admit, I am quite handsome. I know that sounds terribly egotistical, but I am handsome, that's it. False pride was ever one of my strong suits.

maybe we should be the ones to determine that. post a pic so we can can see!


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 422

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
    • Gouda cheese Be Best cheese
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #74 on: May 19, 2019, 04:23:55 pm »
I got hired at a prestigious school not for my looks, but for my skills. I don't think 'good looks' do nor should matter in education. It might even hinder your successful application.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 04:25:49 pm by SanderB »
Fiat voluntas tua- All that you want is allowed


Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #75 on: May 19, 2019, 04:40:58 pm »
Sounds ok then LIC.

For a minute there you were sounding dangerously close to Steve Schertzer who, admittedly, seemslike an absolute sociopath.




Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #76 on: Yesterday at 06:46:46 am »
  Giving a  gift and showing that you are cooperative and willing to improve but not caving in will help enormously. If you smile when you give the gift and also say to the co-teacher "thank you for taking the trouble to help me," it might soften her towards you. Nothing is guaranteed. But it should help. Constant gift-giving is not required, but a gesture should help. The guy/girl who suggested that you proof-reed the co-teacher's work is very shrewd and wise. They understand that if you can do that, you will gain their respect, see that you are responsible and hardworking and so on. It also will let you put one over on them. You will be someone they turn to for advice, something you will meekly give, and you'll get respect.
   When I was teaching in the public sector in Korea, it was in 3 Industrial High Schools. Quite a few classes were really positive and appreciative, but some classes were like classes in a rough inner-city school in the US or UK. but with additional problems. Also, my main co-teacher had significant problems with English, which some teachers of Korean teased him about (sorry Mr. Lee), and most co-teachers tended not to appear in my classes. People have told me that this tendency to skip away may have indicated that they knew I was a trustworthy and good teacher, and did not need my help. Okay. But so why did I fail my evaluation with it's pass mark of 90%?
   I mention this to show that there are worse public schools.
The good news is that if EPIK fires you or just blocks you after one yeaar, you can still work in other places: hagwons, or in elementary/middle/high schools that are not public.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1490

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #77 on: Yesterday at 11:59:04 am »
Okay. But so why did I fail my evaluation with it's pass mark of 90%?
Are you talking the end of contract evaluation? Because, I don't think the 90% is the cutoff, I've always gotten under that and have been rehired all the time.


  • Mr C
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1632

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #78 on: Today at 07:36:46 am »
Sounds ok then LIC.

For a minute there you were sounding dangerously close to Steve Schertzer who, admittedly, seemslike an absolute sociopath.

Wow, never saw that ... teacher ... before!

I may not know a lot about teaching, but I know this: anyone who has to write on the board "I own the room," will probably never own the room.


  • Mezoti97
  • The Legend

    • 2658

    • April 14, 2011, 03:02:50 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Coteacher conflict advice?
« Reply #79 on: Today at 07:43:59 am »
Are you talking the end of contract evaluation? Because, I don't think the 90% is the cutoff, I've always gotten under that and have been rehired all the time.

When I first started teaching in Korea in the public school system, under my first MOE/POE, the minimum evaluation score NETs had to get in order to renew at the same school was 80%. But by my 3rd year, they had raised it up to 85%. That was years ago, though -- I haven't worked in the Korean public school system in a while, so things may have changed since then. Also, it (the minimum evaluation score needed to renew at the same school) could also depend on the MOE/POE.