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Re: Is This Your Passion or just for money?
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2020, 06:48:26 pm »
love the responses....it's great to hear about everyone's unique experiences.
It sounds like Ronnie and Van are on one end of the extreme (the really passionate and dedicated teachers who genuinely
love this job and not just doing it for the money or because they couldn't find anything else to do).  If you or anyone has been doing it since the early 2000s, it would indicate you most likely enjoy it and the fit is just right.

I would want to know how long have you been working at the same school/hagwon?  I'm wondering if you feel the exact same way even if you change schools and settings?  Is it mostly based on the "job" itself (irregardless of what school, location, or system you are in), or is it based on your good fortune have having found a good setup (ie. Employer/boss you get along well with, other teachers, school system/rules/policies)?

For example, you mentioned that you have "full creative control" over your classes and that's definitely a satisfying thing to have.  But what if your school didn't allow you full creative control?  What if they implemented some new rules and told you, you had to follow their program or guidelines and now you no longer have creative control but forced to do what they tell you to do.....would that negatively impact your teaching experience or would you still feel the same amount of excitement and passion to go there everyday?   

And so far we haven't seen anyone really post on the other end of the spectrum (I hate teaching, I only wanted this for a job/money, and adventure/life experience but I'm out as soon as it's convenient for me).  I'm sure they are more numerous but not everyone is able or willing to share their experiences.

I can definitely relate to the other parts mentioned like: "living only minutes away from school" and the joy of that.  In my old school, I was only a few minutes drive away and I can't tell you how much that made me feel happy and comfortable.  No stress commuting, no traffic....I felt like it would even encourage me to stay at school 10-20 minutes longer than I needed to because I'd have no stress about getting home.   In my new school, I'm now 20 minutes drive and some traffic to deal with.....I noticed the difference it has made on my experience and often it's a source of irritation and stress for me. 

I also felt the same way in the first few years about loving the weekdays and being sad on friday and happy on sunday night because I wanted to go to school.  I loved going to summer and winter camps and I'd even ask NOT to have holidays cuz I didn't want any....being at school was like a holiday for me.  I didn't gripe about pay, or count down the days to payday etc.  Often times I even forgot about money.   So when I look back and ask myself, why did I feel that way back then for so long and not so much anymore?  I realized that most of my reasons were circumstantial-based and not intrinsically based on the job/teaching itself.   My circumstances back then suited and matched with me perfectly....right to my personality.   

I felt trusted and appreciated.  Nobody was breathing down my neck.  I had a lot of freedom and control, and they generally gave me a lot of wiggle-room, leeway, and generosity.  As a result, I found myself wanting to give back more on my own initiative.  It made me want to spend more of my own money for the school/students....the Principal was very good to me, made sure that I went to every school field trip with the kids, every event, I felt involved in school life which resulted in having very good relationships and level of interaction with everyone.  I can see why I'd love Mondays and be sad on Fridays.   But things changed a lot as they do in korean schools...the principal changed, all the teachers changed, new programs and structures came into place, and that's when it started going downhill for me.   I had problems with the new CT and the new group dynamic (of teachers), nobody cared what I did or didn't do anymore, didn't feel appreciated, not invited to any field trips or events, left behind without notice most occasions, fewer classes, cancellations without notice even though I had prepared and was anticipating class etc.... If I am a "good teacher", am I supposed to feel and be happy and excited to go to school on Mondays with these new circumstances?  If yes, then I am probably not really a good teacher.  This isn't the best fit for me and I need to find something else in my life to do because money itself is not enough...especially as you get older, you really want to find meaning and value, but when you are younger, money is usually satisfying and filling enough :)

« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 06:50:35 pm by fruitloops »


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Re: Is This Your Passion or just for money?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2020, 08:02:21 am »
Started off as something I did for the money and travel experience. I left the industry for a while and got a ‘proper’ job...was miserable and realised the classroom was where I wanted to be long term.

Decided to make a proper go of it and turn it into a career by getting the necessary qualifications which I should’ve started doing like 5yrs ago...but better late than never lol.

I’ve set out a 5yr plan of all the certifications I plan to have obtained by then (culminating in a M.Ed)...while working in the subject area(s) I want. Longer term, like 10yrs+ from now I’d like to get into the leadership side of things (principal etc).


Re: Is This Your Passion or just for money?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2020, 12:15:16 pm »
Originally, it was meant to be a distraction. I earned more money at my previous job, but I became dissatisfied with it and sought a career change.

Now, I can honestly say that I enjoy it, but I still wouldn't call it a passion. But then, I believe that passion for a job can be obtained when you become really good at it and manage to find a lot of satisfaction in the fruits of that labor. Some people are lucky and manage to find a job that happens to match up with an already existing passion at the very beginning, but I think for most people passion has to be developed, grown and nurtured.

I'm not there, yet, but I hope to be, and I plan to stick with this career path because I don't feel tied down by it. I feel I have a lot of freedom with it, which I've learned is very important to me.


Re: Is This Your Passion or just for money?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2020, 05:34:20 pm »
Sounds good.

When asked the question, "What is more important? Meeting the needs of the society or meeting the needs of the individual?"  We often force ourselves to choose one or the other.   I always believe that both are equally important and should both be pursued.

If we are too far on the one end of the spectrum (meet the needs of society as a whole while neglecting the needs of the individual), we may have a more prosperous society, economy, standard of living, but we'll also have record highs in mental illness, depression, suicides, broken families, unhealthy relationships, addictions, crime, corruption, and malcontent people.

If we are too far on the other end of the spectrum (meet the needs of the individual), we may have more social discord, disharmony, dog-eat-dog cannibalistic mentality world, selfishness leading to overall personal gain but at the cost of the well-being of the general society and progression of it.



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Re: Is This Your Passion or just for money?
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2020, 10:54:27 pm »
When asked the question, "What is more important? Meeting the needs of the society or meeting the needs of the individual?"  We often force ourselves to choose one or the other.   I always believe that both are equally important and should both be pursued.
The needs of society?

There are YOUR needs, the needs of those in your family, those of your friends and acquaintances, and the needs of locals you see in your local community.

THOSE are the needs I meet.

Society? Government? People I have never met but have expectations?! Has mass communication technology, especially the Internet, f'd up people's sense of personal responsibility so much?

HOW could "society" be more important than your sister, child, friend, neighbor or co-worker? I never think in terms of society, and those that do seem to me like guys trying to win over their granny's approval even though she's kicked the bucket.

Society? Pfff...


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Re: Is This Your Passion or just for money?
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2020, 11:51:50 pm »
Quote
.    "They are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there's no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours."   

Margaret Thatcher 1987


Re: Is This Your Passion or just for money?
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2020, 08:52:56 am »
Just for money. I'm here to survive, not live. 


Re: Is This Your Passion or just for money?
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2020, 02:54:14 pm »
The needs of society?

There are YOUR needs, the needs of those in your family, those of your friends and acquaintances, and the needs of locals you see in your local community.

THOSE are the needs I meet.

Society? Government? People I have never met but have expectations?! Has mass communication technology, especially the Internet, f'd up people's sense of personal responsibility so much?

HOW could "society" be more important than your sister, child, friend, neighbor or co-worker? I never think in terms of society, and those that do seem to me like guys trying to win over their granny's approval even though she's kicked the bucket.

Society? Pfff...

I generally agree with you and I think that's because we are "westerners" and that's the mentality we grew up on.....individual needs come first before the needs of the society or the community.

The west model is bottom-up, meaning, individuality, the declaration of independence (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) takes precedence.

The east model (confucianism) is a very top-down model, meaning emphasis on hierarchies, the nation/people as a whole first over the needs of each individual and you would be expected to give up individual freedoms and sacrifices in order to benefit the nation/country as a whole.

It doesn't get more opposite than that in this world, which is why Asia (east Asia) is often so frustrating (or fascinating).  Of course it has been changing over the years as the younger generations abandon these values/ideals for more western/individual focused values.

This is why I think I differ from all or most of the korean teachers as I'm always thinking of myself and my own happiness and satisfaction, and not just about the school or the students.  Of course the students must always be a high priority, but I don't believe in putting them first while killing yourself in the process.   A good teacher to me is a happy teacher.  A good employee is a happy one (or one that is satisfied, well-taken care of, or enjoys what they are doing).   Maybe that means I'm not a real teacher or a good one.  Maybe a real good teacher is one who is able to sacrifice their own well-being for the sake of their students.  I don't know.

But to me, even the school doesn't put the student's first.  It's clear the first priority and top priority in Korea is the hierarchy.  The programs, the policies, the curriculum, whatever is handed down from ED office/ministry is first and foremost of importance.   You would all know this when the higher ups are about to visit your school and literally the entire school goes into panic mode telling everyone to clean the s*** out of your classrooms, organize everything, make everything appear spectacular, re-schedule everything, tell the kids to behave etc., and then they visit and literally spend just a few seconds in and out of each classroom and move on.     



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Re: Is This Your Passion or just for money?
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2020, 08:28:50 pm »
The documentary American factory shows that divide well. In the end Chinese management is so frustrated with the lack of 'sacrifice' they resort to replacing most US workers with robots.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m36QeKOJ2Fc
incumbo studiis


Re: Is This Your Passion or just for money?
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2020, 07:44:39 am »
I would want to know how long have you been working at the same school/hagwon?  I'm wondering if you feel the exact same way even if you change schools and settings?  Is it mostly based on the "job" itself (irregardless of what school, location, or system you are in), or is it based on your good fortune have having found a good setup (ie. Employer/boss you get along well with, other teachers, school system/rules/policies)?

For example, you mentioned that you have "full creative control" over your classes and that's definitely a satisfying thing to have.  But what if your school didn't allow you full creative control?  What if they implemented some new rules and told you, you had to follow their program or guidelines and now you no longer have creative control but forced to do what they tell you to do.....would that negatively impact your teaching experience or would you still feel the same amount of excitement and passion to go there everyday?   

Now it's coming into my fifth year at my high school.  I definitely wouldn't still be here if it were in elementary.  I still stand by my assertion that native English teachers are more beneficial in middle and high than they are in elementary, which is more to do with the fact that native teachers are handled so badly in elementary.  There are the minority of elementary schools that get it right, but it's just that elementary schools treat teachers like the students they teach.  If that makes sense.  In high school, we trust the students, we treat them like adults, and that is shown by how the teachers are treated too.  It's the environment. 

I've done the elementary/middle/high/teachers merrygoround.  So to end up where I am, is understandable.  So people get their perfect job straightaway but others need to work around it. 

With high school, the Korean English teachers have a lot of work to do so if you show that you're competent and hard-working then they're happy to let you get on with things.  Which is great.  I've never had to show lessons to my teachers before classes, my reputation of being in the same city for 8 or so years preceded me.  So I just got on with it.  Even in middle school, I took conversations and bits from the text book and made them into a structured lesson.  My elementary schools were varied.  A couple let me do whatever and then a couple did the text book.  You'll have to guess which had the better, more focused students.  There is nothing in elementary schools that a Korean teacher cannot do from a tv and a cd.  By high school, students have a depth of knowledge so essentially, you're helping them connect the dots and put what they've learned vocally and down on paper.