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  • kayakee
  • Waygookin

    • 11

    • November 29, 2015, 10:55:03 pm
    • Korea
An entire grade missing this year! What happens?
« on: June 09, 2020, 05:19:19 pm »
So I heard from someone that their school was missing an entire grade 1 class this year.
Originally 2 people had enrolled but during the covid19 closures, they must've changed their minds
and left the school to go somewhere else, so now that school has 0 enrollment this year.

My question is what happens to that school's grade 1 teacher?  Does he/she suddenly get laid off or do they
just have to deskwarm for the entire school year?   Anyone actually know what happens to the teacher and the school?
Have you ever heard about this happen in another school?


Re: An entire grade missing this year! What happens?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 06:34:47 pm »
Public school? If so the answer comes down to two words: Teachers Union


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1821

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: An entire grade missing this year! What happens?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 07:26:56 am »
So I heard from someone that their school was missing an entire grade 1 class this year.
Originally 2 people had enrolled but during the covid19 closures, they must've changed their minds
and left the school to go somewhere else, so now that school has 0 enrollment this year.

My question is what happens to that school's grade 1 teacher?  Does he/she suddenly get laid off or do they
just have to deskwarm for the entire school year?   Anyone actually know what happens to the teacher and the school?
Have you ever heard about this happen in another school?
Simple answer, if there is lack of students, they'll move any tenured teachers to another school. Also, if the school is that small, then there probably is only one teacher for each subject, and there are still the 2 other grades to teach. Also, tenured Korean teachers can also do multiple schools. It's harder teaching small schools because you're responsible for multiple grades, and have to make tests for multiple grades.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 07:29:18 am by pkjh »


Re: An entire grade missing this year! What happens?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 07:29:07 am »
Teachers Union

Back home it's the same thing, unions are a necessity and a curse.

At one of my rural elementary schools, not a single student lives in the immediate vicinity (43 students at the school). They all get bused in from the city, where you have an abundance of schools. The school probably has as many staff as there are students (3 PE teachers for 43 kids!).

It's almost certain that unions are bullying the spineless government to keep this money pit open and keep 20 glorified desk warmers employed. The VP seems to do nothing more than stand at the entrance at 8:30 and 16:30, respectively, to make sure teachers aren't tardy by a second and proceeds to berate them if they are.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1821

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: An entire grade missing this year! What happens?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 07:32:46 am »
Teachers Union
In Korea joining the Teachers' Union is voluntary. And there are 2 unions, one conservative, and the other liberal. Unlike in some other countries where you have to join the union to be employed.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1821

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: An entire grade missing this year! What happens?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 07:52:03 am »
It's almost certain that unions are bullying the spineless government to keep this money pit open and keep 20 glorified desk warmers employed. The VP seems to do nothing more than stand at the entrance at 8:30 and 16:30, respectively, to make sure teachers aren't tardy by a second and proceeds to berate them if they are.
These days full-time teachers are well protected, however up until the 90s teachers were fired on the spot, parents slipping teachers extra cash was rife, hiring relatives was common, and paying bribe money to get hired was the norm. Hence the reason they enjoy so much protection these days.


  • sleepy
  • Veteran

    • 223

    • April 02, 2013, 03:05:44 pm
Re: An entire grade missing this year! What happens?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2020, 08:40:43 am »
School student numbers are reported (counted) once per year. What I think you may find happening is one child 'appearing' during the count week, from a nearby school (likely a staff members child).

The count is done and the next week the child disappears again....


Re: An entire grade missing this year! What happens?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 10:22:30 am »
I've taught and truly enjoyed teaching at some really small schools. Some schools I've taught at had 4 students and 12 teachers. Of course, I had one small school <under 125 students, 2 smaller schools < under 50 students, and 1 really small school <under 10 students to teach at. I really enjoyed my time, but some of the teachers there gave up on the students' learning because they will become a farmer or an athlete or .....anyway. That was sad to see. The school stayed open and is still going.......it was very rural Gangwondo though so the students would have had to travel quite far on the local bus that doesn't run to often or at the right times to get to/from school.

So many students I've taught had such poor family situations, whether it be money or health or just seeing mom once a year with dad out of the picture....but these were some sweet kids and I miss them.


Re: An entire grade missing this year! What happens?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2020, 10:25:21 am »
These days full-time teachers are well protected, however up until the 90s teachers were fired on the spot, parents slipping teachers extra cash was rife, hiring relatives was common, and paying bribe money to get hired was the norm. Hence the reason they enjoy so much protection these days.

Exactly, one extreme or another extreme, no middle ground in Korea.

HR teacher at one of my schools got "suspended" and sent to have a psych evaluation after months of students, teachers and parents complaining about him. He literally called every one of his students trash, was incredibly rude to everyone and constantly shouted at his students. Not sure what the results of the evaluation were, but after 2 months, he was allowed to return and his behavior hasn't changed... that was 2yrs ago, he's still here.


Re: An entire grade missing this year! What happens?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2020, 03:24:29 pm »
I gather this is elementary, right?  So you're asking what will happen to the first grade homeroom teacher, right?  They could be transferred if needed somewhere else or they'll just be assigned something else in the school.  By the sounds of it, it's a small countryside school anyway so they're generally more laid back than most when it comes to dealing out responsibilities for teachers.  It could depend on whether they're good at playing volleyball on volleyball Fridays at the behest of the principal. 

If the school was only expecting 2 new students in the 1st grade, then I doubt the prospects will be that good for the school in the future if they're looking at it purely on numbers.  Saying that, elementary schools seem to handle small numbers fairly well and still run, but it doesn't look good for a middle school nearby.  I taught in a countryside elementary school 11 years ago and there were 3 students in the third grade and then about 8-10 in each of the other classes.  So I think in total about 50-odd.  Then fast forward to 5 years ago and I was posted at that school again for 8 months, and this time there were about 110 students in the school.  So more than double.  Compare that to a seaside elementary school that I taught at the same time, 11 years ago and they had about 60 or so students, but that went the other way and closed about 5 years ago.  So I think they looked at the prospective numbers and then decided that it was better to close. 

Middles are more prone to closure.  I taught at one doing night classes 5 years ago and there were only 6 students total in the 3 grades.  3-3 2-2 1-1.  But the students were great but it's difficult to run a middle school where the number of teachers is almost double.  Given also that there would have been only one student joining the following year.  That would have been only 4 in total.  So it closed that winter.  Sad really, as these schools have a history.  But what can you do if people are moving to the cities and away from the countryside?