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Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« on: October 05, 2020, 11:53:01 am »
Apologies in advance, y'all, for this long rant.
For context, my contract expires on October 30th. I've already done the open class for the Office of Education.

I've been a teacher at my school for 3 years.

My co-teacher and I have talked about contract renewal and I've expressed my wishes to renew for a fourth year. There was no discouragement to that for months and I thought at the very least, if the school would not renew me, I would be informed at least 30 days before my contract expiration. Instead 22 days before contract expiration, I was informed that I would be re-evaluated on all of my classes (online and offline) for a period of three weeks starting after the Chuseok holiday until the week before my contract date.

The main complaints about my classes were that it's too repetitive and boring, that I follow the book too much and use the CD's materials too much. I've done my best to prepare games for my students for our offline classes with these social distancing restrictions. I even try to squeeze in a few small exercises in the online videos.  My co-teacher suggested that I search waygook, which I already do. But the materials for the textbook I'm using is really hard to find on here. And combing through similar lessons from other textbooks was very challenging because the main phrases would be different. This wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't told to focus on making the kids pass the tests (which I was asked to administer as well because of the covid situation, cutting more into my offline teaching time).

Then, there was the issue with my health. I am healthy, and nothing big would've happened if the hospital I went to didn't misdiagnosed my condition. But alas, I was told I had IBS when in truth I had an ovarian cyst. So for months after my endoscopy and colonoscopy (the doctor was the one to recommend these over the ultrasound and CT scan) , I only took medicine for IBS symptoms, leaving the ovarian cyst to grow and burst multiple times. Only recently that the pain became unbearable that I went in for surgery at a different hospital, trying carefully to not use up all of my sick leave so that I can at least spread some time for any early leave to get my check-ups. But because I've been using my sick leave (I've one other time before when I was out for a day), my teacher said the school is very concerned about my health and my ability to teach in the future. I could only nod at that and say I'll do my best to keep my health (even though I was misguided completely by professionals).

Really, I would've preferred them telling me they would not be renewing with me instead of dragging it out. I would've already gathered all the needed documents and ready to move on to a new job. Now I'm stranded on an island of stress between preparing all my classes to perfection while having to go back and forth to the hospital to check up on my wounds.

My only comfort is the fact that the coordinator was kind and told me what I can do for reapplication.

Life happens, I know. I didn't ask to be sick and I chose to endure the pain of surgery so that I can return to school faster. But, sometimes, these little things I try to do really means nothing. All I can really do now is just try my best.

P.S. not renewing and just reapplying is an option, but it's not a guarantee neither if I do reapply. I am in good standing with my school but transfer isn't possible if this three-week evaluation go awry. The love of my life is here and I want to do my best to be able to stay here, so that's why I am praying for renewal.


Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 12:32:53 pm »
From the info you've provided they seem to  want to find a legal way to get rid of you for using sick-days. It's a thoroughly shitty attitude but it's fairly common. I've never heard of the multiple-week review but it sounds made-up (like they're trying to justify a non-renewal). In my experience here being accused of using the books too much really means stepping on the toes of your co-teacher who wants to use the book exclusively when they teach alone.

If I were you I'd assume a non-renewal and plan accordingly.


Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 12:41:51 pm »
It does sounds like your school wants to get rid of you. BUT this might not be a terrible situation. You can apply for a D-10 visa and get certified copies of your documents from the education office to use for a new job here locally.

Seoul Global Center can help you navigate it.

https://expatguidekorea.com/article/how-to-get-a-d10-job-seekers-visa-in-korea.html
« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 12:44:35 pm by thunderlips »


Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 01:06:41 pm »
From the info you've provided they seem to  want to find a legal way to get rid of you for using sick-days. It's a thoroughly shitty attitude but it's fairly common. I've never heard of the multiple-week review but it sounds made-up (like they're trying to justify a non-renewal). In my experience here being accused of using the books too much really means stepping on the toes of your co-teacher who wants to use the book exclusively when they teach alone.

If I were you I'd assume a non-renewal and plan accordingly.

Thanks fam.

Honestly, my co-teacher had told me she wanted to teach english but our school has a special case - we have a Korean English teacher AND a Native English teacher. So of course she can't teach it. But since we do have 2 teachers and with the covid situation, I really think they will push for me to not be renewed.
I've been in touch with the coordinator about the letters of recommendations and I don't have to get it from my current teacher now according to him, so I'm about to ask my favorite teacher to write one for me.

I'm just bummed they won't be straight with me and beat around the bushes like this. My principal didn't even know I was planning to renew (she didn't say not to renew me but she just honestly didn't know. And she even complimented me about me coming to work early and following all protocols during this time).


Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2020, 01:07:25 pm »
It does sounds like your school wants to get rid of you. BUT this might not be a terrible situation. You can apply for a D-10 visa and get certified copies of your documents from the education office to use for a new job here locally.

Seoul Global Center can help you navigate it.

https://expatguidekorea.com/article/how-to-get-a-d10-job-seekers-visa-in-korea.html

Thank you very much ^^


  • 303lmc
  • Veteran

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    • March 05, 2019, 05:23:12 pm
    • Gwangju
Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2020, 01:16:09 pm »
I thought it was the culture to not be direct with you, (I often forget this beat around the bush culture here and am way too direct) hence why they are reviewing 3 weeks of classes etc so they can find fault with ONE teeny tiny thing and say no.  They also do not like confrontation, so that could be why the long drawn out scenario. your spirit will have been worn down and you will not want to fight for the job.
I'm also upset about their "concern" for your health. if you had been treated for the actual issue you wouldn't need to have taken time off and not felt good. I would think they would be concerned with the misdiagnosis and you getting better. I' m not looking forward to the forced appointment I have to have by the end of the year.  I've read too many stories about terrible treatment and not being taken seriously.


Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2020, 02:01:05 pm »
I thought it was the culture to not be direct with you, (I often forget this beat around the bush culture here and am way too direct) hence why they are reviewing 3 weeks of classes etc so they can find fault with ONE teeny tiny thing and say no.  They also do not like confrontation, so that could be why the long drawn out scenario. your spirit will have been worn down and you will not want to fight for the job.
I'm also upset about their "concern" for your health. if you had been treated for the actual issue you wouldn't need to have taken time off and not felt good. I would think they would be concerned with the misdiagnosis and you getting better. I' m not looking forward to the forced appointment I have to have by the end of the year.  I've read too many stories about terrible treatment and not being taken seriously.

I just found out all English teachers in the province are required a three-week teaching evaluation to see their teaching skills in cooperation with the homeroom teachers .... and my Korean English teacher said it's not supposed to affect me, but here we are with my job apparently on the line. So, yeah. I'm just going to gather all my paperwork because there is miscommunications everywhere and it's too dangerous to assume the better.


  • hangook77
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    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
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Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2020, 02:09:11 pm »
I thought it was the culture to not be direct with you, (I often forget this beat around the bush culture here and am way too direct) hence why they are reviewing 3 weeks of classes etc so they can find fault with ONE teeny tiny thing and say no.  They also do not like confrontation, so that could be why the long drawn out scenario. your spirit will have been worn down and you will not want to fight for the job.
I'm also upset about their "concern" for your health. if you had been treated for the actual issue you wouldn't need to have taken time off and not felt good. I would think they would be concerned with the misdiagnosis and you getting better. I' m not looking forward to the forced appointment I have to have by the end of the year.  I've read too many stories about terrible treatment and not being taken seriously.

I'd expect at least a few weeks notice of being non renewed.  However any rational person ought to know that COVID is an unusual situation with regards to teaching and they ought to give you a break as they liked your classes the past two years.  You would prob go back to that next year in 2021 when things slowly get back to normal.   So, it really is ridiculous of them to hold COVID and online classes against you as it is an unusual situation.   I'd prob scream in their face if they did that to me and really do all I could to make them uncomfortable for the next two or three weeks.  On the other hand if they gave me a couple of months notice and good letters of recommendation, I'd prob thank them for their service and suck it up politely.  The fact they told you at the last minute is incredibly unprofessional on their part and very disrespectful which why I'd let it rip. 

There's no need to be concerned for your health.  A permanent Korean teacher going through cancer treatment or some other treatment wouldn't automatically lose their job.  Why is it okay to turf the foreigner out, especially if your doctor could call them and tell them there is no more issue with you?  The coordinator should just transfer you to another school.  Seems pretty unprofessional in your province. 


  • hangook77
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    • Near Busan
Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2020, 02:11:11 pm »
I just found out all English teachers in the province are required a three-week teaching evaluation to see their teaching skills in cooperation with the homeroom teachers .... and my Korean English teacher said it's not supposed to affect me, but here we are with my job apparently on the line. So, yeah. I'm just going to gather all my paperwork because there is miscommunications everywhere and it's too dangerous to assume the better.

Which English teachers?  Korean ones too?  Also the last 3 weeks of your contract and not a couple of months ago where they could give you notice?  If they tell you at the end you're non renewed, I really hope you scream in their face and make it  uncomfortable for them.  The reasons I mentioned above are reason enough to call them out.  But, I guess play nice till then.  Get your doctor to call your school and tell them you're cured if you are. 


  • 303lmc
  • Veteran

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    • March 05, 2019, 05:23:12 pm
    • Gwangju
Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2020, 02:54:35 pm »
what province is this? I'm hoping it isn't mine, but it's most likely I am not renewing.  Edit: and of course they tell you last minute, otherwise you could prepare.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1908

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
    • Asia
Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2020, 03:04:06 pm »
There's no need to be concerned for your health.  A permanent Korean teacher going through cancer treatment or some other treatment wouldn't automatically lose their job.  Why is it okay to turf the foreigner out, especially if your doctor could call them and tell them there is no more issue with you?
Simple answer, we are mere contract workers, and don't have the same protections that full-time Korean teachers get. Also, we are foreigners. A Korean contract teacher get screwed as much as foreigners.


Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2020, 03:11:45 pm »
Which English teachers?  Korean ones too?  Also the last 3 weeks of your contract and not a couple of months ago where they could give you notice?  If they tell you at the end you're non renewed, I really hope you scream in their face and make it  uncomfortable for them.  The reasons I mentioned above are reason enough to call them out.  But, I guess play nice till then.  Get your doctor to call your school and tell them you're cured if you are.

Native english teachers have to be evaluated by homeroom teachers (while teaching WITH them) for the OE to see what the teaching skills are, etc. I don't think this is to weed out teachers ASAP. The korean teachers already did their evaluation I believe (my Korean English teacher also did his already).

I'm not one to scream and shout when I'm angry - I'm more of a crying because of anger kind of girl so I'll just save my breath there.

I wouldn't say I'm cured (doctor said the cyst could come back, or it could show up somewhere new and it's totally normal for women to get them), but recovery will take about 2 months. And you bet i'm doing my best during these two months to make sure i'm recovering.


Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2020, 03:15:19 pm »
what province is this? I'm hoping it isn't mine, but it's most likely I am not renewing.  Edit: and of course they tell you last minute, otherwise you could prepare.

GOE


  • hangook77
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Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2020, 01:21:09 pm »
Native english teachers have to be evaluated by homeroom teachers (while teaching WITH them) for the OE to see what the teaching skills are, etc. I don't think this is to weed out teachers ASAP. The korean teachers already did their evaluation I believe (my Korean English teacher also did his already).

I'm not one to scream and shout when I'm angry - I'm more of a crying because of anger kind of girl so I'll just save my breath there.

I wouldn't say I'm cured (doctor said the cyst could come back, or it could show up somewhere new and it's totally normal for women to get them), but recovery will take about 2 months. And you bet i'm doing my best during these two months to make sure i'm recovering.

Can you give them the impression it's gone is what I meant?  And yeah, if it was the last week and they told me they aren't renewing me, literally last minute, I would say they had the decision a couple of months ago at least or had a good idea and they didn't tell you because they disrespect you as a person.  So, I would be well within my right to complain.  I also think there is a legal requirement to give notice or demand more compensation or something.  If they do that to you, see if you have a case before the labor board with a complaint.  Crying in front of the children, the students, the parents, the principal and vice principal may also work.  Play the sympathy card and ask why they gave you no notice and imply they are terrible persons (in a guilty trip kind of way) for giving no notice to you.  What will you do?  Will you end up on the street?  How can you do anything when they gave you no chance to save and prepare money? 



  • hangook77
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    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2020, 01:22:45 pm »
But wait to make sure they actually do it.  Because once you go nuclear, you can't undue it.  Maybe they will renew you since they haven't given you notice and are just playing a bit of psychological games.


Re: Public School: It's just so rough y'all
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2020, 03:23:38 pm »
Sounds like they have really gone to town by giving you extra work during a time when you suffered ill health. Most likely a personality clash, which can definitely happen here even if you're nice and do your job properly (sometimes that winds them up even more). All it takes is one ajumma or person in power which in turn poisons the other teachers.

I would guess you're in a city school. In my experience the city schools tend to be more stressful environments, maybe because the teachers tend to be younger and trying to make their mark or could be because parents are more demanding. If you can move to a smaller town/village then you'll most likely see these type of problems disappear.

On a positive note, usually in public school there's several staff that leave so you might be lucky and get nicer colleagues next year if you manage to stay.