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The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« on: March 14, 2021, 06:32:19 pm »
I've had my exit strategy setup and this year was supposed to be my final year, but CCP virus struck and SA is hit really bad meaning I'll have to hold tight till next year.

The rules by the POE and MOE for NETs have been getting more and more obnoxious, not strict, just obnoxious.

- Almost every year, for the past 5yrs, the NETs in my city have been moved around to different schools at the start of the year. Constantly getting uprooted and having to adjust is quite stressful and annoying.

- The MOE or POE tells each school how many hours I need to teach (each NET is maxed out at no fewer than 22hrs). This is just silly, the rural school I teach at has one class per grade and I've been told to teach 5 classes.
  Since I'm only permitted to teach 3rd to 6th, they had to double up a class each week (I teach one class for 80mins), just so the hours get filled.... WHY? Why does the POE tell the school how many classes I should teach at a given school? Logic
  would say the VP or principal should decide that.

- The worst is the new one for this year. Each NET now has to sign a form at the beginning and end of each day stating that they arrived at 8:30AM and left at precisely 4:30PM. You work here for years and they treat you like a damn child. Our CTs
  have also been instructed to get us to sign that we were at school from 8:30 - 16:30 in February, for the days we weren't on paid leave. All my CTs find this annoying as it gives them extra work and it took a week of them getting me to sign this crap
  before they stopped asking and we just carried on as if it never existed.

Last year, before all the NETs were transferred to different schools, again, the CTs (apparently) complained that they wanted NETs with experience as the noobs were difficult to work with, hence people like me were fought for. I'd like to think that keeping experienced NETs happy would be a bit of a priority and turning a blind eye to a few rule bends that Korean teachers and NETs have been doing for years might be something worth considering. It's obnoxious because none of these measures makes or encourages someone to work harder, I
can only see it having the opposite effect. Scratch that, I can't remember the MOE or POE implementing a single measure to incentivise NETs to do a better job or even the slightest hint of gratitude (other than a mandatory outing of being bussed around, from 8am to 10pm, like a bunch of Chinese tourists to various places were you're told how awesome Korean culture is).

I'm not pulling a Hangook77, but yeah, I'm over this place and unless salaries go up I foresee experienced and qualified teachers leaving or avoiding Korea.



  • theman3285
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1063

    • June 16, 2017, 09:01:06 am
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2021, 09:23:30 pm »
I've had my exit strategy setup and this year was supposed to be my final year, but CCP virus struck and SA is hit really bad meaning I'll have to hold tight till next year.
And I'm holding tight to get back into Korea :laugh:

Leaving my family behind for a year of study seemed like a good idea a few months ago  :cry: :cry: :cry:

Here's hoping this year goes quickly for both of us.

On a side note: Are South Africans and Brits still banned from entering Korea? Really hope that doesn't complicate things when it's time for me to go back.


  • theman3285
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1063

    • June 16, 2017, 09:01:06 am
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2021, 02:23:42 am »
with exception of the mentally challenged. 
Could that be the same mentally challenged people that quote an entire post and bold the relevant bit instead of just trimming the quote?:p


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2958

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2021, 07:41:35 am »
I've had my exit strategy setup and this year was supposed to be my final year, but CCP virus struck and SA is hit really bad meaning I'll have to hold tight till next year.

The rules by the POE and MOE for NETs have been getting more and more obnoxious, not strict, just obnoxious.

- Almost every year, for the past 5yrs, the NETs in my city have been moved around to different schools at the start of the year. Constantly getting uprooted and having to adjust is quite stressful and annoying.

- The MOE or POE tells each school how many hours I need to teach (each NET is maxed out at no fewer than 22hrs). This is just silly, the rural school I teach at has one class per grade and I've been told to teach 5 classes.
  Since I'm only permitted to teach 3rd to 6th, they had to double up a class each week (I teach one class for 80mins), just so the hours get filled.... WHY? Why does the POE tell the school how many classes I should teach at a given school? Logic
  would say the VP or principal should decide that.

- The worst is the new one for this year. Each NET now has to sign a form at the beginning and end of each day stating that they arrived at 8:30AM and left at precisely 4:30PM. You work here for years and they treat you like a damn child. Our CTs
  have also been instructed to get us to sign that we were at school from 8:30 - 16:30 in February, for the days we weren't on paid leave. All my CTs find this annoying as it gives them extra work and it took a week of them getting me to sign this crap
  before they stopped asking and we just carried on as if it never existed.

Last year, before all the NETs were transferred to different schools, again, the CTs (apparently) complained that they wanted NETs with experience as the noobs were difficult to work with, hence people like me were fought for. I'd like to think that keeping experienced NETs happy would be a bit of a priority and turning a blind eye to a few rule bends that Korean teachers and NETs have been doing for years might be something worth considering. It's obnoxious because none of these measures makes or encourages someone to work harder, I
can only see it having the opposite effect. Scratch that, I can't remember the MOE or POE implementing a single measure to incentivise NETs to do a better job or even the slightest hint of gratitude (other than a mandatory outing of being bussed around, from 8am to 10pm, like a bunch of Chinese tourists to various places were you're told how awesome Korean culture is).

I'm not pulling a Hangook77, but yeah, I'm over this place and unless salaries go up I foresee experienced and qualified teachers leaving or avoiding Korea.



Well, you are pulling a me and I am right.  I have been right.  And yes rules and stupid things keep increasing and keep getting put into the contract.  I also have a doubling up of classes at one school.  Contract says up to 22 hours.  But not that it has to be.  Give a raise or get lost.  Experienced teachers will leave.

Once Covid is done, time to consider the other countries throwing gobs of money at you. 
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 07:47:17 am by hangook77 »


  • njarlson
  • Waygookin

    • 21

    • March 02, 2021, 07:33:45 am
    • South Korea
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2021, 07:58:38 am »
- The worst is the new one for this year. Each NET now has to sign a form at the beginning and end of each day stating that they arrived at 8:30AM and left at precisely 4:30PM. You work here for years and they treat you like a damn child.
My main school never makes me do this, thank god, but I've had to sign a cute little "attendance sheet" at my second school every month for over 2 years. This always boggled my mind because 1. of course none of the Korean teachers need to sign an attendance sheet, it's assumed that they'll be there on time, and 2. if I ever didn't show up, they would just... call me. Or call my main school and say "hey she's not here". If this was a "clocking in" system that all of the teachers did then I wouldn't mind so much, but it's not. The last time I've had to sign an attendance sheet was my second year of university.
(the gag though is that they don't have me sign in and out as I arrive and leave each day, they do it all at once at the end of the month. so if I ever was late, they don't even have it documented)


  • CO2
  • Waygook Lord

    • 6722

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Uiwang
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2021, 08:06:31 am »
Yeah, that's like the "If you leave the country you have to tell us/you can't leave the country for the weekend"

Why?

"What if you are late or miss your flight?"

If I'm late, then there are protocols already in place to punish me. I could just as easily miss a train in Busan back to Seoul (albeit it'd be easier to egt to Seoul than from Tokyo, this is true)

If I'm late or use a sick day for no good reason, then punish me. But this whole "you do what we say on your days off" is absolute horseshit.

If I'm late cuz I miss my flight that's on me and punish me accordingly. But you don't get to tell me that I can't go to Tokyo for the weekend. 

The first thing to say is that this is definitely not pyramid selling, OK?


Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2021, 08:12:20 am »
Well, you are pulling a me and I am right.  I have been right.  And yes rules and stupid things keep increasing and keep getting put into the contract.  I also have a doubling up of classes at one school.  Contract says up to 22 hours.  But not that it has to be.  Give a raise or get lost.  Experienced teachers will leave.

We've both always agreed that salaries have been stagnant for a long time and need to go up. Some new contract clauses and rules make sense, but others reinforce my belief that Korea has a seriously warped understanding of how to effectively manage and lead people.

Korea seems to have this idea that a good leader or manager is one that makes sure every single rule is followed to the letter, any fool or a simple spreadsheet could do that.
The best leaders are those who see the bigger picture. So if the rules state that a teacher needs to be at school till 4:30PM and you've got an experienced NET who leaves at 4:10PM to catch the bus because the next bus leaves for his home at 5:20PM then turning a blind eye if the principal allows him/her to leave at 4:10PM would be a wise decision. Rigidly enforcing every little rule and insinuating that grown adults need to be monitored like children is going to have a negative impact on their job satisfaction and work performance.

Another example? A good leader... heck, even a subordinate with balls bigger than a split pea will see the ship going down with hundreds of kids inside and will take charge and do everything they can to save every soul. Not sit and watch, with their thumb up their ass, waiting for some bureaucrat 200km away to give you permission.

Where we disagree is that I don't believe that sticking around and fighting the government to raise salaries is feasible. I'd rather complain on Waygook until I've made plans to leave and find a better job.


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2958

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2021, 08:26:34 am »
Well as you know I have said the possibility of leaving after COVID is very real.  In the next couple of years if Korea doesnt smarten up and I have spoken up and made a case for salary hikes to the blind as a bat POE and to a couple of other officials that I know within the system.  So definately not just talking about it here.  The reality is that will most likely take teachers leaving to snap them out of it or some folks getting promoted into positions that are smart enough to see the coming train wreck and fo something to head it off.  But many younget foreigners not attached to Korea fo have options and lots of them nowadays that didnt exist 10 years ago when Korea was getting nailed by wave after wave of foreign English teacher due to the Great Recession going on at the time. 


Korea needs to start having teacher shortages for a season to teach it humility and push up the wages again like it did years ago. 


Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2021, 05:57:45 pm »
You can run, but you can never hide from bureaucracy. The more stable the country, the more bureaucracy will creep in. You get places that tend to have lawsuits in which "the little guy" can prevail against the government or company, then you are going to get increasing measures to ensure compliance and prevent the company from being held liable.

Also, as programs go longer and longer, certain things will happen. You think those won't creep into your teaching job in Vietnam or wherever?

Used to be you didn't have to sign in, you didn't have to deskwarm, etc. Then some people abused it, did some dumb crap while on it, finked on other people. Now it's not a thing anymore.

What do you expect to happen?

Me personally, I thought the place started to lose its charm with all the indoor smoking bans, but whatever. That's the way things go.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 05:59:58 pm by Mr.DeMartino »


  • 745sticky
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1226

    • March 26, 2020, 01:52:57 pm
    • Korea
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2021, 10:35:32 am »
The whole attitude of "one person is abusing it, so it has to go for everyone" is 99% of what's wrong to the world today, I swear (and I meant the entire world not just Korea lol). Like I get that being fair and whatnot is important but that a certain amount of people would abuse certain policies that are still a net benefit for everyone is held as an argument against those policies is ridiculous, and obviously this attitude isn't specific to stuff like deskwarming in Korea, it goes as high as big government programs in the States.


  • CO2
  • Waygook Lord

    • 6722

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Uiwang
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2021, 10:41:37 am »
The whole attitude of "one person is abusing it, so it has to go for everyone" is 99% of what's wrong to the world today, I swear
Yeah, like I said before, there are already policies in place to punish digressions. The fact that 2 people out of 400 are really misbehaving/manipulating/taking advantage of some thing is no reason to throw the waygook out with the mokyoktang water.

Punish transggressors. Preventative measures are good if they're applied with a consideration for all those spinoff effects they'll inherently incur.
The first thing to say is that this is definitely not pyramid selling, OK?


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1970

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2021, 11:59:15 am »
I'm gonna play Devil's Advocate here (because I've learned over the years that it's the best way to earn the love and admiration of one's peers) and say that putting in policies to punish digressers isn't enough to ensure fairness.

    I'm thinking of the classic Wayg example of deskwarming. It wasn't that some teachers were abusing the system per se, but that the system itself was not consistent.
Some schools allowed their NETs to escape early, while others did not. Some schools gave out heaps of extra vacation days when the NETs weren't teaching anyway, while others did not. The ministry of truth and love decided to rectify this by providing a set of guidelines to ensure that policies didn't differ from school to school, which is about as fair as it can get. I mean, it sucked, but it *was* fair.


  • L I
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5661

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2021, 12:51:44 pm »
I think in that case it was the ministry of education not being aware some were leaving early ... akin to a cop not knowing some had been speeding in area. Once brought to their attention, they put an end to it by cracking down. It never was up to each schools’ discretion in the first place. They were all supposed to be adhering to rules from the beginning.


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2958

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2021, 01:38:03 pm »
I do not live here.  But take a look at the place.

http://naver.me/FGop9KCS

If you have no vehicle and speak no Korean and the local education office decides to be really cheap with their budget (IE  a tiny old run room that requires no key money deposit), living in a place like this can be rough.  Sometimes there may be another foreigner or two.  Sometimes, within this gun or country, the office may move you out to a country myeon to be near the schools and set you up with a tiny place in a rural village. 

Life, after a year, can be not so easy or convenient.  Though it can be good to be forced to learn some of the language.  This said, if some of these areas far flung are slightly less strict with certain things during vacation, then so be it.  I live in a regional city with stay at school all day and loaded up with full teaching hours, etc.  But there is also more to do in my free time.  Lots of restaurants, coffee shops, fitness centers, gyms, cycle trails, etc.  Do, I envy someone living in boonies ville even if he gets to go home early occasionally?  Not on your life. 

Of course, I don't know if this is the case for everyone.  Even the rural areas can get a hard nosed co teacher or principle or local supervisor.  Then they transfer out or the NET transfers schools the next year.  Sometimes there's strictness and sometimes there's slackness.  But after a month except for a nice brief weather period in the spring and the fall, the rest of the year the weather and climate sucks here and being outdoors is not so fun and that's all there is.  Some places the local ed office provides, they are even too cheap to install an air con.  So, you big city teachers don't judge lest ye have walked down the same path.  I lived in a large gun small shi or city when I first came.  There were 2 foreigners for a while and then a few.  Then after the Great Recession began and they opened an English village, the place shot up to 20 teachers around the time I transferred out.  But this town I posted here is like that but much smaller so there may be 3 or 4 foreigners. 

I had a friend who lived in a country after I moved to a regional city and he said he hated the drama the other foreigners had.  Some of these 4 or 5 foreigners all hated each other and bickered and back stabbed over everything.  In the city, you hang out with who you want or if you are fluent in Korean you could hang out with a few locals I guess.  My point is don't judge some waygooks who get less desk warming or whatever if they have to live in the middle of a hole in the ground.  Sometimes the trade off along with the isolation isn't always worth it.  Trust me.  I know.  I experienced both extremes.  Unless you have a car and live near some really cool place or site, faah - get about it!!!


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1970

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2021, 01:46:46 pm »
I think in that case it was the ministry of education not being aware some were leaving early ... akin to a cop not knowing some had been speeding in area. Once brought to their attention, they put an end to it by cracking down. It never was up to each schools’ discretion in the first place. They were all supposed to be adhering to rules from the beginning.
Right, exactly. I just wanted to point out that it wasn't necessarily the *teacher's* faux pas, as it was the schools who were being lax.


Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2021, 01:47:26 pm »
The whole attitude of "one person is abusing it, so it has to go for everyone" is 99% of what's wrong to the world today, I swear (and I meant the entire world not just Korea lol). Like I get that being fair and whatnot is important but that a certain amount of people would abuse certain policies that are still a net benefit for everyone is held as an argument against those policies is ridiculous, and obviously this attitude isn't specific to stuff like deskwarming in Korea, it goes as high as big government programs in the States.
In these cases, everything is a tradeoff. You can have more freedom, but you will get more unequal outcomes and more violations of contracts (in all directions). You can also have a much more rigid application of the law, which will make things more fair.

Overall, a system with those kind of clearly defined rules is probably best overall, but yeah, it does kind of suck the joy out of things when both you and your boss are willing to scratch each other's back and work something out that makes things better for both of you. "Yeah, I'd be fine with coming in on Sat for Dumb School Festival. Say, I have this trip coming up in July and..."

Whenever this place bans outdoor and mart drinking, it will be time to leave.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 01:49:50 pm by Mr.DeMartino »


  • OnNut81
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1820

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2021, 02:08:05 pm »
I think in that case it was the ministry of education not being aware some were leaving early ... akin to a cop not knowing some had been speeding in area. Once brought to their attention, they put an end to it by cracking down. It never was up to each schools’ discretion in the first place. They were all supposed to be adhering to rules from the beginning.

As far as I remember the school's were given some latitude, but as it was explained at the time back in Gepik's heyday ( I mean aren't there teachers out there now who never had to endure the three day seminars out at some "resort?")  it was because some petty teacher's that weren't getting the extra days off whined and complained.  So, the simple solution to appease the crybabies was "no extra days off for anyone"  I get being pissed if your school did a two week camp where another school didn't and just told their foreign teacher to f*ck off, but as long as you were getting what was in the contract, shut up. It used to be so much more relaxed.   


Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2021, 02:12:42 pm »
I think in that case it was the ministry of education not being aware some were leaving early ... akin to a cop not knowing some had been speeding in area. Once brought to their attention, they put an end to it by cracking down. It never was up to each schools’ discretion in the first place. They were all supposed to be adhering to rules from the beginning.

They've always known and oftentimes let it slide or, in most cases, left it up to the school's discretion. I know because I was told this, by a head teacher and a few CTs. I believe the head teacher's exact words were "It's an open secret in our city. Just stay at home and don't get into an accident." Why were they so cool to me? I gave free conversation classes to some of the teachers and took a lot of the workload off my CTs. I even did private lessons (a no-no in our contract) at the request of the MOE.

The point I tried to make earlier is that this is the art of leading or managing people. Way back, before I had a car, once a week I taught at a very rural school and the principal allowed me to leave right after lunch. I didn't ask, he simply offered. He did this because the English room needed to be used for an after-school class and he knew the bus ride to the school was close to an hour from my home. So... he could either force me to stay till 16:30 and I'd get home by 6pm. This would create a miserable employer whose job satisfaction and work ethic would suffer. He could do that or, he could allow me to leave early and have a happy English teacher, smiling and always in a good mood around students who need some positive energy to encourage them to make an effort.

The cop noticing speeding isn't the best analogy. A speeding driver is a danger to those around him, a teacher leaving early instead of deskwarming isn't harming anyone.

Before deciding to rigidly enforce rules, particularly something as arbitrary as deskwarming, you've got to ask yourself "why"? Will your actions improve workplace productivity or worker satisfaction? If the answer is:

"because it's the rules."
"because XYZ teachers complained."

then you're a shitty leader.

I'm betting we've got some new honcho in some senior position at our POE and this asshole is trying to show everyone whose boss.


  • buckybee
  • Veteran

    • 137

    • August 30, 2015, 02:36:08 pm
    • Daejeon
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2021, 02:31:32 pm »
The paper I have to sign for desk warming has a section that says, "what i did at work today." I feel like a kindergartner when I fill it out. LOL. My friends don't fill out a paper like that, so I thought I was the only one.


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2958

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: The rules for NETs are getting obnoxious
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2021, 02:39:22 pm »
The paper I have to sign for desk warming has a section that says, "what i did at work today." I feel like a kindergartner when I fill it out. LOL. My friends don't fill out a paper like that, so I thought I was the only one.

Sounds like your local ed office are filled with douches cause most of us don't have to do that.  Just write "lesson planning" and go home.  I do have to sign the attendance sheet only if I leave.  But no sign in and sign out or any of the other crap.  But as you all know I do make materials for teaching or did last two years.  School can leave me alone.  If they don't like it, I can always go to China.  Non renew me all you want.  Lots of good paying ESL jobs abound.  It's not like they hold all the power like they did 10 years ago when the ESL Korean market was flooded with too many teachers due to the Great Recession.  Needless to say I don't fear renewal anymore.  Want to get rid of me cause I speak up about some bs, sionara, amigoes.  Off to teach elsewhere.  Bye bye.  Fortunately, my schools respect me well enough and let me teach.  No problems.  No one does this stuff to me.