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I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« on: May 03, 2022, 05:40:08 pm »
Been a while, hope everyone is well. Honestly, I wasn't planning on posting on this forum again as it drained a lot of my time, but with 4 months remaining in this country, I've finally landed the worst CT and need some good ol' ranting and advice.

In the past, I've had minor issues with my CTs and even some bad CTs in the past, but we've always been able to sit down, like adults, and work out a solution or compromise that's in the best interests of ourselves and the students... Not this time.

I've had this CT (Lets call her Ms P) since March, the previous CT was awesome, but took maternity leave. The 2 before her were great.

From the get go, Ms P and I have had issues. She's had nothing but praise for my lessons and praised me, about almost everything to the point that it felt creepy. The only thing she does more than laud you with praise in the fakest way possible is to apologise profusely, again, to the point that you feel very uncomfortable. I pegged her for a very fake and socially awkward individual, but ignored it as it didn't interfere with teaching. She's also the type who pretends like they understand what you said, but oftentimes misunderstand to mean something offensive.

The issue started when I politely raised concerns that she wasn't controlling the class and she was hampering my ability to control the class. I did this on two occasions. After I'd reprimand a student for breaking the classroom rules (talking while I'm teaching, writing on the desk etc.) she'd run up to the student reassure them by rubbing their shoulders, saying "it's ok", "Aristocrat teacher is angry" etc. At one point, she even laughed while I was attempting to discipline the students. Incredibly frustrated, I told her "Teacher, this isn't a joke." After saying that, she spent the following lesson sitting in a corner, staring at the floor like a teenager throwing a hissy fit, while I got on with the business of teaching... without her help.

I explained to her this wasn't professional and that the purpose of discipline was to teach the students to accept responsibility for their behaviour and learn from it. By coddling a student after I disciplined them, she teaches the student to not take responsibility and shift the blame to me for being angry at them. She apologised and promised to be more firm with them.

Following week, she tells me that she has 2 problems with me. First, that I showed the students a "violent" video before class. I oftentimes show short video clips before class to get the students to sit down and focus, usually it's animals or innocent stuff. To be fair, an overly sensitive parent might've kicked up a fuss about the video, but I've shown it at all my others schools and none of my other CTs made an issue out of it.

This is the video in question... which I thought was hilarious.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJZ_p9mY7SI&ab_channel=JustBoredYT

Either way, I said that I wouldn't show videos like that in the future, but told her that I thought she was being a bit sensitive. Then she tells me that I called a student an idiot and I owned up to this one, I apologised, said it was unprofessional and agreed to never do it again (kid was an idiot, by the way). The day I called the boy an idiot, I was incredibly frustrated at her lack of classroom management, and the boy in question continually chatting to his friend while I was teaching. After teaching the same thing multiple times, I asked him a simple question and he just stared blankly. I muttered the words under my breath (more to myself and not to him) and I'm pretty sure no student heard or understood, but she happened to be standing behind me like the 4ft gremlin she is. The fact that I suggested that she was being sensitive didn't go down well and she got very angry.

After class, I decided to wait till after lunch so we'd both have a chance to cool off. I then messaged her and suggested we have a quick chat, before going home, to work things out. She refused and said she was going home.

The following week, before class, I suggested that we split the classes (I teach 5th and 6th grade, she teaches 3rd and 4th), I've done this in the past with a CT who didn't speak English well and we both found it to be a productive arrangement.
This made her incredibly angry and she failed to understand that I was simply suggesting it as one option and that I'd be open to others. She declared that she would no longer teach with me and that I can just teach the students myself, as I did. She spent the entire day sitting at the back, making calls to bitch about me and ignoring the class.

After my class, at her height of pettiness, she sends me a message telling me to clean up the mess I left in the class... the mess being 2 board markers on the teacher's desk. I responded and told her that since she announced that she was no longer going to teach with me and refused to discuss a solution, I wasn't interested in her games and wouldn't be responding to her messages unless she had something important to say.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on telling her that I'll be teaching the 6th graders, by myself and that she can teach the double 3rd grade class, by herself. She's substituting for the 3rd grade HR teacher anyway and it's the least her lazy ass could do (ATM I'm teaching 8 classes by myself and she teaches none.)

She's likely going to bring in that I MUST teach 8hrs at that school, according to what the MOE said last year, but at this point, I'd be happy if she complained to the MOE or principal and showed that she's incapable of resolving an issue with a co-worker and needs to bother someone else with this mess.

Complete bummer that I have to deal with this kak 4 months before I leave Korea.

All the best, everyone
« Last Edit: May 03, 2022, 05:55:27 pm by Aristocrat »


Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2022, 07:25:22 am »
That's rough.  Especially after having taught here for a while.  I hope this doesn't sour your final months here. 

By the way I hope you haven't got my 'difficult' co-teacher (a few years ago now but it is still painful)!  Although it sounds a bit different there are a number of similarities!!!

No advice really - but I suggest you document it somehow.  I wrote myself emails (so it is dated) incase she does go to the Office of Education.  Actually in my case things did get bad enough that I sent an email to the Office of Education stating my situation.  it was near the end (the last 2 weeks) so I said I didn't want any action taken but wanted them to be aware of some of the difficulties the GETS work under.  I never sent my earlier emails as they were more for me to let off some steam! (and cope a bit better)

Good luck


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Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2022, 04:57:13 pm »
Sounds awful. Keep your head up!


Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2022, 09:24:20 am »
Try taking her out for drinks. See who can drink the most soju.
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Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2022, 07:51:03 am »
Thanks for the support, JenniferNZ1 and CO2.

The principal got involved and tried to mediate the situation. Apparently, I'm not allowed to teach by myself which is exactly what I expected to hear. I mean, what are Korean public schools without the selective enforcement of rules (Earlier this year, I taught by myself, for weeks, because she was "busy". Heck, the day she threw a hissy fit she spent the entire day out the classroom while I held the fort.)

She demanded apologies for "hurting her feelings", by even entertaining the notion that she's crap at classroom management, that she was behaving unprofessionally by laughing while I was attempting to discipline the students, that she refused to sit down and discuss our issues or that she kept badgering me with petty complaints during the lesson and between lessons. Just to keep the peace I apologised and told her that I didn't need an apology from her. She's entitled to have whatever opinion she wants of me, her appraisal isn't terribly important, I only ask that she keeps the students under control while I teach and that she takes a moment to consider my words before getting upset as almost every issue is from her misunderstanding what I said.

After that, she did an immediate 180 and went back to being fake-friendly, badgering me with small talk and just being generally disingenuous. Bloody hell, at least give me a cold shoulder or something to show that you're not a complete psychopath.

Things have been taking their toll, as of late, and this situation is the last straw. I'm finding it difficult to concentrate or sleep these days. I've scheduled some online therapy sessions to help me get through these last 4 months. 


  • Kyndo
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    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
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Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2022, 08:06:11 am »
I've missed your posts, but I get that this place can, uh, wear on one's mental health lol.

Your situation sounds like a bit of a nightmare: I work at a lot of schools and the teachers all get switched around a lot, so this exact scenario that you've painted is something that I worry about at the end of every school year.
 I'm sorry to hear that your final months are going to be marred by this experience.
Hopefully the recent 180 lasts for as long as you're still teaching with her!

I totally agree that the whole "You're not allowed to teach alone in the classroom" is an utter joke. At 3 of my 4 schools I have yet to see most of the homeroom teachers during my classes. I mean, I prefer it this way (except for maybe the grade 3 classes which can be difficult when nobody understands what I'm trying to get them to do lol), but the idea of the hypocrisy involved in turning around and saying it's against the rules when it's no longer convenient for them is infuriating.

I hope that things stay tolerable for you until it's time for you to bail and find your greener pastures!


Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2022, 10:34:35 am »
I've missed your posts, but I get that this place can, uh, wear on one's mental health lol.

Your situation sounds like a bit of a nightmare: I work at a lot of schools and the teachers all get switched around a lot, so this exact scenario that you've painted is something that I worry about at the end of every school year.
 I'm sorry to hear that your final months are going to be marred by this experience.
Hopefully the recent 180 lasts for as long as you're still teaching with her!

I totally agree that the whole "You're not allowed to teach alone in the classroom" is an utter joke. At 3 of my 4 schools I have yet to see most of the homeroom teachers during my classes. I mean, I prefer it this way (except for maybe the grade 3 classes which can be difficult when nobody understands what I'm trying to get them to do lol), but the idea of the hypocrisy involved in turning around and saying it's against the rules when it's no longer convenient for them is infuriating.

I hope that things stay tolerable for you until it's time for you to bail and find your greener pastures!

True, I prefer to work with a decent CT is it relieves the burden of controlling the students. The 3rd graders are the worst and she allows them to throw things on the floor, draw on the desks, scream during the lesson and chase one another with scissors. All these years, working at multiple schools, and I've always had a CT I could reach some level of understanding with.

She simply accepts uncontrollable behaviour and blames 3rd grade kids for acting like 3rd grade kids. The idea of a student learning discipline and control from a teacher seems completely alien to her. Without her, I can teach far more effectively as I don't have to worry about the feelings of an overgrown, sullen teenager, but the 3rd grades are a different story.

I never looked down on people who sought professional help, but I never thought I'd be the one considering it. My stress levels are through the roof and as said, I struggle to sleep, concentrate or focus on things I found enjoyable. As a logical person who absolutely needs things in his life to make sense, being forced to work with an irrational, insecure and emotionally fuelled, weirdo is incredibly taxing.



  • hangook77
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Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2022, 01:05:51 pm »
True, I prefer to work with a decent CT is it relieves the burden of controlling the students. The 3rd graders are the worst and she allows them to throw things on the floor, draw on the desks, scream during the lesson and chase one another with scissors. All these years, working at multiple schools, and I've always had a CT I could reach some level of understanding with.

She simply accepts uncontrollable behaviour and blames 3rd grade kids for acting like 3rd grade kids. The idea of a student learning discipline and control from a teacher seems completely alien to her. Without her, I can teach far more effectively as I don't have to worry about the feelings of an overgrown, sullen teenager, but the 3rd grades are a different story.

I never looked down on people who sought professional help, but I never thought I'd be the one considering it. My stress levels are through the roof and as said, I struggle to sleep, concentrate or focus on things I found enjoyable. As a logical person who absolutely needs things in his life to make sense, being forced to work with an irrational, insecure and emotionally fuelled, weirdo is incredibly taxing.



Grade 3 Elementary School I assume and not Middle?

The problem is some kids complain to their parents and then they complain to the schools, principles, education office, etc.  This is more an issue in Middle School than Elementary.  But, some teachers do get hands tied behind their backs.  Not saying this with your coteacher as elementary kids up until grade 5 are somewhat afraid of their teachers whereas Grade 6 and beyond are less so. 


Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2022, 02:36:21 pm »
Grade 3 Elementary School I assume and not Middle?

The problem is some kids complain to their parents and then they complain to the schools, principles, education office, etc.  This is more an issue in Middle School than Elementary.  But, some teachers do get hands tied behind their backs.  Not saying this with your coteacher as elementary kids up until grade 5 are somewhat afraid of their teachers whereas Grade 6 and beyond are less so. 

Elementary school and yes, you're 100% correct.

I understand perfectly, some kids are spoilt and run to mommy for the most trivial things and homeroom teachers have to withstand this onslaught. That said, I've had 3 CTs at this same school before her and not only have I been using the same disciplinary approach and lessons, but so have my CTs and most of them are on par with my level of strictness when it comes to classroom management... no complaints. So, I've already gauged that what I'm doing isn't going to incur anyone's wrath.

This lady arrived this year and only started criticising me for these things immediately after I told her that laughing while another teacher is disciplining students isn't professional.

Coincidence? I don't think so.

I even told her that while I disagree with her opinion that what I'm doing or showing the students are too violent, I'd be willing to be extra careful from now on... FFS, I've got 4 months left, if I have to tiptoe for the next 4 months just to keep the peace, so be it. Nope, she still went apeshit since I didn't 100% agree with her and "hurt her feelings". Geez, lady, no wonder you're in your mid 40s, still single and living with your parents.


  • hangook77
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Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2022, 02:44:45 pm »
Elementary school and yes, you're 100% correct.

I understand perfectly, some kids are spoilt and run to mommy for the most trivial things and homeroom teachers have to withstand this onslaught. That said, I've had 3 CTs at this same school before her and not only have I been using the same disciplinary approach and lessons, but so have my CTs and most of them are on par with my level of strictness when it comes to classroom management... no complaints. So, I've already gauged that what I'm doing isn't going to incur anyone's wrath.

This lady arrived this year and only started criticising me for these things immediately after I told her that laughing while another teacher is disciplining students isn't professional.

Coincidence? I don't think so.

I even told her that while I disagree with her opinion that what I'm doing or showing the students are too violent, I'd be willing to be extra careful from now on... FFS, I've got 4 months left, if I have to tiptoe for the next 4 months just to keep the peace, so be it. Nope, she still went apeshit since I didn't 100% agree with her and "hurt her feelings". Geez, lady, no wonder you're in your mid 40s, still single and living with your parents.

Ah, one of those?  You are done with Korea for good after this?  In that case, just coast till the end. 


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Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2022, 03:18:05 am »
I'm going to play devil's advocate.

People don't usually flip out for no reason, there's always a tipping point. In this case it sounds like it was the allegedly violent video (honestly no more slapstick than what's usually on Korean TV)  and insulting the student which you owned up to, so we won't delve into that here. Let's just look at the video drama and the resulting discussion.

Quote
The fact that I suggested that she was being sensitive didn't go down well and she got very angry.

Of course she would be insulted. You flat-out dismissed her concerns instead of acknowledging them and on top of it told her that she was the problem by being oversensitive. Let's look at it from her frame of mind.

1. She's a licensed teacher with presumably many years of classroom experience since you mentioned she was over 40 years old. Keep in mind the Korean teacher exams are tough as all hell, so she likely feels that she has some degree of seniority over you.
2. She's being told by some foreigner contract teacher that the video's fine and maybe she should stop being so sensitive. (paraphrasing, but I think this is the general idea of what was said)

Put 1 and 2 together and you have a matchbox of drama. Now this:

Quote
The following week, before class, I suggested that we split the classes (I teach 5th and 6th grade, she teaches 3rd and 4th), I've done this in the past with a CT who didn't speak English well and we both found it to be a productive arrangement.
This made her incredibly angry and she failed to understand that I was simply suggesting it as one option and that I'd be open to others.

I'm having difficulty understanding why she would be angry as no co-teacher I ever had with this arrangement objected to less work. It's likely she wanted to keep some degree of control over the class, or she felt offended that she wasn't "good enough" to teach with you. This one's a headscratcher without directly asking her.

Quote
I then messaged her and suggested we have a quick chat, before going home, to work things out. She refused and said she was going home.
It's a lot harder to say "no" or to blow someone off in person. Maybe you could have hammered out some solution if you had showed up at her classroom unannounced for a quick chat. But what's done is done.

Quote
Just to keep the peace I apologised
Never apologize. In Korea, as is anywhere else, apologizing is a sign of weakness and invites more bullying. Stand firm if you have to.

I'm not doing this to be mean or belittle you. It sounds like you're under an enormous amount of stress with this CT and that is totally understandable, and I'm sure you've taught many effective classes. What I am trying to do is offer an alternative viewpoint so that in the future, you can understand a similar co-worker's mindset and can navigate that minefield.



Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2022, 12:59:36 pm »
I'm going to play devil's advocate.

Your deductions are very perceptive based on the information I gave, but for the sake of brevity there's more that I left out in my initial post.

From the get go, I pegged her for someone who was a bit unstable and sensitive, so I was very careful to bring up any issues as delicately as possible. I explained to her that I understood her views and was well aware of overzealous parents badgering homeroom teachers for every little thing. While I was willing to do what she asked, I didn't agree with her assessment of my behaviour.

In other words, while I disagree with her opinion I agree with the reality she is presenting and I'm willing to keep the peace, but DON'T call me abusive or say that I have an attitude problem. If you do, I'm going to challenge you on it.

Her English isn't the best and the only time she approached me and the only time she made for a discussion were the 5-10min between classes, during which I had to prepare for the next class. So, to explain things, delicately, in such a short time to an emotionally fuelled person who misunderstands almost everything is pretty tough. Once she made up her mind that I was "hurting her feelings", she lost it and pretty much thought I was saying "Screw you, I'm going to play 'violent' videos and 'hit the students anyway."

... a complete misunderstanding and she refused to listen when I tried to explain that, that wasn't what I said. She stormed out the class, began furiously typing on her phone and left me to teach the remaining classes of the day, by myself... very professional and mature.

[/quote]
I'm having difficulty understanding why she would be angry as no co-teacher I ever had with this arrangement objected to less work. It's likely she wanted to keep some degree of control over the class, or she felt offended that she wasn't "good enough" to teach with you. This one's a headscratcher without directly asking her.
[/quote]

You're not the only one scratching your head, In my experience a CT will happily accept an arrangement that makes their life easier. I stated from the beginning, all I ask is that she control the class and/or help me control the class. She can flex her teaching license and experience all she wants (I have both of those), but ultimately, if you can't control a class, those things mean nothing.

Never apologize. In Korea, as is anywhere else, apologizing is a sign of weakness and invites more bullying. Stand firm if you have to.

Generally, yes, but there are exceptions to the rule.
We agreed to reciprocate apologies.
I didn't apologise for anything I did in class, I apologised for "hurting her feelings", which according to her was her biggest complaint. Her second being "not understanding Korean culture/manners" and her third being that I needed to be more "humble". "I apologise for hurting your feelings" was all she got out of me and, as far as I'm concerned, wasn't so much an apology but more an acknowledgement of how insecure and childish she is.

Again, her English isn't great and I took "humble" and "not understanding Korean culture" as vague words to mean she's unhappy that I'm not allowing her to assert herself as the dominant teacher in the class. Sorry, but if I'm creating and using original material then I'm going to take charge of my own lessons. She also said she had a big problem with me addressing her as Ms. P_ _ _, to the students. I explained that using her first name in front of the students is a bit disrespectful to her and using her last name seemed logical. She explained that the term 'Ms Kim', 'Ms Lee', 'Ms Park' etc. were common titles for Korean women who served tea to their bosses and the students might look down on her for that. Again, she was upset that I didn't apologise for this. I explained that I didn't intend to insult her, nor was this a logical conclusion I could be expected to reach. If she wants me to address her as Medusa or Sauroman the White, I don't care. We're teaching English and a bit of cultural emersion is good for the students.

She had insulted me in many ways and before she gave her fake apology, I informed her that I didn't need one. She was free to have any opinion of me that she wished, it doesn't bother me. All I ask is that she keep the students under control so I can get on with doing my job.

I'm not doing this to be mean or belittle you. It sounds like you're under an enormous amount of stress with this CT and that is totally understandable, and I'm sure you've taught many effective classes. What I am trying to do is offer an alternative viewpoint so that in the future, you can understand a similar co-worker's mindset and can navigate that minefield.

And for that I thank you, but I challenge you to find another like her, she's an anomaly. We've managed to reach a truce and it seems I've managed to placate her ego while minimising the impact on my teaching.

In summary, I think:

- She has a lot of misconceptions and stereotypes about foreigners
- She allows her emotions to get the better of her
- She misunderstands things for the worst
- She was frustrated at the fact that after bombarding me with empty compliments and small-talk, I wasn't willing to reciprocate
  with fake flattery and inane babble.
- She's oblivious to how fake she comes off and it frustrates her that I, and I'm sure many others, pick it up immediately and
  choose to create distance from her.
- She felt useless in the class since I demonstrated that I didn't need her help with anything, save keeping the students under
  control, and when she failed in doing that, I took over leaving her with nothing to do.

- (I really feel sorry for her and I don't want to go here) She's single, lonely and insecure about that fact.

I wish her well, but ultimately, these are not my problems nor are they problems I wish to get involved in.


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    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
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Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2022, 03:04:00 pm »
She thinks Ms. Park means 박아가씨??


  • hangook77
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    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
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Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2022, 12:30:46 pm »
Your deductions are very perceptive based on the information I gave, but for the sake of brevity there's more that I left out in my initial post.

From the get go, I pegged her for someone who was a bit unstable and sensitive, so I was very careful to bring up any issues as delicately as possible. I explained to her that I understood her views and was well aware of overzealous parents badgering homeroom teachers for every little thing. While I was willing to do what she asked, I didn't agree with her assessment of my behaviour.

In other words, while I disagree with her opinion I agree with the reality she is presenting and I'm willing to keep the peace, but DON'T call me abusive or say that I have an attitude problem. If you do, I'm going to challenge you on it.

Her English isn't the best and the only time she approached me and the only time she made for a discussion were the 5-10min between classes, during which I had to prepare for the next class. So, to explain things, delicately, in such a short time to an emotionally fuelled person who misunderstands almost everything is pretty tough. Once she made up her mind that I was "hurting her feelings", she lost it and pretty much thought I was saying "Screw you, I'm going to play 'violent' videos and 'hit the students anyway."

... a complete misunderstanding and she refused to listen when I tried to explain that, that wasn't what I said. She stormed out the class, began furiously typing on her phone and left me to teach the remaining classes of the day, by myself... very professional and mature.


I'm having difficulty understanding why she would be angry as no co-teacher I ever had with this arrangement objected to less work. It's likely she wanted to keep some degree of control over the class, or she felt offended that she wasn't "good enough" to teach with you. This one's a headscratcher without directly asking her.


You're not the only one scratching your head, In my experience a CT will happily accept an arrangement that makes their life easier. I stated from the beginning, all I ask is that she control the class and/or help me control the class. She can flex her teaching license and experience all she wants (I have both of those), but ultimately, if you can't control a class, those things mean nothing.

Generally, yes, but there are exceptions to the rule.
We agreed to reciprocate apologies.
I didn't apologise for anything I did in class, I apologised for "hurting her feelings", which according to her was her biggest complaint. Her second being "not understanding Korean culture/manners" and her third being that I needed to be more "humble". "I apologise for hurting your feelings" was all she got out of me and, as far as I'm concerned, wasn't so much an apology but more an acknowledgement of how insecure and childish she is.

Again, her English isn't great and I took "humble" and "not understanding Korean culture" as vague words to mean she's unhappy that I'm not allowing her to assert herself as the dominant teacher in the class. Sorry, but if I'm creating and using original material then I'm going to take charge of my own lessons. She also said she had a big problem with me addressing her as Ms. P_ _ _, to the students. I explained that using her first name in front of the students is a bit disrespectful to her and using her last name seemed logical. She explained that the term 'Ms Kim', 'Ms Lee', 'Ms Park' etc. were common titles for Korean women who served tea to their bosses and the students might look down on her for that. Again, she was upset that I didn't apologise for this. I explained that I didn't intend to insult her, nor was this a logical conclusion I could be expected to reach. If she wants me to address her as Medusa or Sauroman the White, I don't care. We're teaching English and a bit of cultural emersion is good for the students.

She had insulted me in many ways and before she gave her fake apology, I informed her that I didn't need one. She was free to have any opinion of me that she wished, it doesn't bother me. All I ask is that she keep the students under control so I can get on with doing my job.

And for that I thank you, but I challenge you to find another like her, she's an anomaly. We've managed to reach a truce and it seems I've managed to placate her ego while minimising the impact on my teaching.

In summary, I think:

- She has a lot of misconceptions and stereotypes about foreigners
- She allows her emotions to get the better of her
- She misunderstands things for the worst
- She was frustrated at the fact that after bombarding me with empty compliments and small-talk, I wasn't willing to reciprocate
  with fake flattery and inane babble.
- She's oblivious to how fake she comes off and it frustrates her that I, and I'm sure many others, pick it up immediately and
  choose to create distance from her.
- She felt useless in the class since I demonstrated that I didn't need her help with anything, save keeping the students under
  control, and when she failed in doing that, I took over leaving her with nothing to do.

- (I really feel sorry for her and I don't want to go here) She's single, lonely and insecure about that fact.

I wish her well, but ultimately, these are not my problems nor are they problems I wish to get involved in.

Oh I have had a couple of coteachers who were nutty and hated foreigners.  Thankfully in the golden age when rural EPIK was so desperate for foreigners that really bad lying written reviews still got you renewed anyways.  They were pissed when I got another contract.  Perhaps a bit of having no foreigner to replace me and a bit of divine intervention.  Anyways, I get it.  Having a crazy or disturbed person as a coteacher ain't fun, especially when every other Korean knows and often won't lift a finger to help you or bother to get involved. 


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  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1921

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 09:34:37 am »
6 years in Korea and I never came close to experiencing some of these circumstances. Every co-teacher I had was great and fun to work with.

Maybe it's me! There are hard to work with co-teachers to be sure, but I never met one and all of the FT's where I worked had similar experiences to mine. Maybe it's island mentality, small village life, slow paced, or the ocean and beaches.

I certainly couldn't work side by side with someone being described here daily.


Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #15 on: Yesterday at 12:22:30 pm »
Yeah, it is hard to understand until it happens to you.  I always thought I would be able to cope fairly well as I had a few interesting co-teachers who I found a bit difficult but they remained professional and realised I was trying to do the best I could for the students (and I knew the same was true for them).

Until I had the teacher who changed everything!!!!

It really knocked my confidence and even now (quite a few years later) I can sometimes still wonder if I am overstepping in the classroom (one of the things she accused me of) with other co-teachers.  I hope I learned something from the experience but I still find it hard to see what I could have done differently.

I do hope things continue to stay stable and workable for you.  I really hope they do.


Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #16 on: Yesterday at 01:49:43 pm »
I do hope things continue to stay stable and workable for you.  I really hope they do.

Many thanks

[update]

After taking some time to think and cool down, I can tell that the criticisms I levelled at her (that she can't control a class or her emotions) hit quite hard. The principal isn't stupid, and I suspect that she understands that it's unlikely that a NET who has never had a single complaint from multiple CTs over multiple years at multiple schools is suddenly going to be the issue nor is said NET going to raise concerns without a good reason.

She now seems somewhat submissive and is trying to control the students... trying. Unless I'm mistaken, I think she feels guilty and is trying to make up by being overly fake, chatty and nice in a way I can only describe as awkward and sad. Nevertheless, I'm not doing that sh*t again, which is to say that I aside from teaching, I avoid her like a group of Hare Krishnas on a packed subway car.

So... things seem to be going well.

I signed up for 4 video chat therapy sessions to help with my stress levels. Boy, the first one was a complete waste of time. The therapist spent most of his time looking elsewhere and hardly speaking. I then found it it's because he has a very bad stutter, think Jimmy from South Park. I feel bad for the guy and admire him for pushing through his issues, but if I'm paying money for a therapist who takes a minute to complete a sentence then that's a problem. Luckily I was able to switch therapists.


Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #17 on: Today at 07:24:05 am »
I never even thought of online therapy sessions.  Did you think of that yourself or did someone suggest it to you?  Good to know they are helpful and beneficial (with the right therapist).

 I just thought I should be able to handle things myself.  (I couldn't but I thought I could.)  In the middle of situations it can be really hard to see various options and it can be useful to have outside input.



Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #18 on: Today at 07:45:10 am »
I never even thought of online therapy sessions.  Did you think of that yourself or did someone suggest it to you?  Good to know they are helpful and beneficial (with the right therapist).

 I just thought I should be able to handle things myself.  (I couldn't but I thought I could.)  In the middle of situations it can be really hard to see various options and it can be useful to have outside input.


While I wouldn't say I'm a tough-guy, I rarely discuss my personal problems or stress with my friends or family. If I can pay a professional, who happens to be a complete stranger, to get things off my chest so I can get on with things then why not?
Online is just more convenient and cheaper, particularly as I think it's just run-of-the-mill stress and not some serious mental issue.


  • Kyndo
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    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
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Re: I'm back... to complain, and get some advice.
« Reply #19 on: Today at 11:08:26 am »
It's good to be able to vent, especially to people who are able to listen sympathetically. I'm lucky enough to have some siblings that I get along with, and who also enjoy family venting sessions.
  Therapists are a great idea, but from what I hear, there aren't too many here in Korea. One of my friends spent a lot of time looking for one.
  Are the therapists you found based here in Korea, or are they international?
 Also, if you're still happy with them, maybe post a recommendation? I'm sure it would be helpful to somebody!