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  • Mandy-ro
  • Adventurer

    • 48

    • March 05, 2012, 02:47:03 pm
    • Seoul, South Korea
I am just a little curious about the culture here. My co-teacher is super super nice, but sometimes I get the impression she doesn't want to see me. But then she says something about how we should go shopping together or something.. I am aware that it must be hard for her, being as not only does she have to look out for me, help me get everything I need (ARC, phone, internet, bank acount) and stuff but that I don't even know what I am doing, so I understand why she might get annoyed. But I just can't tell if it is that, or that she doesn't like me and is being nice because of the culture. Maybe I am looking too far into things, I do worry sometimes, and like I said, I am super new, so I feel a little...unsure... anyway, if anyone else has had any experiences like this, please let me know.
And on a side note, if anyone has any other experiences they think I should know about, by all means, please let me know!


  • Jayne
  • Adventurer

    • 51

    • August 24, 2011, 12:29:29 pm
    • Gyeongbuk, South Korea
Re: Are there Read Between the Lines moments I should be aware of?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 03:52:11 pm »
I think many people would tell you their Korean co-teachers are moody. Surely as the year goes on, people you came with will be talking about the same thing. But hell, I can be moody too! Basically just be patient and polite as you get to know them. The system here works very different than in many western countries and they are likely under a lot of stress dealing with the foreigner/last minute organization and 'bali bali' culture/trying to speak a foreign  language and are nervous about their language abilities/simply at a loss of what to do with you. One of my co-teachers was the same. As a result, I didn't feel comfortable around her when we did spend a little time together so we never became very close. All you can do here is be polite and patient and go with the flow. Oh yea, and try to not get worked up when you get screwed or feel lost because there's no point, it happens all the time ;)

Good luck!


  • Emer
  • Waygookin

    • 20

    • March 07, 2012, 12:47:09 pm
    • Gangwon-do, South Korea
Re: Are there Read Between the Lines moments I should be aware of?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 11:14:33 am »
I was pretty nervous about this when I arrived due to the famous Korean "saving face" and wasn't sure if I was liked or not! But I think the gut instinct is pretty universal!


Re: Are there Read Between the Lines moments I should be aware of?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 11:59:20 am »

The beginning of the year is a really busy time, and there are a lot of other things to do. And you're at work-- you're not just there to hang out, you're supposed to be working. 

Also, sometimes it's hard for KETs to speak English with you, because they can't always feel relaxed if they're not speaking Korean. The shopping thing is her being nice-- it could also be true, but if she doesn't follow up on it don't take it too hard.

Right now you're not 'in'-- mostly everyone is just getting to know you... just try to do the best you can and not get too upset without reason, and things should go fine.


  • w4z
  • Veteran

    • 205

    • November 30, 2010, 10:12:55 am
    • USA
Re: Are there Read Between the Lines moments I should be aware of?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2012, 02:56:12 pm »
A couple things;
1 - Speaking English is probably hard for her.  Talking to you might be mentally exhausting.
2 - A lot of westerners come off as arrogant.  It's not that we are arrogant, we just might come off that way.
3 - She probably works more hours for less pay compared to you.


  • noky
  • Adventurer

    • 32

    • October 12, 2010, 07:57:26 am
    • Yeongcheon, South Korea
Re: Are there Read Between the Lines moments I should be aware of?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2012, 11:32:41 am »
A couple things;
1 - Speaking English is probably hard for her.  Talking to you might be mentally exhausting.
2 - A lot of westerners come off as arrogant.  It's not that we are arrogant, we just might come off that way.
3 - She probably works more hours for less pay compared to you.

Probably not. Their payscale starts out lower but ends much higher. They also are entitled for bonus pay opportunities we often aren't. More likely? She probably works more hours than you.


  • Aqvm
  • Expert Waygook

    • 573

    • March 09, 2012, 06:55:24 am
Re: Are there Read Between the Lines moments I should be aware of?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2012, 12:06:08 pm »
A couple things;
1 - Speaking English is probably hard for her.  Talking to you might be mentally exhausting.
2 - A lot of westerners come off as arrogant.  It's not that we are arrogant, we just might come off that way.
3 - She probably works more hours for less pay compared to you.

Probably not. Their payscale starts out lower but ends much higher. They also are entitled for bonus pay opportunities we often aren't. More likely? She probably works more hours than you.
I sure hope my coteachers get paid more than me. Not that my salary is bad, but my coteachers are extremely capable and hardworking. I'm doing my best but don't have nearly as much stress or responsibility as they do.


  • w4z
  • Veteran

    • 205

    • November 30, 2010, 10:12:55 am
    • USA
Re: Are there Read Between the Lines moments I should be aware of?
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012, 01:21:03 pm »
I make more money than my Co-Teacher.


  • clmowl
  • Waygookin

    • 24

    • August 30, 2011, 09:11:57 am
    • Seoul
Re: Are there Read Between the Lines moments I should be aware of?
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2012, 01:31:29 pm »
Compared to many western work places, Korean public school teachers tend not to socialize outside of work with each other. Maybe your CT does actually want to be friends with you, but try not to force anything beyond a working relationship because like everybody else said, CT's are VERY busy people. It is also popular in Korea to not be close with anybody who is not of a similar qualification standard. So, the instructors in my school are not treated the same as the teachers are etc. Unless they know you are a qualified teacher in your home country, you will fall below them in their mind. Age is also a massive factor to who is friends with who outside of work.


Re: Are there Read Between the Lines moments I should be aware of?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2012, 03:04:21 pm »
A couple things;
1 - Speaking English is probably hard for her.  Talking to you might be mentally exhausting.

Also, my main co-teacher and have been decently close for a year, gone for the occasional outside meal, and even less frequently we'll take a trip an hour away or so. That said, we make vague random plans and let them fall through all the time-- as much as we have a nice time going out, I think we both have other things to do/see enough of one another during the week and the general impression has been that people just blow that stuff off more often if no one is confirming things over and over. I wouldn't worry too much about it. One day you may actually make plans that are followed up on!