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  • joseph921
  • Super Waygook

    • 433

    • September 15, 2010, 09:00:43 am
Can I be Choosy now?
« on: December 04, 2012, 07:52:24 am »
When all of you first came to Korea to teach, you probably would have accepted ANY TEACHING JOB no matter if it was rural towns, or whatnot, right?  I mean, if you applied through EPIK/GEPIK, that's basically what it was.  You didn't know where they'd place you or what level of school you were going to teach.  So you pretty much just hope for the best and accept wherever they assigned you.

But after teaching here for 3 years and saving up GOOD money, do you think 'we' can be choosy now?  I'm already thinking about what to do for my 4th year.  If I'm not renewed for a 4th year and I have to go find my own placement, do you think I can 'turn down' offers or placements if they are at cities or schools I don't want to be at? 

For example, I'm looking for mainly a few things: 
a) rural town, but 1 hour max distance away from Seoul
b) small school (under 100 students to 300 max.  Don't want to work at a school with 1,000 students where I only teach one or two grades.  I like to teach every student in the school and get to know everyone
c) I don't want my office to be a 'shared' office with 1 or 5 other co-teachers.  I need my own room (ie. classroom as office).  Reason: I have bad nasal allergies and generally the more adults I'm around the more likely they are wearing cologne or perfume and being stuck in an office for 8 hours a day or so with that smell would be automatic resignation for me. 

Those are it.

So do you think it's normal for NETs to be a little choosy after being here for few years? Is that common or do you find that I should just take what I find cuz jobs are rare and difficult these days?

I don't want to ACCEPT a JOB without knowing this information first, and then find out later that I don't have a, b, or c and then have to suffer for a year or most likely, just quit and make a huge mess of a situation logistically for that school.  I'd like to know beforehand so I can tell them if I will commit or not. 


  • JL5205
  • Super Waygook

    • 325

    • March 05, 2012, 11:02:50 am
Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 08:02:15 am »
I'm assuming you're asking about a public school.  In that case:

a) 35% chance
b) 20% chance
c) 0%   chance

I can almost guarantee you if you go around schools throwing your supposed "weight" around that you think you've earned after 3 measly years here - you'll get rejected 9 times out of 10.  Most school teachers who've been around for years (including Ps and VPs) don't even have their own offices.  That's just not how schools are run here.


  • joseph921
  • Super Waygook

    • 433

    • September 15, 2010, 09:00:43 am
Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 08:10:57 am »
Ah, you've misunderstood me or maybe I didn't write it clearly.

I didn't mean I was going to throw around my weight behind the "I've worked in Korea of a measly 3 years now, so can I get what I want?"  Of course I'm not going to go to each school and then make demands. 

What I said was I'd like to be able to find out information of the schools beforehand and then I can decide whether or not I want to accept the job or move on.  In this way, I'm not making any demands, I'm just making my own decision.

And just for your information, the current school I've been working at has ALL 3 of my criterias.  I have my own office, it's my classroom.  I think you're mistaken to think that we have 0% chance of getting our own room. 


Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 08:25:20 am »
And just for your information, the current school I've been working at has ALL 3 of my criterias.  I have my own office, it's my classroom.  I think you're mistaken to think that we have 0% chance of getting our own room.

Yes, I have my own room as well. I share an office with about 25 other teachers. Honestly, I'd prefer 1-5 instead of this many. When I spend long periods of time in my classroom, my Vice Principle freaks out and thinks I'm lonely and wants to know why I've gone so long. Really, it's because sometimes I just want to be alone. I can't talk to the people next to me, so while they are laughing and making jokes, I'm just sitting there. So, I'll go upstairs to talk with family members while I create power points and search for lesson plans. Having your own classroom is definitely a bonus.

Since, you have experience, you can go after jobs that "require experience." So many people come here without it and only stay 1-3 years. If you have certifications, then that's even better.


  • joseph921
  • Super Waygook

    • 433

    • September 15, 2010, 09:00:43 am
Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 08:34:21 am »
@cutieturtle, agreed.

Some schools use the english classroom as your office room, so you can have your own english room and your own "office".  It's nice to be alone inbetween classes when you want some peace and quiet and privacy.  I do all my lesson planning and preparatory work, that would be difficult to do in a room with several other teachers around.   And the last thing I want after a busy string of classes is to go to an office where there is a lot of chitter chatter in korean or people asking you to do favors or something extra just because you are present in the room.   When I'm in my english room, nobody bothers me, which is quite nice and good for keeping my nasal allergies at bay! :)


  • Wintermute
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1196

    • October 06, 2011, 01:07:27 pm
    • MURRICA!!!
    more
Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 10:07:23 am »
I have my own office too.

I think you have a right to be choosy. I know I will be. You will have a harder time finding the school you want. But like you said, its better to be happy then to suffer a year.

For me I have my preferences, but the way I figure it there will always be something. I'm pretty happy at my current school, but it just aint quite right here and there ya know. So I ask myself, is it worth it? Trying to find that right school?

Quote
So do you think it's normal for NETs to be a little choosy after being here for few years?

oh my yes, why do you think so many transfer.

Quote
or do you think I should just take what I find cuz jobs are rare and difficult these days?

no, but be ready to accept that you might have to.


Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 10:28:57 am »
Now is probably the worst possible time to be choosy. Not only is Seoul reportedly cutting out all public school jobs (including elementary) by 2014 but GEPIK is also downsizing significantly. I know for sure that GEPIK has stopped funding my entire city and there will reportedly be one more city in Gyeonggi do cut out from the GEPIK program starting next school year, and that's in addition to the many high schools and middle schools already getting cut starting in March.

I know quite a few teachers who are loosing their jobs and they are having problems finding new jobs in the Gyeonggi-do area. My recruiter told me that there are now far more eligible teachers looking for jobs than there are job openings and it won't be as easy finding a public school position as it was a year ago but it is possible if I set myself apart from the pack. Many teachers are choosing to renew at their schools (if they're fortunate enough to have that option) because of the grim job market. And some of my friends are now settling for hagwons in Seoul because they were unable to land another public school position. Lucky for me though, I landed an awesome university position starting next school year.

I'm not saying it's impossible to find a job that meets all your requirements, but you might want to consider being a bit more open to positions that don't offer every single thing you need.



  • mick2064
  • Adventurer

    • 69

    • March 08, 2012, 04:51:45 pm
    • Korea
Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 10:37:05 am »
Why do you class yourself as a "Teacher"? You are a guest native speaker there to help Korean students assimulate with foriegn person/s. To be a teacher in Korea you first must have passed all the tests, board interviews etc that "real" teachers have.


Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 11:00:55 am »
From my experience, you can still be somewhat choosy within semi-rural areas.  Though the end of 2013 may certainly be a possible cut-off point within programs such as GEPIK -- at least as far as deviating away accepting most any job you'll be able to get.

 I'm certainly most curious about what GEPIK does in 2013. 

Furthermore, I do think it's quite appropriate to loosely conceptualize ourselves as 'teachers'.  Were I to conceptualize myself as else, I would accomplish else.
Co-creator of HSIP adult academy and halandstevenglish @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/halandsteveenglish


Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 11:07:13 am »
Why do you class yourself as a "Teacher"? You are a guest native speaker there to help Korean students assimulate with foriegn person/s. To be a teacher in Korea you first must have passed all the tests, board interviews etc that "real" teachers have.

Dude, what's the point of being politically correct in an online forum, especially when it's completely irrelevant to the OP's question? That aside, if you're getting paid to teach students, what's wrong with calling yourself a teacher? Since you want to be technical, by definition, a teacher can be anyone who imparts knowledge or skills onto others (in any field and in any setting). Therefore, the OP is a teacher. Period. What paperwork you have is irrelevant.


  • papayapie
  • Super Waygook

    • 421

    • May 30, 2012, 10:30:06 am
    more
Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 11:35:13 am »
Korean teachers are "real" teachers/!?!!? ! :huh: They have to pass TESTS? The tests must be insanely easy then because I've only been teaching for 8 months and I'm a million times better than most of the Korean teachers I've seen "teaching"  :afro: :afro: Crazy how they can just teach the class without looking at them or speaking while they frantically type on their smart phones....they must be psychic or something  :azn:


Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 11:52:59 am »
Why do you class yourself as a "Teacher"? You are a guest native speaker there to help Korean students assimulate with foriegn person/s. To be a teacher in Korea you first must have passed all the tests, board interviews etc that "real" teachers have.

Someone had better tell that to all the Korean contract "teachers".


Re: Can I be Choosy now?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 02:28:26 pm »
I'm not too sure if being here for 3 years is enough of a criteria to be choosy.

What sets you apart from everyone else?

You definitely have the confidence and knowledge of Korea, as well as boots on the ground, that means that you can probably pick a school and check it out (location, size, apartment) before arriving,

But to be really choosy with what job you take (or to increase your potential of being offered the best jobs), i think you need to make sure your credentials and skills are the best they can be.
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