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Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« on: December 30, 2013, 07:47:21 am »
Just came in to work today, what I thought was my first day of deskwarming, and the students are all here. Apparently today is the last day of classes, not Friday, despite what the school calendar says. I don't know when this was changed, but I've mentioned to almost all of my CTs last week how I was glad Friday was the last day, and every single one of them agreed with me. Not one mentioned a thing about Monday!

So now I come in, and I've got nothing to do in my classes, and really that means nothing to watch, because today is not only Monday, but the last day before break, and you can bet your ass the kids are only going to want to watch something. I don't have time to download anything, either.

I'm so freaking pissed about this! Not because I wanted to laze around and deskwarm all day (I actually find deskwarming more tiring than teaching) but because all of my CTs should have known that I thought Friday was the last day, and not one told me that it was today. They all nodded along with me, so I guess I just have to assume one of two things. Either they thought it would be hilarious to see me not have  something ready and enjoy seeing me furiously type on waygook... or they are all simply so low in their own English level that they did not understand "I'm glad Friday is the last day." I'm fairly sure they do understand that, though.

Whatever, I guess they'll just get an hour of free time today. It's not like it matters to their education; finals were weeks ago.

Sometimes I think I should just send a message to every one of my CTs every time there is a message on Cool Messenger asking them what it says! I imagine they'd get pretty frustrated with me, but I swear it's the only way I will ever know what the heck is going on at my school. God knows no one is keeping me in the loop even about the most basic stuff!

Ugh. Just needed a rant, guys.


  • Hoosier_Jedi
  • Expert Waygook

    • 859

    • April 08, 2011, 01:56:38 pm
    • Icheon
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Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2013, 07:58:27 am »


Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2013, 08:17:37 am »
The gist of what CoolMessenger says can generally be discovered with Google Translate, I've found. Obviously, it's not a GOOD translation, but usually it's enough for me to get the idea.

Also, if your kids are elementary- there are loads of Mr. Bean clips/episodes on Youtube and here are some Adventure Time episodes with Korean subtitles: http://blog.naver.com/ryu_wol__?Redirect=Log&logNo=177354374&jumpingVid=6E3DAED2FD7966227CB6BB16F34AC9175D92
NOTORIOUS D.G.P.


  • namerae
  • Featured Contributor

    • 207

    • September 26, 2011, 09:38:41 am
    • Anyang, South Korea
Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2013, 08:29:46 am »
I don't know what to say, other than: Welcome to Korea!

Cultural differences abound. Stepping in kimchi flowers in your nice, new shoes, getting bustled about on the subway, steering clear of the granny-aged matrons looking to pimp out their girls on a night out... these are all things we run into frequently! We can be puzzled and frustrated all we like. It won't change.

As for your situation, I have been there several times. All I can recommend is to always have a fun, silly (zero prep) lesson ready at a moment's notice. Or, if you prefer, a movie. There are lots of resources that I will link here:

Short Animations
Animation class
Middle School Lesson Plan Master List

Good luck, morgainenyl. Only a few weeks left.


Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2013, 08:49:34 am »
Maybe they interpreted your being happy Friday was the last day as simply being the last day of the week.


  • mammu27
  • Waygookin

    • 18

    • October 19, 2012, 07:49:00 am
Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2013, 08:59:19 am »
Ha, I feel your pain. I always, always keep two DVDs in a DVD case in my bag, never leave without them or move them for that matter. I walked into my main school today (I have 4 schools and teach all grades) which is a Middle school, expecting to not see any students or teachers, to find that everyone is in today and that tomorrow is the last day. I'm normally at my elementary schools on Monday's and Tuesdays, so I don't have to worry about teaching, but it was still a surprise.

However, my ct comes to me and says I need to make a presentation to help encourage our middle school students to come to the Winter camp, since only 4 signed up and we needed 10. I was thinking, "I thought you already had the students for the camp, you used the budget to buy supplies for 10 students." I said, "well they have the flier with all the information, there's not much else I can say that will push them to sign up if they don't want to. And you should have told me this before, I could have made a proper presentation, I thought the students had already signed up." Aye... :evil:


  • Chicagohotdog
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • March 04, 2012, 12:25:31 pm
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Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2013, 09:36:38 am »
Well, if it's anything like my school you might not even have classes today anyway.  Last day of school here is just a closing ceremony and the kids leaving early and me staying until lunch.
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  • stemarty
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    • 1135

    • September 02, 2011, 12:20:42 pm
    • Jeonnamdo
Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2013, 09:37:23 am »
This sound like a normal day in a Korean school. I get that you're upset about this, but after teaching here 2+ years.....this really isn't a big deal.
 Get used to this kind of thing happening all the time.

Example: Today: I was promised 15 award coupons give to some students for finishing a big project in my English class. I won't get them and my co-teacher knew I wouldn't get them but didn't tell me until today. I also got told they are moving my desk and I have a day to clean everything out. I also had to teach with nothing prepared. Ended up watching a Japanese horror movie. But i'm not gonna rant and get all upset about it.

it's lame, but its not the end of the world.

The Co-Teachers dont do this sort of thing to laugh at you. Sometimes they are just as frazzled about the schedule as you are. They are much busier than we are. And sometimes, forget to tell us things.

Always have stuff prepared for a emergency class. Trivia, word games, hot seat games and movies ready on a USB. It's the last day of classes.......i highly doubt you'll get in trouble if you dot have much prepared.


Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2013, 09:49:21 am »
Sometimes I think I should just send a message to every one of my CTs every time there is a message on Cool Messenger asking them what it says! I imagine they'd get pretty frustrated with me, but I swear it's the only way I will ever know what the heck is going on at my school. God knows no one is keeping me in the loop even about the most basic stuff!

I might do this, actually... it would probably only take a handful of very annoying days before they start to automatically translate the important stuff for you.  I usually use Google Translate, too, just to check if there's something that seems important.  But I've still missed essential bits of information that either weren't sent that way, or were translated so oddly I could never decode them.  Plus, with this method, you could be go the preferred passive aggressive route and just insist that you really want to make sure you're doing your absolute best by keeping up with everything that's going on.

For today, forget it. Youtube to the rescue.


Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2013, 11:33:43 am »
It's possible they didn't know you would have class today because originally you weren't supposed to.  The schedule changes so much and so quickly that it's hard to tell sometimes.  It's possible... unlikely but possible...
Either way... lesson learned.  Always keep random time-filler games or movie clips on hand because such events will happen again.


  • tdotroks
  • Adventurer

    • 43

    • September 12, 2012, 12:28:41 pm
    • Canada
Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2013, 12:00:45 pm »
Maybe they interpreted your being happy Friday was the last day as simply being the last day of the week.

^^ this.

Simple misunderstanding. Or, maybe you don't actually have class, and the students are just at school. My kids came back for 2 extra days of .... I have no idea what, before officially going on break.

Anyway, I know it feels good to rant, but it's not the end of the world if you have to recycle a game or spend some time looking for something to do. The kids probably don't care at all, and I highly doubt all of your co-teachers conspired against you last week JUST to have a chuckle at you this morning.

It's vacation... "take a rest"


  • Jaiysun4
  • Waygookin

    • 15

    • February 05, 2013, 03:32:21 am
    • Korea
Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2013, 02:04:45 pm »
I agree. No matter how difficult and annoying it is to be continuously left in the dark, you just need to suck it up and put on a brave face! Maybe ask your co-teachers regularly about the future schedule and do the best you can in the circumstances.

Your post was fairly long, and in that time, you could have found a filler lesson or two on this site.

At the end of the day, considering you were given very limited preparation time, just do the best you can and don't worry. It's good to take pride in your teaching and therefore feel embarrassed if you can't make an excellent lesson. But it isn't your fault in this case!


Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2013, 02:20:00 pm »


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5183

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu Province, Taiwan
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Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2013, 03:09:15 pm »
I noticed that there were some comments that leaned towards saying it was the OP's fault for not having some emergency stuff up their sleeve. While clearly this is a good idea, this whole thing of never telling the NET what is going on, reeks of unprofessionalism.

The excuses put forward of cultural misunderstandings, language misunderstandings, KT's being frazzled etc, etc is a lot of horse manure.  The bottom line is, you don't count, you are at the bottom of the pile, way below the dude that sweeps the leaves up at the school, believe me.

The lack of professionalism here is absolutely mind-boggling in my opinion. In any decent educational system the role of a superior in rank (Principal, Vice-Principal, Head Teacher etc) is amongst other things, a mentors role. In my 5 years here, teaching at two different schools and being associated with many others through English Camps, I have never seen one person in the mentioned positions ever acting in a mentor role. Quite the opposite in fact, I have witnessed high ups bullying and intimidating young teachers or those below them when in fact they should have been mentoring and helping them to grow professionally.

In my capacity as a Deputy Principal back home, one of my numerous jobs, besides having a full teaching load, was to be the chief mentor of the school. I saw to it that each teacher, no matter how long they had been teaching, had a mentor. Result, we had a happy staff, no one was bullied or intimidated, we were able to develop our teaching skills and develop professionally as well. We regularly had teachers from Germany and the US on teacher exchange programs and we made an extra effort to see that they were up to speed with everything in the school. They never had to wonder what was coming next as most of us here do and have experienced.

I am sorry, the fact that we are always last to know and many times never know what is going on, is a clear sign of a dysfunctional system.

Korean teachers think they are busy, they have absolutely no idea of what being busy means, they have a picnic here compared to other countries.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2013, 03:32:18 pm »


The excuses put forward of cultural misunderstandings, language misunderstandings, KT's being frazzled etc, etc is a lot of horse manure.  The bottom line is, you don't count, you are at the bottom of the pile, way below the dude that sweeps the leaves up at the school, believe me.


I think the responses were suggestions rather than 'excuses'. 
OP, I hope that now we are at the end of the day, things weren't so bad after all.


  • sweetkat
  • Veteran

    • 188

    • March 02, 2011, 01:35:29 pm
    • Korea
Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2013, 03:50:23 pm »
i always look at the school's calendar so i can anticipate..end of the school semester, or field trip days and not have to waste effort preparing for class that won't be there. 


  • a87
  • Super Waygook

    • 330

    • July 21, 2013, 12:31:10 am
Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2013, 07:53:38 pm »
The lack of professionalism here is absolutely mind-boggling in my opinion.

...

Korean teachers think they are busy, they have absolutely no idea of what being busy means, they have a picnic here compared to other countries.

I feel this way allllll the time. There is a serious lack of professionalism here. There is no such thing as a schedule, as most plans are made the day before, or hours before. Things like final day of the semester, whether or not there will be a half-day, mandatory coworker meet-ups, etc are never planned in advance, and little is communicated. We just have to roll with it, although from a western viewpoint it can be pretty maddening.

I especially hate when homeroom teachers say they aren't going to send their kids to English on a certain day, due to a special event, or the end of the semester, but lo and behold I have 30 kids at my door that morning, with no prior warning whatsoever, to me or my Korean co-T. It's just plain disrespectful, basically saying that they don't have any regard for me or what I have to do. It's the hierarchy. Once you work yoru way up to being slightly higher than someone, you milk it as much as possible. That would never happen in the US, or other western schools, I suspect.
Take that apologists!


  • fudoose
  • Veteran

    • 149

    • May 17, 2010, 02:50:05 pm
    • korea
Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2013, 08:12:59 pm »
Full episodes of Green Acres
http://www.youtube.com/user/greenacresserial/videos

Full episodes of On The Buses
http://www.youtube.com/user/citybussimulator/videos

Full episodes of Third Rock From The Sun
http://www.youtube.com/user/paradox842/videos

Full episodes of The Addams Family
http://www.youtube.com/user/anabrans?feature=watch

 I'm constantly surprised by the random things the kids will enjoy, but.... on the buses?  :shocked: :shocked: :shocked:


  • emwsu
  • Veteran

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    • November 28, 2010, 09:19:06 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2013, 07:32:58 am »
This rant was about the OP's school. None of us know all of the conditions they have there. All of our schools are different. I do not get any of the cool messenger notes to translate, if I wanted. Nor do I have a school calendar to see what is coming up. And the school events change so much that I wouldn't trust a calendar made about a year ago. I ask a lot of questions and roll with the punches...

I try my best to always have a few things as a back up. I've found when I have things prepared for those last minute, might have classes, I don't end up having them  8)

I know how the last minute things work here. Annoying? Yes, but part of their culture. And I actually prefer the last minute notice, over hearing how the plan has changed 5 times!

I have a lot of down time at my school. So I feel bad, myself, when I don't have something prepared for a class. But these few weeks post final have everyone in a pre-holiday daze... and the students don't want to do anything!

OP don't feel bad. And I'm sure your teachers didn't do it on purpose. There are a lot of things that happen higher up they have no say in.


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5183

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu Province, Taiwan
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Re: Total Rant - Just Let Me Know!
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2013, 12:14:30 pm »
This rant was about the OP's school. None of us know all of the conditions they have there. All of our schools are different. I do not get any of the cool messenger notes to translate, if I wanted. Nor do I have a school calendar to see what is coming up. And the school events change so much that I wouldn't trust a calendar made about a year ago. I ask a lot of questions and roll with the punches...

I try my best to always have a few things as a back up. I've found when I have things prepared for those last minute, might have classes, I don't end up having them  8)

I know how the last minute things work here. Annoying? Yes, but part of their culture. And I actually prefer the last minute notice, over hearing how the plan has changed 5 times!

I have a lot of down time at my school. So I feel bad, myself, when I don't have something prepared for a class. But these few weeks post final have everyone in a pre-holiday daze... and the students don't want to do anything!

OP don't feel bad. And I'm sure your teachers didn't do it on purpose. There are a lot of things that happen higher up they have no say in.

Yes, it is called unprofessionalism.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!