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  • ohitsgary
  • Veteran

    • 239

    • January 06, 2013, 07:28:15 am
    • London
How do Coteachers get their position?
« on: November 12, 2014, 08:48:39 am »
I'm wondering how do coteachers (especially the ones who are in charge of us) get their position? The one I have has zero leadership skills, zero confidence in speaking English (as she insists on always communicating through messenger), and has no understanding of western culture (culture clashes). How do they get assigned to us if they don't have these skills?


  • Janitor
  • Moderator - LVL 2

    • 956

    • June 14, 2010, 02:01:32 pm
    • Ulsan
Re: How do Coteachers get their position?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2014, 08:55:20 am »
I think that it differs school to school. My old school rotated teachers. So I would have a different person in charge of me each year.


  • KirbyOwnz
  • Veteran

    • 136

    • March 01, 2013, 11:17:05 am
    • Geoje Island
Re: How do Coteachers get their position?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2014, 08:56:53 am »
I'm at 3 schools and I literally do at least 6 solo classes a week (not counting afterschools or additional coteachers who uncommonly step out for the class...) alone.   So I think to myself, "wow they must be really busy".   

One teacher puts on headphones and goes outside into the garden.   Smokes.
One teacher "is afraid to speak English".   Goes to the science room and looks at his phone.
One teacher literally just isn't there.  She doesn't even know what page of the book I'm on.   It's always a page behind.   I don't have the heart to tell her that she doesn't know whats going on in her class.   She usually pops in 10 minutes before lunch to bring them back. 

My afterschools are another story.   Nothing like being left alone in a room full of 25 1st and 2nd grade students who can barely read and write their own language.


  • stemarty
  • Featured Contributor

    • 1135

    • September 02, 2011, 12:20:42 pm
    • Jeonnamdo
Re: How do Coteachers get their position?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2014, 09:05:21 am »
Usually the youngest, least experienced is in-charge of taking care of us because there is a lot of paperwork involving us and the older teachers don't want to deal with it (especially if they are a head teacher or homeroom teacher).

This isn't always the case; sometimes it all depends on the school and how many teachers there are. Other times the teachers literally draw straws and some have even volunteered from their own free will. You can also get two main co-teachers and they split up the work between them (one in-charge of paperwork and the other in-charge of taking care of any issues you run into, ie phone problems, house maintenance, translation needs, banking junk... )

Whatever the reasons are, keep your chin up. There are only 2 months left and there's going to be a huge change in school staff in March. Remember that even though your main co-teacher is technically in charge of you that doesn't mean you can't go to your other English teachers for help. Use them too.


  • bjinglee
  • Expert Waygook

    • 545

    • March 10, 2011, 10:29:48 pm
    • South Korea
Re: How do Coteachers get their position?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2014, 09:28:59 am »
In both my schools it was the teacher with the best English ability. Age and gender didn't seem to be a factor.


Re: How do Coteachers get their position?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2014, 09:34:21 am »
If there are enough volunteers, they will select the most senior 'qualified' candidate. If there are not enough volunteers, they will select the person who offers the least resistance. Obviously it's better to work in a situation with enough volunteers that they don't need to force teachers to teach English, but that doesn't solve all problems. In my experience awful teachers don't usually volunteer to teach English unless they know they will have a native assistant for the majority of their English classes. This only usually happens if the school is small.


Re: How do Coteachers get their position?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2014, 09:37:08 am »
Pretty sure my school just rotates anyone with English ability. One of my co-teachers is a contract teacher so she's on permanent English duty but the other ones I've had seem to have had their decision dictated by the school. Luckily for me both my handlers have been basically fluent and even the newbie teacher was able to hold a conversation at normal speed.


  • Burndog
  • Super Waygook

    • 418

    • July 16, 2010, 11:49:17 am
    • Suwon
Re: How do Coteachers get their position?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2014, 09:39:26 am »
It depends on the school and the level.

Most elementary schools ask teachers to volunteer or 'choose'...if no teacher chooses English then you get whoever the principal gives you.

Secondary schools at least have English trained, qualified English teachers who will usually be assigned to you.  This doesn't guarantee that they'll care, or do a good job, but at least they'll have studied English at some point.

I've had good and bad co-teachers. 


Re: How do Coteachers get their position?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2014, 10:00:52 am »
Head English teacher is the in-charge-of-waygook person. I'm lucky in that both of my "head" teachers have had great English skills and had worked with NETs before. Not everyone's so lucky, though.
NOTORIOUS D.G.P.


  • emwsu
  • Veteran

    • 208

    • November 28, 2010, 09:19:06 pm
    • South Korea
Re: How do Coteachers get their position?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2014, 10:03:36 am »
There is no standard for it. Each school is also different. I've heard of some rural schools with CTs who aren't even English teachers.

I have an older Korean man- as in ~5 years away from retirement as my charge CT. He apparently wanted the job. And as a senior teacher, he gets things his way. I cannot think of why he wanted the position*, rather than to make my life hell. He doesn't do anything! And then he gets upset at me for doing things myself. He also doesn't even try to speak to me. On the odd chance he does he always tries in Korean first. I great him every morning and receive a grunt in return. (really is quite a lovely man~ :afro:) I even heard him tell our office chief he refused to translate things from her to me (AKA his job). Another office mate who is a Korean language teacher talks to me the most in English and does most  translations for me. He has been a major savior! I also don't even have this man's number, that is how dedicated he has been to help me. When I changed apartments he gave the new door code to the moving men and not me (how hard is 1-2-3-4?).

What does he do in class? I'll leave that up to your imagination as that is a much longer story... And some days it is left to my imagination as well, as his attendance is so low....

I've been at my school for awhile and last March I had many teachers, VP and P all apologize to me for the change. My previous CT was a year younger than me, brilliant English social, out going and helpful. At this point I didn't have an issue I didn't mind. My very first CT was older (40's) and he took brilliant care of me and spoiled me.

I'm also lucky that I've been at this school for awhile and I have other people who help me. I feel really bad for my none charge CT who helps me a lot. She has done most of his job and has been put in the middle by the VP many times to translate. To the point I have had to share my contract with her for disputing things~ absolutely not her job.

I cannot wait for this year to be over (~6 weeks). I've never looked forward to the March switch ups like I am now. Sadly I'll be losing my best female coworker, but I'm sure anyone will be better than this man...

* Later on I found out I knew another foreigner who used to work with this man a few years prior. And I also know another Korean English teacher who worked with him at his previous school. Apparently there he also requested to be the charge CT for the foreigner. Then rejected it as there was so much paper work to do. He has quite a reputation~

End of rant. There is no logic or reasoning to CT selection.