Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

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kiteupusan
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Joined: 08/17/2010 - 10:09
Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

So, I've been here for just over a month. I've been trying to determine if my situation is normal or not.  To start, I'm working at a Hagwon that's been open for only 3 months, supposedly the director had Hagwons in the past.  I'm the only foreigner, there is one other Korean-American and two Korean teachers.  There are no co-teachers in class, no help, guidance, assistance, curriculum, and very little useful material.  The schedule is unstructured and always changing.  The director knew nothing about ARC cards or health checks.  I have 10 ten vacation days and the director wants to stay open 365 days a year.  I teach everything from TOEFL prep, elementary, middle school, high school and college. My apartment building (which I was told was the most expensive) is crap, my actual room is mediocre and I have no idea how the bills are structured.

Please let me know if this is normal or if I should try to change jobs. Thanks.

Dogarse
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Joined: 04/15/2010 - 23:53
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
Sounds completely normal to me.
phatt60
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Joined: 02/23/2010 - 21:41
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

This sounds like a bad job.  You should change jobs.  Otherwise, you will put up with all of this crap, and at the very end they might not pay you you're severance pay, your flight home, and you might find out they took pension and health insurance money out of your check without actually paying your pension or insurance.

But it's a bit complicated.  The immigration will have to cancel your visa.  I doubt they will give you a "letter of release".  I am assuming they won't be happy to lose their only foreign teacher.  So, if your visa is cancelled, you'll have one week or one month to leave the country, depending on the arbitrary time the immigration gives you.  You can find a job in the meantime.  You can go to Japan (for two days) and re-apply with a new school.  If you cancel your visa and get a public school job, then this process will be much easier.  But if you change to another academy, they might make you go back to you country, get a new background check, ect.  Make sure to get ALL of you original documents back!

You need to get out before too long.  Otherwise, you will have to wait until 8 months into your contract to change jobs without much of a headache.  But at that point, you might as well stick it out for the severance pay.  

I hope I helped.  If I'm wrong, please correct me.  Good luck!

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

''There are no co-teachers in class, no help, guidance, assistance, curriculum, and very little useful material. ''

Trust me, that's a good thing. People are happier running their own show, there are losts of useful things on a number of websites you can copy,paste,download etc.. Are you getting paid on time? That's very important. I wouldn't work on the weekends but you need to to check your contract. if you agreed too they will be prepared to give you such. Also you should have the the health insurance folder and pension statement by now. I doubt he has even registered you let alone paying into those.

Oh... and the common trick regarding vacation is they just let you go week 50 so don't be planning a get away to wherever because you won't be going for 40+ weeks.

Even with the scary shit I just wrote, this isn't that uncommon. Sparkling Korea. 

Angel
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Joined: 08/16/2009 - 11:51
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
Your conditions are somewhat
normal, though you should check on your ARC card and visa .Asking too
many questions of other foreigners, reading too much can be
unhelpful at times.You are probably stuck there for 6 months, a meaningful and
good experience. I reckon everyone should have the pressures of a
Hakwan for at least a year.It's good training, hard and will make you
appreciate the next job.In all
honesty, stick at it for at least 6 months, show your owner some grit.You'll appreciate the Hakwan
apprenticeship in the end, especially, if you intend to be here for a
year or two.Show some backbone, grit, initiative and you'll have a real sense of achievement. It's all too easy to find fault, complain and quit.
lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

''It's all too easy to find fault, complain and quit.''

Damn skippy! Not to slam the thread starter because I don't know your background but newer people these days don't seem as hungry as the previous EFL generation of peoples.I think the dynamics back home have changed for the worse somewhat and people are longing for the days when they could just sit in their parents basement, yell upstairs to mom that i tried looking for a job but they are all manual labor and i don't want that. Those days are over, no more white collar paper schuffle I went to university therefore I deserve a great job horseshit.

Now people are coming out of school with even bigger debts than my generation had, mom and dad's stock portfolio is gone, the remortgaged house is underwater. The 5 year old BMW (last re-mortgaging equity) is wll.... 5years old and it needs repairs. Mom lost her job, UI is running out and dad is old tired and works a 9-5pm trying to hold onto the Jones's balls.  I don't think mom and dad have the means anymore to help out junior, that's why they come here. With that said:

Before a person thinks of ending early any job here you have to ask yourself two things:

A) can I get that letter of release because if they don't give it to you, you are getting shipped and you can't get a job until that origional contract is up. In this case 10months. 

B) what can I possible do back home that will give me bare minimum $1500 clear take home.

 

I think it really is that simple.

kiteupusan
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Joined: 08/17/2010 - 10:09
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Thanks everyone, there was some good info in there.  I didn't even think about documentation on my insurance or pension plan.  I can definitely stick it out and I'm sure changing jobs is far more complicated than it sounds.  I just haven't been explained anything which worries me, my director is either that spacey or is setting me up to screw me.  He seems like a good person but also seems very shady at times.  I don't know what his goals, objectives or curriculum are so it's difficult to know if he even has any and how that translates to his expectations of me. 

Thanks for the advice, keep it coming if you have more. 

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Kite, he might just be clueless. Many Koreans are when it comes to matters dealing with visas and us. With that said though you mentioned that he has had dealings with foreigners before. Be on your toes. If not having health care and pension really bothers you then mention it to him but if you can get along without it and not care to shake the hornets nest then by all means let sleeping dogs lie.   

One thing.... If you get any 'we called, it's ok, you don't need it or want it'' then that is complete bullshit. They play that card to save face. If you hear that then begin to worry. That applies to immigration concerns usually and it eventually is the person holding the bag not the school. Ignorance of the law isn't a good enough excuse. If they try to farm you out to another school or even branch of the school or something of the like.

chabello
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Joined: 10/05/2009 - 02:39
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

I've got to disagree with Angel here. I've been here for almost a year and my situation is awfully similar to the original poster's. I didn't have books or any other materials to work with for about 6 months. I was forced to rely entirely on the internet, which, by the way, is both a great and terrible resource. It's great because there is so much out there. But it's terrible because there's so much crap out there that you have to spend hours searching for something halfway decent to work with. However, that's not to say all of the books out there are good either.

Anyway, it's not about "showing backbone, grit," or some other nonsense. Hagwon's are nothing but money making machines. They don't care about their students and they don't care about their teachers. These are commodities for to be dealt around for the largest profit. This is a terrible education model that provides few benefits for anyone other than the owners of the hagwons. I'm pretty sure judging by how my hagwon has treated me that I was hired as a mantle piece to show off to prospective customers and nothing more. It wouldn't surprise me if it was a similar thought process for the original poster's hagwon as well. These things become ever clearer when they do things like not even provide books or other working materials or any kind of support for their teachers (foreign or korean). Nearly all korean teachers in hagwons and (foreigners in) public schools are provided books and other teaching materials, if not an entire curriculum. Why should anything less be given or expected to foreigners in hagwons?

It's not about sucking-it-up and just dealing with a bad situation, though that is one option (and the one I chose). And it isn't about this veterans vs. rookies crap that so many people on Koreabridge like to throw out there (as if there is some sort of rite of passage). It's about recognizing you have a bad job and doing what is appropriate for you. If that is just dealing with it, then so be it. If it is quitting and finding a better job, then all the more power to ya. But don't listen to this stuff about sticking with it for the sake of sticking with it. That's just ridiculous. Just know that there are definitely better jobs and there are worse jobs out there, and you should do what you think is best.

Angel
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Joined: 08/16/2009 - 11:51
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Chapeto- My answer to you, would be this question. You talk about researching the Internet, then why did you get such a bad job?There is a lot out there, you obviously weren't that well informed about the fact that good jobs have been here for a long , long time. There are few bad jobs, its up to you to make of what you can.I hear this time and time again. Initially, I taught 11 hours a day, for shite pay, years ago, but I managed. Many of you , don't know you've been born, its not 1997.What would you make in a MC Ds, Burger King, Starbucks back home?

Don't knock a system that has created so much , helped evolve the English business here.If you come here to do a job, be prepared for the worst, don't assume the best.You say, internet resources are crap, terrible compared to what?What makes you such a finite judge of Internet education and resources.I guess it depends on your experience and how you can efficiently find and use a resource.On this forum, some people say they don't even need lesson plans.Others say it is easy to teach, we are not educators, but baby sitters.Quitting, give me a break, good advice that!!!!!!!!

Poster- Like most people, you are not trained for this, esp. one month in.Hakwan owners spend a lot of money on training ,set up, and they take a chance on you, just from an interview. They are not always perfect , or that able to communicate effectively.You need to be calm ,logical and prepared.Use some initiative.You have earned a salary, put a fraction of  it to good use. Secure your job, spend some money, buy some books yourself.That's what a resourceful person would do, and that's what a lot people do here .You have few options here, dealing with some minor difficulties, and managing  the situation is what you have to do, esp. in a foreign county.

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Bello, I certainly wouldn't be in the wonderful situation I am today if i gave up years ago. That nasty first job has led me to this exact point in my life and I couldn't be happier.  I'm a successful teacher and business person because of it. Like Steve Miller says; you got to go through hell before you get to heaven.

There is a reason why korea has a 50% drop out rate year one and by the end of year three 90% of people are gone; life isn't easy here nor should it be. 

With that said, this person can not get a better job unless his horrible visa holder let's him go. It really isn't his decision to make. He isn't holding any cards. If he mid-night runs he can't get a new job anyway for the next 10months and you don't want to operate illegally here.

So we are back to the two points I made; tough it out or go back home and work at starbucks.

chabello
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Joined: 10/05/2009 - 02:39
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Firstly, let's make it clear that I never said s/he should quit or do a midnight-run or the like. Read my post and you might actually realize that. I said that quitting is an option and one that I decided against. I didn't advocate her/him doing one thing over the other. I clearly stated that s/he should decide what is best for her/himself based on her/his experience so far. As far as I'm concerned that's the best advice anyone can give. None of us know the true nature of her/his situation and we can only share our experiences.

Secondly, Angel, you either need to read posts a little better (it's pretty clear you need to as you didn't even get my name right) or you need to stop playing politician and twisting everything to fit your point of view. My little remark about the internet being both a great and a terrible resource was made about teaching materials, which I stated quite clearly, and had nothing to do with finding a job. I clearly stated why I feel this way and I will say it again since you seemed to have missed it the first time: the internet is a great resource for TEACHING MATERIALS because there is so much out there. But it is also a terrible resource for TEACHING MATERIALS because there are so many crap resources that you have to wade through before you find something good.

If you want to talk about the internet being a good resource for finding a good job, well then, there isn't that much out there. Sure there are a few blacklist sites that have a decent amount of listings but they certainly don't cover all of the hagwons out there. You can post on a board such as this one in hopes that someone knows or has heard something about a particular hagwon. But, other than that, there really isn't much out there. So the moral here is don't twist one specific statement about teaching materials into a general statement about the entire internet or something else that was not said.

As for my ability to judge the internet as a good or bad resource for teaching materials, I'd say I'm probably a little bit more familiar than a lot of people. Being without any books or other resources for six months, I did a fuck-ton of searching. You are more then welcome to question my history and my abilities on anything I've said but only if you willing to hear out the reasoning behind my assertions.

Thirdly, don't lecture me about shit jobs back home as if you are some old veteran of all shit jobs, who has a monopoly on such information. I have had numerous jobs over the years and most of them were shit. Hell, right before I came here I was a janitor working 6 days a week for nearly minimum wage. Lay off with that shit about McDonalds and Starbucks. That's making a point that was never being contested: that we generally have it better here than back home. That was not something that I argued nor disagree with.

Now as for the the actual point I was making: You do not need to put up with a shitty job to get a good job. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. This is a business decision that does not require you to put up with shit simply because that's how it is, because that's not how it is. Some jobs are much better than others and some fit different people's styles better. You can choose one that is good for you. There is no prerequisite of shit jobs before you can get a good job. It's true you have a better idea of how to find good jobs after being here for a while, but that has nothing do with going "through hell before you get to heaven." It has to do with knowing the nature of the business better and where and how to find said good jobs. It's true that the original poster, or most of us, don't have much of an option with visas and the like. But, once again, I'm not saying he should quit. What I am saying is that if he feels like he has better options than his current situation he may be better off working something out, whether it's a midnight run or something else, and taking that better option. Or if he doesn't have better options than he may want to stick with it like I have. That seems pretty reasonable to me. But sticking with it simply because it makes you tougher, grittier, or some other inaccurate analogy, is just not smart. Weigh the pros and cons and your general feelings about your current situation and decide what to do from there.

Angel
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Joined: 08/16/2009 - 11:51
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Chapeto,

            No offence meant, I mean forgetting your name.However, to be honest, in your original post, you seem to say one thing , then now, another.I can read, but untangling the real meaning, of what you mean to say, is beyond my modest capabilities.I think LBS seemed to agree. Weren't you insinuating, that the poster has choices here, and doesn't have to put up with it, if they don't want to?

Well, I assume that he wants to make a go of it, therefore probably doesn't want to quit, leave Korea.I think implying that someone here has options, esp. after one month, may be a little far fetched.What you didn't provide were realistic advice, clear options and solutions, as other did.At least other posters did post some useful sites eg Sa Rah .LBS and I, just made it clear that the person options were fairly LTD, so get on with it.

Actually, LBS and I, were trying to be more realistic.Sorry, we are over forty, have also had shitty jobs to, we had no choices, but we got on with it.Feeling sorry for oneself, and having too many choices, can be self destructive at times.Sticking with things when the going gets tough, is good for the Soul. 

Poster-In 5 or 6 moths, your air faire is paid, School jobs will be opening , then you'll have real options, assuming you get a "letter of release".That is mainly why I suggested that you do your best. Getting a " letter of release is difficult.However, a year is nothing, in such a long  life.Stick with it Poster, you'll be better off for it, I am sure of that.How does the old saying go, hard work never killed anyone.

kiteupusan
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Joined: 08/17/2010 - 10:09
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Whoa people! Cool down.  I honestly appreciate the feedback, I do.  Hearing the different sides to everything is nothing but helpful.  Trying to decide who is right is another monster.  My director seems like a well to do person.  He seems like he wants his students to learn, score well on test, go to Harvard all that BS.  But he also seems to be extremely driven by money.  Who could say they wouldn't be if there was such a lucrative and easy business opportunity in our home countries?  

The reason I started this post was to get help seeing the "red flags", since I don't know what they are.  My director is an airhead to say the least, but he has also been quick to help me in certain situations.  He told me I'm in the best apartment in the neighborhood and that was a flat out lie.  I've seen other teachers apartments and they almost look like an actual apartments, mine looks like  dorm room.  Is that normal?  I didn't know and still don't.   He told me he used to make $50,000 a month at his previous Hagwans and that was probably a lie.  When I brought up the idea of changing books he was baffled and pretty much told me to work around it as books are only important to the parents.  Kids having books makes it a legitimate school. 

On the other hand, he helped me get my AC fixed and has gone to bat for me when my water bill was out the roof due to an unknown leak. 

He's a mixture of good and bad and I just want to make sure (in others eyes) that he doesn't seem more "bad" than "good". 

This may be a stupid way to think, but: since he has not set any guidelines, expectations, curriculum, etc.  He has no standard to hold me to which I can use in my defense if any problems arise down the road and the Labor Board needs to be contacted.   I don't know.  Let me know what you think about that mind frame.

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

The only reason why Koreans ever mention Harvard is because there was a stupid drama dealing with a few Koreans going there. Like every other drama here all they ever did was sit and talk about food; simply pleasures for simple peoples. Oh..and the actors were pathetic, they couldn't spell Harvard none the less go there. Other than Harvard they don't even know of of a decent school. You tell them I went to Columbia, they think banana republic, Rice is well...rice hahah!! Carnegie-Mellon....hahaha!! mellon!! haha!

I wasn't ripping on anyone personally but you want to get ghost you got to get that release letter, I would offer a bribe to get out of this personally.

megrush
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Joined: 09/03/2009 - 01:12
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Hi Kite,

I am very upset to hear your situation. I have been through a very similar situation myself and it is terrible... I know! I would like to give you 3 pieces of advice stemming from my own personal experience here.

1- Don't count on the labor board to help you! I was owed ALOT of money from a previous hagwon and nothing came out of me contacting the Labor Board! If your hagwon owner truly knows labor laws and is slimy enough, he knows the labor board has NO legal power over his business! They can send letters and set up meetings- but if your boss never accepts the letters and "returns them to sender" there is nothing they can do! It's a very tragic situation indeed!

2- Be firm with the school. I know as a foreigner you want to be polite and agreeable, but you need to look out for the most important person in Korea... YOU! Hagwons ALWAYS look out for their interests- period. The owners are great at "selling" themselves and the school to you. It's their job to sell to parents all day long! Don't be fooled by niceness here- it means nothing! Make sure everything is clear and laid out for you as far as expectations. Schedule a meeting with your boss to talk about what he needs from you. Remind him lliterally EVERYDAY about your ARC card! As far as immigration is concerned it is YOUR responsibility to get that card. If you don't you are here illegally. (coming from experience). They don't care if your hagwon didn't take you to get it, etc. Let your boss know this and make up a story about a friend of yours who didn't get theirs, etc....

3- VERY IMPORTANT- Always always do your best and love the students you are teaching. They will love you back and so will the parents! I have had job offers from great schools just through word of mouth! 

One more thing I have heard about Korean bosses and I assume it to be true from experience. If you are doing a good job, you will hear nothing from them! BUT if you are not meeting their expectations, they will let you know! My guess is if there hasn't been any complaints, then you are doing fine! Just research those sites other teachers have posted and you will get into a good routine and it will be easy for you.

Hope this helps-

be positive. be strong. be confident.

Angel
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Joined: 08/16/2009 - 11:51
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
  Your conditions are somewhat normal, though you should check on your ARC card and visa .Asking too many questions of other foreigners, reading too much can be unhelpful at times.You are probably stuck there for 6 months, a meaningful and good experience. I reckon everyone should have the pressures of a Hakwan for at least a year.It's good training, hard and will make you appreciate the next job.In all honesty, stick at it for at least 6 months, show your owner some grit.You'll appreciate the Hakwan apprenticeship in the end, especially, if you intend to be here for a year or two.Show some backbone, grit, initiative and you'll have a real sense of achievement. It's all too easy to find fault, complain and quit.
Sa-rah
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Joined: 04/26/2010 - 10:52
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

I've only lived in Busan for 1 year but I've been in Korea for 7and a half. I don';t know about Hogwans down here but  I would suggest that the only abnormal thing you have mentioned is the fact that you only get 10 days holiday. The usual situation is 10 days plus national holidays. 

The situation doesn't sound amazing from what you've said but your experience here can be what you make it. If they treat you well and you get paid on time and you get on with the others you could have an amazing time. If the director starts telling you he can't pay you on time, I would say that is time to get out. If you don't want to stay there, you don't have to. 

On another note, I recommend you make sure you are getting proper health health insurance. I can't stress this strongly enough. If the director says he will pay 50% of your bills this is NOT health insurance. He should pay 50% of the premiums. I have known people over the years who have injured themselves or gotten ill and been left with HUGE bills. Maybe you have travel insurance from home, I don't know, just be careful.

The EFL Law website should be able to help you with a lot of issues: http://www.efl-law.com/medical-insurance.php

For materials, there are so many websites full of free materials and forums to help you out.  Try 

www. esl -galaxy.com 
www. esl site.com/  
www. esl gold.com/ 
bogglesworld esl .com/ 

Take care and good luck :)


hoipoloi
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Joined: 08/25/2010 - 18:55
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
Hello all! This all sounds quite dodgy and worrying as I am planning to come and teach in Busan in Jan 2011. Im livin in Saigon at the mo and it is very unorganised, but we dont get f***ed over by the bosses and stuff like that! Some of the posts were saying "life here is hard" and what not - and while a challenge is always welcomed Id still like a grand school to teach in where im not getting ridden by my boss. Teaching tools would be nice too! So quite simply: Is Busan a nice place to live and work?! Id appreciate some feed back! Thanks!
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laniakea
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Joined: 06/14/2010 - 10:04
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
TOEFL prep sounds good to me.
bare_naked_jake
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Joined: 11/05/2009 - 19:12
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

This sounds all too familiar... If you don't mind me asking, what's your director's name and where do you work??

Sa-rah
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Joined: 04/26/2010 - 10:52
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
I saw that Avalon school is looking for 10 teachers for November....http://english.avalon.co.kr/
Dogarse
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Joined: 04/15/2010 - 23:53
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
Yeah... that's a really bad sign.  I wouldn't apply there if I were you.
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laniakea
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Joined: 06/14/2010 - 10:04
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

If you are a unique teacher, who is a none ESL but an English only speaker, I think the hakwaon staffs expect a lot about your endeavor as well as your talent in EFL performance. They will evaluate it for at most three months before they will be able to register your ARC number to the National Health Insurance Coorp. Although you claim those staffs are ignorant to both crucial requirements to hire you, they must have got informed about all. They say they do not know, because they dont want to say yes to you. During the first three months of probation periods, you shall express your feelings or questions directly with your colleagues. And then, go on with what is provided to you freely. Busan is a place full of many people who think they can teach to those who are not ready to learn. Best is all mine to you.

Helen

Dogarse
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Joined: 04/15/2010 - 23:53
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
Yeah LBS, I'm sure the only reason Koreans want to go to Harvard is because it was featured in a Korean drama.  It certainly wouldn't have anything to do with Harvard being the most famous and quite often highest ranked university in the world would it? What, with every person in Korea being a complete moron, right?
Paul Gaasenbeek
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Joined: 08/25/2009 - 15:04
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
Chabello gets it-why dont many others? I have been saying this for years but no one wanted to listen. I have been here 7 years now and never has a hagwon had my best interest in mind. They are there to make money and that is it. All the people on here talking about prepping and teaching well are wasting their time. Show up, teach what you are supposed to teach but at the end of the day we are here to keep mothers adn the kids happy-which make the owners happy. The education system here is is a joke. Hagwons are a biz like any other and simply are trying to make money. Education comes second. Hagwons are like any other biz. Think about this. Are insurance companies anywhere in the world really set up to help people or to make money? Some may think to help but come on-they are there to make money even though their service is set up to look like they are helping us. No different than schools here. Glad some of you get it. The others, well, you are just going to get angry, bitter and jaded when you get mistreated in some way. If you dont like your school leave. It is that simple. When you say I do at a wedding people mean that and hope it lasts forever but shit happens and things change so roll with it. Good luck with your school!
lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

No, you missed the point dog, again. They don't know any other school besides Harvard. Kids say they want to go to Harvard because they watched that silly drama period.  That's where my middle school kids all said  if they could go abroad to study and I teach 5classes of 5kids. They didn't even know where it is or what they even want to study or be but they know they want to go to Harvard. SNU was top dog for this place. Reach for the stars I guess.   

In all seriouness I doubt any of them could even get into any of the SKY members. There English isn't good enough and they aren't from wealthy families that can afford private one on one teachers.

Angel
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Joined: 08/16/2009 - 11:51
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

You've been here long to enuf to know that the when in Rome, you do what you need to get by. We do what we have to here. I teach, others entertain, etc, etc.Let's give them a bit more credit on education, rather than say it's a joke. Things are improving slowly, but surely. I am tired of people knocking Korean owners, nearly everyone has been good to me, fair ,honest, helpful, kind, generous and good listeners.This is also applies to the schools programmes here.

Maybe I have just been lucky, over all of my time here.It's so easy to blame the owner, the books, co teachers. I reckon if you teach , make them money, they'll have your interest at heart. I know people who get 3.3 m salaries at Hakwans, and they are E2 visa holders.It's not about them, it's about you, you are the business here, sooner you realise that, the sooner you earn more cash.You are your own boss, if people don't realise that, then so be it.Therefore, I repeat, I teach, not entertain.And I'd like to think I'm OK at it.

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laniakea
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Joined: 06/14/2010 - 10:04
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

You teach at a hakwon in Korea, then show your business skill first to your guests in class.  The truth is that they will never be your students but possibly customers or rarely clients.  That hakwon manager eventually mentioned one of the ivy league colleges in the US, because it is not a college to him any more. You, the instructor, certainly got stipulated by the name of that school.  It is a cliché to those who got raised in Korea.  The director guy certainly knew that it won't happen in a short term while he teaches his K-12 adversaries. You are going to spare 10 more months and hear what he has to do while doing that.  You needed a help and seems to get half solved you immediate problem; if it were an air conditioner. That is pretty much that to leave for all now.  It will repeat in somehow different way over again to all humans with limited nature.

woodsman
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Joined: 06/24/2010 - 10:07
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
Once again LBS shows there is no limit to what he doesn't know. I'm teaching kids who are applying to Cal-Tech, Harvey Mudd, and Dartmouth. Why don't you try sticking to topics you know something about. We could all use the long silence from you.
lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

So the kids you teach are all in middle school and applying to these places? 

I teach middle schoolers privately woodsman!!!  I hope for their sake you don't teach them reading comprehension or they might just be stuck going wherever you went to school.

woodsman
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Joined: 06/24/2010 - 10:07
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

So you didn't write this:

The only reason why Koreans ever mention Harvard is because there was a stupid drama dealing with a few Koreans going there. Like every other drama here all they ever did was sit and talk about food; simply pleasures for simple peoples. Oh..and the actors were pathetic, they couldn't spell Harvard none the less go there. Other than Harvard they don't even know of of a decent school. You tell them I went to Columbia, they think banana republic, Rice is well...rice hahah!! Carnegie-Mellon....hahaha!! mellon!! haha!

As already establlished in another thread, you really are a wate of time. Just a blowhard knowitall who really knows nothing.

manager
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Joined: 11/02/2008 - 09:48
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

...and yet another excellent example of why our polices state that insults and personal attacks are not allowed and of what happens when we don't enforce our own rules. 

The last few comments have had nothing to do with the original poster's questions. 
To woodsman and everyone, if you don't agree with what someone says, argue the points.  Tell us why you think they are wrong. DO NOT just go on the attack and post "You're a [insert insult here]".   
Not sure why we let those last few comments slip through, but the insult police are awake again.   
lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Then why do you keep responding? You are like a dog that just keeps barking even after getting newspapered.

Koreans for the most part don't know anything about foreign schools other than Harvard, another ivy league school or two and Oxford. What is your point? if any? other than slamming me, what is your argument? 

That they do because they are well informed about foreign school because 96% of Korean students go to schools abroad? oops...I meant less than 4%. Grow up, make a real argument or go back the woods.  

  

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Another thing, I did a romanized map of Korea draw and locate excercise with my university students yesterday and this morning.  

They didn't even know where Jinju is: It one hour away!! URG!!! most couldn't locate Duk-do although they know it's theirs but they don't why of course, it just is. Captain Cook could have placed more correct answers on a map and he never made it here. I'm absolutely shocked. 

Woodsmans you might be dealing a few of the brighest here but I certain am not. Forget the outside world, the average person here knows little about their own surroundings. They should start with that.  

elmobuzz
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Joined: 09/21/2009 - 11:55
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
as far as koreans knowing only about harvard because of a tv show goes, i do not believe that one bit. .  harvard is well known among people who want to go to college for an english speaking education, period.  they know about plenty of other colleges and universities here, too.  it all depends on what kind of degree someone is seeking.  why, just this weekend i saw about twenty students who study at franklin marshall.  they did not hear about that from some television show, i imagine
lee-bum-suk
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Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Are these franklin marshall students middle school aged? No, you aren't listening.

 I'm not talking about university students or people of adult age. I'm talking about elem-middle schoolers who spit out Harvard on demand becuase they don't know of any other foreign school.  

pieceofmeat
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Joined: 04/08/2009 - 10:25
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
Korean students are USELESS at geography.  The vast majority of my students can't even name the capital of China.  People love to beat up Americans about being geography morons (and a lot are), but Koreans, with their supposed rigorous education cannot rank very high in this regard.
Dogarse
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Joined: 04/15/2010 - 23:53
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Lets be clear here though, this is a country where education is prized above all else students take a 4 year university degree to be a hair dresser, flight attendant or black jack dealer.  Both POM and LBS teach at two year colleges for students that couldn't meet the rigorous *cough* entry requirements for a real university.  So I have no doubt that when these two talk about their students limited knowledge of the world around them that they are telling the truth, but their students are far from representative of the majority of Koreans.

It would be akin to saying all Americans are stupid because kids at an inner city technical college can't find Newark on a map of the United States.

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Actually dog those you mentioned are two year programs, all of them.

Now if that inner city kid lived an hour away from Newark and couldn't find it on a map he would be the equivalent of a Korean college student in Masan. Another thing, Belgium is half the size of Korea, do you think Flemish kids can't locate a town an hour away?  America is big place, I wouldn;t expect even a proud Canadian to know exactly where the capital of Nanavut is.

Korean education is prized in Korea but leave it at that. Most of their universities are not even accredited and the degrees they hold are no different than the roll I hold to take to the crapper in the morning.  Everyone who works in colleges and universities knows how much of a joke it is. It's a place to play before you get a real job and during that time you make contacts and if lucky find a mate. A degree mill, plain and simply.

woodsman
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Joined: 06/24/2010 - 10:07
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Here is a list of accredited universities and colleges in Korea. See how wrong you are again?

(insults removed]

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Since the last one didn't get through moderation I 'll be mild.

I don't think i'd call a google search bond. What I do find funny is the ad that is attached to the search; DATE SEXY KOREAN WOMEN. (this is no lie, check out the link he posted)

There are thing called accreditation agencies, people should use them. some of the schools on that google list aren't even in operation anymore in addition if you think most theological universities are accredited then seek help.  

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laniakea
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Joined: 06/14/2010 - 10:04
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

If those who apply for any college in Tri-States (NY-NJ-CT or PA), the WES (World Education Services) in Manhattan is the one I use to send college kids through to the US universities. I do not give dam credit on any online evaluators, which I can make one at anytime.

And the comparison with Newark is quite too dark to do that with Korean kids. I think they are very unique on the earth in terms of their social and historical status. Most of their parents live in dream about their kids' future. So be it. Let them surf on our edu markets.

For teachers, long term would be bet. one to five years. They rotate and shift all the time. Those who work at hakwons are doing whatever their boss ask; that is a dilemma.

Just to reiterate, those hakwons who want their teachers coach their kids to go to schools in the US, must provide lessons in the US standardized tests (ssat, sat, or equivalent tests of the schools in mid/west coast, and TOEFL) instead of providing teps or toeic, et cetera.

I know, tacitly or not, teachers should be aware of what they are not only technically but also morally qualified to provide their services to their class members, once they are organized. Feel sorry that I do not see many, and that's a shame.

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

I'm sorry Helen [mod edit] I'm having a hard time understanding some of your posts especially the last one. 'too dark to deal with korean students''? ....unique on the earth....?  historical status? What?  western people have none? Please......Are you defending Korean students that live in Masan and don't know where Junju (one hour a way) is? 

The only thing unique about Korea is that it's filled with Korean students that are pretty much clueless about Korea. Come on Helen most of these students, university level couldn't place Seoul correctly on a map, about half had no idea that Mt. Halla was on Jeju, I could go on but i'm tired and it's time for bed. This stuff is taught in grade 3.

 

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laniakea
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Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

That's OK, bum-suk. I am not attacking Koreans neither anyone. I see you are trying to map your friends up in your ideal research. There needs no MAPPING here! It's a tiny small land, the KOREA. I know Masan which is my mother's birth place; Jinju my dad's. All my cousins and their kids are not interested in their neighbor townships but in larger places overseas for their own sake. How can you compare them with those who challenge everyday in their wide open country in the US? The city of Newark had got bankrupt during the last few years. Those kids at community colleges work in a society most of their daily hours and go to school for their betterment. My daughter goes to one in Montgomery County PA.

With that being said, Korean kids struggle with their own identity first when they speak English as their non language; they do not know what Korea means to them in essence.

I wanna make all short. What your kids express in your class might be absurd and nonsense by acting as they got trained. I can even say I do not know where Jinju locates in the world, if I like everything ends sooner than later in class. It is not about where it is but about what it turns out to be. As Masan became a small district in the city of changwon, Jinju will be closer to Seoul than Busan is via KTX very soon.

Which one, Feudal or Central education system, do you agree with to lead your educational philo? Have a gud nite!

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

Helen, Jinju is Jinju, Hallasan is Hallasan, Duk-do is Duk-do...there was no English involved in any of the lesson. These university students simply didn't know where there places were on a map of Korea.

Wide open country? that's exactly my point. How can people that live in their motherland of small combined; Korea, not know where places are especially when kids here are taught how wonderful korea is from age 4.  

You remeind me of my first college jobs boss. He allways defended students about how they studied so hard for the enterence exam and to be easy on them. i find it amazing becuase if they went ot that school they obviously didn't studeny hard enough.

Stop making excuses for Korean students Helen. Have a nice day though.

Dogarse
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Joined: 04/15/2010 - 23:53
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

As I said LBS, you know you teach the worst of the worst... why do you continually conflating your students with "Korean students".

As for your "actually..." earlier, actually I have taught at 4 year universities that offer majors for students who want to enter into all of the fields I mentioned.

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

No, I think they are two year programs only. Please provide the link to the university which offers those as 4 year programs. I would really like to know how any of these could be stretched to 4 years.

I'll eat my crow if I'm wrong. I'm just interested to see which schools could get away with robbery for not 2 but 4 years.

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laniakea
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Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

As all aware of, Korean educational reform had been announced by the beginning of 1990s to release any private 2 yr adult institutions to get upgraded to be a 4 yr college. Those old 2 yr organizations modified their business title or mostly updated their majors of colleges into technical skills on top of general studies.

YoungSan univ in yangsan is a sample college. It used to be Sungshim women's institution of Catholics in 70s for hair stylists, hoteliers, etc. In 1992 they switched into 4 yr system by adding up Int'l Studies, Media Arts and Administration, and law schools. I recently welcomed a visiting prof from that college into my college in the US. She got along with my college instructors as well skilled sewers all both parties. They indeed were not necessarily in need of communication but in mutual understanding of material shares!

National or Provincial colleges are not exception either. Pukyong univ had got to get merged bet. Fishermen's institution and Pusan engineering school in 1996. The later one was in a 2 yr edu system. So was KMU somewhat similar. Both of them now train their students to become "sage" professional technicians or "well listening" skilled engineers. When they had graduated their 4 yr studies, they'd got to learn over again to adapt their new environment in other languages in case of their labor exportation.

Korea is full of those college graduates, who seek for a job. They do not want to touch any dirt on their hands while working. The gov have no power to suggest anything for their future. That is how they opened up their edu markets to US in order to get their kids trained to got exported to be on a workforce overseas.

Bumsuk, you say you only see Koreans in your Korean place. They look so Korean; how did you see their passport?

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.

''Bumsuk, you say you only see Koreans in your Korean place. They look so Korean; how did you see their passport-''

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. How could they be anything else but Korean- if they are something else then they are the most bi-lingual illiterates(can't read or write in two different languages) on the planet.

pieceofmeat
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Joined: 04/08/2009 - 10:25
Re: Is this a bad situation or not??? please help.
Dogarse, I taught for 2 years at a "real" university here in Busan and the students were just as useless at geography.  Geography.  That is all.  It's not properly taught here.  I'm sure of it.

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