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.

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

Helen, you are telling me things that I all ready know and understand.

Pu-kyung university doesn't teach hairdressing, or flight attendants or any of the other majors that were mentioned. Those are 2 year college programs at junior colleges. List me one 4year college that teaches this. They might teach something of the like in the dept. of continuing education but you certainly can not get a degree in hairdressing.  

I think when they got their advancments they lost these programs to other places.


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

That's exactly what your students in your class would say when you talk about the Geo. If you want to know the latest name of those colleges, Naju univ. which is about to be changed to Kokuryeo college holds 항공운항학과 as a combined 2 & 4 yr program. In terms of 2 yr college, Inha tech has a long history, but it has a combined program with Inha Univ. which is 4yr.  When Korean Air had to compete with Asiana, they had to hire 4 yr college grads for their FAs.

All tech schools in Korean Esthetics are not providing independent programs here in Korea. Somehow they have an ez transfer system to their mother university.

Public schools in higher education produce their grads but a humongous number of them return to tech school to seek for a job. They go there because it is cheap! Thanks for reminding me of a lost plastic label plate of my Dooney & Bourke hobo bag.  I ve gotta go to find it now. Bye.

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

Name changes, combined programs, this that, exactly my point Helen. You can't get a 4year college degree in hairdressing or flight attendent. Those are 2year programs with an option in a BA if you continue within an arts program.

Koreans didn't invent this system Helen, we had this certificate program that can lead to a BA 20 years ago. It's a scam to keep people in school longer and have them graduate with nothing but a useless BA in arts.

Anyone in school now should quit immediately and take an apprenticeship in a trade, those are the only jobs that are going to be worth something in the future, all of these white collar paper shuffling jobs are redundant and going the way of the dino.

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

Full of it as usual LBS.  Youngasn University and Tongmyon university both offer 4 year degrees in such subjects and there are probably other that I don't know about.

On the original point about geography would you be kind enough to send me a copy of the quiz you gave your students.  I would love to see how my students compare.

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

No they don't offer 4 year programs in those fields. Show me the links to where it says such, until then it's you who's full of it. I asked you before to provide proof, which you haven't and I;m sorry but your word just isn't good enough.  

As for the map, they draw it themselves on the back of my opening class handout sheet and I in turn draw one on the board. I write the places of interest on the board also but not on the map until later. Pretty silly to photocopy a map wasting hundreds of sheets when they can simply draw one on the back of a suppliment handout.

Let me know how it works out though.



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

I should also mention that in class 2 on the back of my handout sheet i make them put away everything off their desk but the paper and a pencil/eraser and like a test setting I tell them to draw the Korean flag.

When they properly draw the flag correctly I let that student leave. Initially, I think I had 2 out of 22 students that drew it correctly the first time and the whole process took about 20minutes, it should have taken 5. 

Not only are they horrible at geography they can't even draw their own flag correctly.   

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

Well LBS I have personally taught at one of the universities mentioned and I have personally taught all of the majors I mentioned but if my word is not good enough for you then that is your problem not mine.

If it's that important to you perhaps you could ask your wife to make a phone call and verify it.

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

I never said you didn't teach them, you have, so have I but just not year 3 or 4 because it doesn't exist in these programs. According to you these people come out of a school with a BA degree in hairdressing, skin care and my personal favorite; animal grooming?  

Just show me that they have 4 year programs in these and I will let it go.


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

Dearest kiteupusan,

I started reading the posts of all the people that have responded to you. It lead me to one conclusion. Perhaps one day you could get a job out here with so much time on your hands you can spend it writing to posts on Pusan web or venting your spleen at other people just for fun. Then as I began to write I realized why would I spend one of my days off doing this? No! I'm turning into an opinionated pusanweb-webber. 

You what you have is  the power of youth! Unlike us poor souls who are slave too much time. We love our jobs but rather than researching new approaches to our teaching. We linger. Waiting to jump on a newbie and give them advice. 

ON all the advice: Things change all the time. Now the director is thinking lets open 365 days a year. Later he may think if I don't come home and have a vacation my wife will leave me. Also mothers may complain there's too much school! you never know...

Clear advice.  1. this is only few months in and so do the following.

Call the pension board and find out how much they think you're earning (VERY IMPORTANT) and how much you're paying a month and how much the school is, as soon as you get you ID card.  You cannot pay tax/ national med insurance or pension without paying the others (uni's are different). So if you don't have med insurance they won't be paying the others. all 3 or none. (Actually there's 2 types of tax but it taken as one payment according to my Korean mate). The later you leave the bigger the issue will get.

Med insurance you pay half the premiums each and then if you have a problem about 2/3rds are cover. Very important. I've have several injuries, so has my other half. VERY important.

Once you know this information then you can make an informed decision. Go to you boss and explain the problem. Nicely.Don't lose your temper, be patient. If that doesn't work email me direct and i'll put you in touch with someone who can give you specific advice.

Teaching:  As far as you day goes it sounds like you have a long day with many classes and it must feel like you prepare a few classes well and have a job getting yourself ready for all of them. In turn this lack of routine may cause confusion in you class leading to control problems.Perhaps you could make suggestions of which books for which ages. There is no judgment here if you're not willing to put your being into teaching. However, a regular book will help you. Personally, I don't think you should buy them but talk to your boss about it say you'd help him pick.  Can you talk to the previous teacher? 

Class control can cause you stress especially when u first start teaching. You want to give a lot but are too tired to completely think up more than a days teaching. Below are some helpful links.

The first is about teachers. Good and bad. The 2nd has various videos that may help you think of new ideas.

If you have nothing for now. Try a basic lesson plan for yourself  which starts the day in it's basic form and then increases in difficultly for each group.

So you re-use the same material just as the ability gets better the class gets harder.

Teach all the classes 4 basic sentences (get a Korean to translate). Get the kids to memorize and copy once in Korean and once in English everyday and test them at the end of the week. Keep them up on the wall at all times. 

Next think about you topic for the day and grammar points for each group.

Visuals help. Crazy sentences help.

balls i'm out of time...  anyways good luck!!!