I know it’s been awhile, a long, long while, but I had to make some changes.
For most of June and July, I was unhappy. Really unhappy. Not sleeping and eating unhappy. I hated my job. I missed people. I felt stagnate and bored.
I am now in the States, happy as a clam. Yay!
And now that I am not in Korea working for my hagwon, I can tell y’all some inside info for working as an ESL teacher in Korea.
Be prepared to have a lot of things lost in translation.
It was extremely frustrating to communicate when most of my superiors speak only a fair amount of English. Here’s a good example: My electric bill was taped on my door every month. The first time I saw it, I brought it in. They took it and told me that I didn’t have to bring it in anymore. Then four months later, they told me that I haven’t paid my electric bill and my electricity was almost cut off. This kind of stuff happens all the time to teachers.
I wasn’t allowed to color out of the lines.
There is a methodology you are taught and you HAVE to stick to it if you don’t want to be in trouble. I got in trouble multiple times for being too creative, teaching too well and talking too eloquently.
Don’t get me wrong, the system works well. But it was just too frustrating and disheartening when you get chastised for trying to make things better for a particular class.
I was a little too Wednesday Addams for them.
I don’t think a week went by without someone telling me to smile more. They seemed to want me to be more buddy buddy with the kids than a teacher (but this might be a translation issue).
Hagwons are known for not being nice to unhappy employees.
I was going to quit through the proper channels laid out in the contract but I was told that there are horror stories of people getting shafted for doing so. They are immediately fired, treated horribly and/or screwed out of some element of their contract. I don’t know if the particular branch I worked for did this, but I wasn’t willing to find out. My dad even pointed out that they could lock me out of my apartment and take all of my stuff if they wanted to (the apartment was under their name).
So I just left. I didn’t tell anyone. It’s not something I am proud of but I like my stuff.
Anyhoo, so I think this might conclude the blog. I have more stories to tell but now…I am not sure if I want to delve into them right yet. I’m kinda sick of my Asian travels at the moment. I love Korea and I don’t regret going but I would have regretted staying.
Thanks for reading!!!