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A note of caution

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Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 11
Location: Asia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:51 pm    Post subject: A note of caution Reply with quote

Despite my best intentions, some people feel that this thread was an ad.
Fire away.

Last edited by ruth1966 on Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:13 am; edited 2 times in total
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Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:12 pm    Post subject: Why do you have a recruiter tagline on your message? Reply with quote

This looks like a "plant." Why do you have a recruiter's tagline on your message?????

Assuming it's a legit discussion topic, I think there are several reasons there are so many complaints about Korea. First, the Koreans have a restrictive visa system that creates a host of problems. Most problematical, it turns teachers into virtual criminals if they are caught working without a proper visa. Frequently this is not the fault of the western teacher. Oftentimes the schools drag their feet on getting visas, leaving the hapless teacher subject to huge fines and deportation if caught.

Both my first and second jobs had me teaching before the visa was issued. It was so bad in the 2nd job - I'd been there 7 weeks and still no visa - that I finally said: You Take Me To Get The Visa TOMORROW Or I Will Refuse to Go To Work Until You Do. Now Korea has a culture that focuses on "getting along with others," but so often they force us to be bossy and abrasive just to get them to obey their own damn laws. Why should a teacher be forced to do this?

Second, Koreans tend to judge teachers first based on looks. They want 'em young, white, blond if possible, and physically attractive. Make superficial judgments like this and what do you get? Certainly not experienced teachers, eh?

Third, Korea's hogwon (private institute) industry is riddled with incompetents and crooks. And the (again, hapless) foreigner has no place to turn but message boards to bitch about poor treatment. True, a fair number of gullible (usually green) hogwon owners get taken for a ride by some pretty dodgy foreigners, but this is an inevitable byproduct of a system in which teachers are hired based less on competence (see "second", above) than on looks and other factors unrelated to teaching ability/experience ("We Hire Only Canadians " Or "We Hire Only Americans." Why not just hire good teachers - young/ old / people of color / people from lesser known English speaking countries, etc.?)

I could go on, but to me these are the top problems.

Korea could clean up its act, but I doubt it will happen. A lot of the complaints foreign teachers make are legitimate, although it's true that many of the foreign teachers are no prizes themselves. But when the Koreans hire on looks/age and other factors unrelated to teaching competence, what else could you expect?

I've spent more than 3 years in Korea - mostly good kids to teach but the jobs themselve (i.e., the people - meaning Koreans - I have to deal with) have left quite a bit to be desired. Luckily I enjoy teaching, consider myself a professional, and really love the kids. But sometimes things happen that leave me wanting to run screaming from the country. And in my opinion that's why the Korean job message boards will always be littered with primal screamers - there's a lot to drive you crazy here.
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Joined: 01 Sep 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:57 pm    Post subject: Shady managers in Korea..!! Reply with quote

I agree with the above comment...I spent 4 years in Seoul, and was happy with ONE school only...I worked at 3 different schools. The hagwon owners can be shady, and try to trick you by calculating your salary "their" way...and when you question them to find out what's going on, they IGNORE you, or make up ridiculous excuses, to get off topic?! Crying or Very sad You ask them more legit questions, they say, " sorry I dont speak English..."!?!?!?! Twisted Evil

I have never seen such unethical and unmerciful people in my life....You can SAVE money there, but it's not worth stressing and getting sick !!!
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