Friday, September 19, 2008

Been Given the Boot

I have to say I honestly didn't expect that it would have come to this.

In essence I have been fired.

Here is what happened:
I was brought in again to talk with my supervisors. The main discussion was my request to terminate early from the job at the end of January. Their issue was that they could not find a good teacher for the company at that time, due to many reasons...such as no teacher wants to work in their location..etc. They said that for them it gives the school a really bad situation at that time.

So they are going to start looking for a new teacher starting next month.

Also came upon this were that I received yet again more parent complaints. These complaints are: I did not make copies of the pages for students who did not have the book and things like that.

Supervisor: "I am disappointed and depressed."

Instead of having a fit and crying this time, I went about this conversation sanely. I kept my head up and tried to listen to their side. While at the same time I resigned within myself and realized that things are just not working, no matter what I try.

This is because I did try to improve myself, my attitude and my work habits. But I made (in my opinion) tiny mistakes, that however have a big affect on the school due to the nature of the business. During our discussion I did tell them that I have seen my own achievements at the school, however they moved past it and pointed out all the wrong.

In conclusion:
Your little foreigner here may become repatriated back in America. I am not saying I am giving up and going back to the states. I have a passion here, one to be with BK and two find my purpose here. And of course to do a job well done.

I have come to the understanding that me and this school do not mix. I am really hurt that although I feel I work hard I am criticized for so many things.

I am sorry for all of those out there that are eager to come here and rely on the stories of us expat bloggers. I don't mean to paint an ugly picture of the people or the jobs here. This is my experience and could be similar to many others out here. I made the choice to work at this private school. Now I must face my next choices.

What could be next?
There are of course many options now. But realize my conditions... I will be given 30 day notice when they find someone. That means I could be on the street (I would stay at BK's) in Nov, Dec or Jan. So that leaves me with less time now to find a proper job. Either way here is the outlook:
  • Move to another Hagwon... can choose specific area of Seoul due to that there are a plethora of them. (negative = another hagwon)
  • Find a public school that is hiring...preferably in Seoul
  • Figure out how and get a visa extension that would last till Feb ... so to have more time and get what I wanted in the first place: public school job near BK...or just nice place.
  • Last resort: buy a plane ticket home. I would in the meantime reapply for a public school job and fly back in January...start in February.
Although all of them present themselves as viable possibilities, they all mean change and uncertainty.

Except for the last one... it isn't hard to go home and find a job from there, get the paperwork, and get flown out.

Of course I don't know exactly what I will do. All of the choices are dependent on getting my documents in order, which takes some time.

I know though that I feel this is now what I have to do, that I will face the possibility of anything.

My only hope is that BK and I don't lose each other in this mess. He is busy with applying for jobs which requires his full attention. I don't blame him for having to be distracted with his own future plans. I will find a way to survive and I know he is there for me in certain ways.

I must keep positive.

I must see this an opportunity for the better.

I hope I haven't failed any of you~

~I think I need to sleep.


  1. aww joy...that sucks butt. I'm sorry you have to go through that.

    take care of yourself, and don't be too hard on yourself, OK?

    be well.


  2. Good luck--I'm sure something will work out, it's just difficult in the moment.

  3. I will keep my chin up ....Thanks!

    If anyone knows of how to change to a tourist visa that would be splendid!

  4. I don't know whether you have a teaching degree, but in the states, it took me two years to get one. For about a semester, I trained to be a "Teacher" by taking over an entire class, learning classroom management, lesson planning, preparing progress report etc, & most importantly dealing with parents, which was the most difficult aspect of teaching. Since you are teaching at a "for profit" hagwon, you need to be ever more diligent in dealing with parent complaints & ownership, especially as a non-certified teacher, or MA in ED. But, then again, I heard the hagwons are dime a dozen in Korea. So, you can always find a better, more suitable place to teach. I always believe everything happens for a reason, and this termination on your part might lead you to a better hagwon or more suitable employment. Good luck.

  5. Thank you Anonymous!

    One of the points is that most teachers are put in here with no education in how to be a teacher and etc.

    But we chose to do it anyways!

    I too see it as a gateway to a new possibility. Especially if I take the time to look for the suitable place. Thanks for the positiveness!~

  6. From your account of what's been going on, I suspect rather than parent complaints over small matters, it's probably other things (office politics.) That being the case, I wouldn't take it too hard. Hagwons are notoriously difficult working situations, and it sounds like yours has been especially rough. Go find another job, and ditch this situation. Good luck!

  7. Ah yes to be honest I feel somewhat mind boggled over exactly what is going on at my workplace. Sometimes I sense I am a target. But I try not to wrap my head around this and get on with it.

    Yep I am going to take the ticket and get the heck outta there. I am finding a way to get a tourist visa after my E2 is revoked.

  8. Oh my. I feel for you immensely. You have been in this situation for too long, and I hope it will make you just more diligent in finding a better place that appreciates you.

    If you ever need someone to talk to, call me.

  9. Since you're in town, you should contact SMOE and see if you can still get in a public school. I met a girl yesterday who just started a week ago.

    I think the phone number is on the Korean site...

  10. You haven't mentioned anything in this post about looking for a job other than teaching as we discussed earlier ??

    I still don't understand why you gave them notice before you had something else lined up? Quite often when an employee does that, they're told to pack up & leave ASAP!

    So be it.

    I just don't want for you to be overly stressed and get ill again!

    Another similar situation at a Hogwan could be "like stepping out of the fry pan & into the fire"!" Think this through carefully please!

  11. Yes yes mum... I am thinking it through.. probably won't chose another hogwan...but public school.

    And yes I will contact SMOE.. ;) thanks~

  12. Hi! Sorry to hear about what's going on with your job. try not to worry, I'm sure you can find another job that will put you in a better situation. I hope you make it clear to your current employers that you're willing to stay until they find a new teacher provided they give you a LOR (letter of release) and cancel your current visa. To switch to a tourist visa all you have to do is hand in your ARC as you leave the country - hop over to Japan or China or whatever - and then you can re-enter Korea and will be granted a 30 day tourist visa. If you want an extension on that you just go to immigration and pay a 30,000 won fee and have the tourist visa extended up to 90 days. You can find a LOR form here:

  13. Joy:
    While I suppose in hindsight one could see it building to this, I was surprised to read this post! (Heck, I read you every day!) However, I will reiterate what others have said, you can definitely get work in Seoul or nearby, whether with SMOE, ETIS, EPIK or a reputable hagwon.

    You are lucky (?) in the sense you have BK and a network to help you through this situation.

    As the Brits say, Keep a stiff upper lip! I've got my fingers crossed for you!

  14. Hello~

    I know I too am suprised at all this. But now just grasping it as part of the adventure.

    Note that this little hiccup won't stop my plans here...just will have to restart it at some other school.



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