Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Window found in Office

So I am writing you from my office at my public school, which has a nice big window. It looks out onto the play yard. It kind of makes the room cold, but it is a window and I am greatful for it.

Today there were only 4 classes so the rest of the day I am going to absorb the material and write a few lesson plans for the Advanced class. But my energy is dwindling because my sickness is kind of not going away. I think it is making its way to my lungs. After work I am going to go to the hospital and try to get medical attention.

I asked my coteacher about the windowless home and the response I got was kind of not promising. She said that there were 3 choices and out of the 3 this was the best one. I told her I want to change it but she said they have no money now. I think she didn't understand that I would be willing to move in 1 or 2 months and give them time. Also I would pay for any fees. So my recruiter will get on to it today or tomorrow. Whether I will get a house change is unknown right now. The only real issue I have with no window, is that in the morning it is hard to wake up to a dark room.

But since it is winter, I feel like it is my winter cave.

Really though if worse comes to worse, I don't want the windowless-ness to bring me down all the time. I know it isn't ideal place to live, but there are other aspects of life I want to think about.

Anyways, teaching at a public school has a HUGE amount of differences compared with a hagwon. Here they are briefly:
  • You teach the same material over and over.
  • The book is super easy and doesn't require huge amounts of planning.
  • Children are more behaved (elementary school)
  • I get a free Korean lunch. Not the best but it is free.
  • My own office.
  • Not stuck in a small office with a lot of teachers being all chatty.
  • Students bow and say hello to you when you walk through the hallway.
Yep, that is what I am gathering so far. Of course I want to wright a more consice blog about this experience and the differences but I need to work.



  1. Are you SURE lunch is free? It was always taken out of my paycheck at the end of the month--and my friends', too.

    However, unless you absolutely MUST bring your own food, you should eat with your coworkers.

  2. Dear Teacher:
    Please watch your spelling:
    "wrigtht" is not a word in the English language!
    Missed you for a few days.

    Hope you feel better Joy!
    Try to take it easy in between required activities, like work, etc...

    I've heard reports that the "fish" treatment is unsanitary, any word on that? Did you sanitize your feet before & after??

    Charlie & I were at Puja's Fri - late last nite!
    Will tell u more about my adventure.
    As u know today is election day.
    Want to make it down to Obama hdqtrs soon to help in anyway that I can.
    Hmmmmmmmm..... Yikes!!
    So far what you've showed us re: your new home IS RATHER BLEAK!
    Windowless is just NOT NICE & I feel your pain. VERY MUCH!
    Maybe....go find a place that you really like & tell them that's the one you want them to obtain for you!
    That's probably what I'd do.
    But then again u know me!

  3. Hi,
    So far I can only be as aggressive with this as much as possible. I don't want to form a bad relationship with my coteacher. She is the one responsible for helping with the housing. So my recruiter is helping talk to her and get a deal going.

    It isn't the best home but it serves its purpose. I really just hope they see I would like a different home and that they don't take offense.

    I will try to be positive.

  4. Well....maybe it would be helpful if you did the footwork for them & found one that you like.
    And give the info to the recruiter to pass on to them.

    So what does the rest of the "windowless" wonder look like?

    Feeling any better? Did u get to see the Dr. today?

  5. Not speaking for Joy, but if the school's put down key money, it could be hard for them to get another place since they don't get the key money back until the first place is rented out. She would have to find a new place AND someone to take over the windowless room. That's IF they paid key money.

  6. I'll pay them back the key money!!! they can take it out of my paycheck in chunks~

    Please god give me a window.

  7. How much was their key money? Mine was 10,000,000 won with 600,000 a month rent. That would've been giving them about 40% of my paycheck. Is a window worth a 40% pay cut?

  8. BTW, I'm not saying that you don't deserve a window, or that they won't find you a new place, just that key money in Korea isn't exactly like a deposit in the US, that's all.

  9. I agree with 아만다 - key money for an apartment can end up being a good chunk of money.

    Reading your list of differences at the public school was kind of surprising and definitely helps me appreciate my current situation.

    At my hagwon I teach the same material over and over, the book is pretty easy and doesn't require any extra planning (the academy director has told us that lesson plans are unnecessary and that we only need to show up 20 minutes before our first class), our dinner is free and we order out from a restaurant each night, and while I share an office with five other teachers they generally aren't all that chatty. And I either work 6 hours or 4 hours a day. I guess that's a fair trade for what I don't get. *^^*

    (For what's it worth, a co-worker left to teach at an all-boy's middle school and she says it's absolute hell. I hope your students stay well-behaved after the first week is over!)

    How is your co-teacher? I've heard that can make a tremendous impact on one's experience working at a public school ...

  10. I don't know what the key money is. And yes I would be willing to take a pay cut (reasonable) to have a window.

    My recruiter has been trying to contact my coteacher but she hasn't been answering her phone. Since I am around the gal a lot of the time, I know when she is available.

    Another choice is to take living allowance and pay key money myself somewhere else, but I think I would end up in the same lot.

    I think the kids are good and decent, but still kids. The coteacher is really creative and nice, but I am still fuzzy on her personality and relationship towards me.

    ~glad to hear there is a decent hagwon out there~

  11. Re your key money - Key money is a large chunk, but considering your situation it probably wasn't that high. Probably 5-10 million won. However, the money is returned in full, whether or not you spend a year there - the key funding issue is that if you withdraw from the contract early, you have to pay a certain percentage of it as compensation for the lost interest money for the owner. That said, altogether you're probably not looking at more than a few hundred thousand won, and a few thousand at the uppermost limits, including any realtor fees.
    You're still being more than fair to them by paying the associated costs. A windowless room is ridiculous, and they should have known better.

  12. Thanks for breaking down the costs. Whatever it will be I just hope it is worth it and they get me a new place.

    Also I have to remind ya that they are still going to take out the deposit from my paycheck as stated in the contract. Now I can imagine that this will happen again at the new place.. so here to is a pay cut because I think it would happen twice. hmm


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