My coworker got the vibe that they weren't going to keep her, and since her contract ends in early October she became anxious to know the verdict.
Today they told her they would not renew her contract. The first reason she was told was because the Principal wants a male teacher. She seemed a bit upset at first but then buckled down and probably realized this school isn't the best anyways. She has a new boyfriend in Suwon and so now has the opportunity to live closer to him.
But we both recognized the changed feeling in the office and this decision of theirs validated our suspicions.
Yet then came the walk home after work where I learned there were deeper reasons to her non-renewal. She talked with Mrs. W (the middle coteacher.... not the oldest or the youngest) and what she was told doesn't really make sense. She was told that part of the reason they weren't renewing her was because how at the beginning (back in February) the office was uncomfortable and the environment not pleasant. What is strange is that the office wasn't like that because of my coworker it was because of me.
If you have been reading long enough you would know that I struggled with crap at the beginning of this job (in December) and then again when we got the new coteachers in February. Since the last great incident somewhere around March nothing bad has gone down. I became less sensitive to the things that bothered me and even found myself caring about Mrs. K (the older coteacher who I teach the most with). In my opinion, I felt like I was showing how I had changed and cared about the "group." That is why it comes as a surprise to hear they still hold this in their minds. But also more strange is that they attribute it to my coworker. Who actually has always been talkative and quite more friendly than me. Something tells me the Principal truly wants a male teacher and that also the coteachers just don't want us either.
The question is will they let me renew? From this evidence I believe their answer will be no. Renewing would mean that I can get extra vacation and not move or go through the hassle of finding a new job. For the most part I would only want to stay at this job because I love the house. However, I can feel myself saying that is a bad reason to stay at a school. To be honest I would rather work somewhere with a dedicated English department that has an English classroom. And I think I need to go back to just having one coteacher.
As I walked home today and around town I realized that I need to personally make my own decision on this job, whether they renew me or not. I came to the affirmation that I personally will not renew with this school. I will plan my mind and life on the reality that come December I need to move out and make my next move.
There are actually some positive things to this prospective future. Here they are:
- Finishing the contract rewards me with a free flight home.
- I could use the flight home to go home. ;)
- I would go home (California) and stay from December - January. Resting and being with family.
- I would come back to Korea at the end of January and either live in Goshiwon or stay at a friends. Meanwhile looking for a new job.
- While I am in America resting, JH could come out and visit me. So it would make things very flexible.
All in all, inside I am fuming from all this secretive nonsense going on underneath the surface. Sure it doesn't surprise me that they don't tell us anything. But I end up feeling like a cheap thing. Yea I know I pissed them off several months ago but I have done my darnedest to accept the cultural differences and even let many things slip away.
So right now I am dealing with that anger, and I know I can't show it at work. I want to leave on good neutral terms so that the next school will accept me. It feels like a really hard thing to bury your inner nature, but that is what I am doing.
Yes I want to confront them and talk to them about my job position and future. Yet I fear they will dig up the past and I don't want to go there.
My final thoughts are that I still can't believe how I (the foreigner) try my best to understand and accept Korean culture. But that my Korean colleagues show little to no effort in accepting or understanding my culture or who I am. And instead use the differences as punishments towards my character and person. My coworker shares the same sentiments.
There is some faith in me, however, that there is a right place for me here in Korea. From now on that is what I am going to look for.