Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Coat and Scarf

Winter has introduced itself today by having the temperature drop down to 34F as I walked to work. That required me to take out my old winter coat and wrap a scarf around my neck. It takes me 30 minutes to walk to work and so I guess I enjoyed the chilly stroll.

From checking the weather report it looks like this cold snap will last till about Friday when things will slightly warm up again. Of course, though 34F is not as cold as 13F which is how it is in February.

Already I have gotten news about my attempt to work for the Gangnam Public Schools.
I regret to inform you that we will not continuing on to the final interview stage. We received a large number of highly qualified applicants and unfortunately you did not pass the final screening process. I wish you luck with your job search.
That final screening process is the "checking your references" section. My references were my current coteacher (male) and my ex-coteacher from the Sanbon school. I wondered who said what and how it affected me. After inquiring with my current coteacher, saying, "Oh the Gangnam schools decided not to interview me," he looked pretty shocked and sympathetic. Meaning it probably wasn't what he said. On Sunday I mustered up the courage and called my ex-coteacher from my previous school. I didn't reveal to her that they decided not to interview me, and instead fished around to see what her feelings were. I tried to tell her that if it is a burden to her I won't give out her number. Also I noted that usually I don't have to give two references but places like Gangnam and Universities request it, stating further that later on I probably don't need to give out her number when looking for a normal public school. All the while, she seemed okay with everything. However, her tone sounded kind of hesitant when she talked about the Gangnam recruiter. I know we didn't have a good past together but since moving on I have emailed her thanking her and telling her that I missed her.

Whether or not my ex-coteacher can't help but be honest on the phone is still a slight mystery. I came to the conclusion that Gangnam indeed had a lot of "qualified" applicants and whatever my coteachers said on the phone didn't bring me up to their status. I am ok with not getting offered a position, as the housing situation was going to be difficult, but it left me hoping my references won't get me in to trouble.

For now all that is left is a University I applied for, which is in Seoul. They will call around November 8th if they want to interview me. The interview will consist of giving a three minute demo based upon their materials. Already I am brainstorming a demo, even though I am unsure whether I will even be called for to interview.

My current job, which will end in about 38 days, is trucking along. Yesterday we had our open class with the fourth graders and it went well. It had to since my coteacher prepared them so much. People were impressed and pleased. I am just happy to get that duty over with. As for my plan to perk up and try to make "amends" with certain people in this office that has started to die off. I realized I can't make them feel anything no matter what I do, but at least not tip things in the wrong direction. I noticed that I was feeling unbearably insecure due to the new foreign guy at the office. He was getting the "new person" treatment and I couldn't help but reflect on all the crap I received. For some odd reason I feel myself getting over this today. Maybe everyone has finally cooled off.

I am trying really hard to just not care about the nuances at work,which is difficult when working in a tiny office with 4 other people. To do this I am focusing on my future, consisting of a holiday vacation with my family and boyfriend back in America and my future job.

All right folks! Take your Vitamin C and dig out those gloves...winter is here.


  1. Good luck with the search and hope you get the call from the Uni position. Hopefully I'll get an ok position when I get back to SoKo next May. Hope to see you and meet up again as well^^

  2. I know you probably don't want to move into the hagwon world, but I can recommend two schools that will be hiring in feb and march. if you're interested, shoot me a message. They're hagwons, but I've never not been paid, managers are fairly organized and i've had overall pretty good experiences with both. And they're both in Seoul, if that's where you want to be.

  3. This is starting to again sound all too about "everything" other than your teaching skills, performance & results at your prior jobs! Are you sure you're using the best & wisest choice of references?
    Please try not to go "there" re: the inter-personal & personal psychological stuff - rather keep this job search focused on the professionalism of how you're successful in reaching your students and providing them w/an excellent learning experience! Who can attest to that for you? That's the reference you want!

  4. Thanks Mom. Great reminder. However I can't help but feel how relationships over power one's actual skills. If I were to evaluate my performance at this job as far as the successes I made at teaching it would be superb. I put a lot of effort into lesson planning, and improved my cadence in the classroom.

    I reached the students well, too. Especially the 6th graders, which can be difficult. I made them laugh and even sing a long to the cheezy songs from the book.

    The thing is that I know these triumphs but my coteachers hardly speak about them.

    Yet at the open class they were pleased.

    I just hope they do base their final thoughts on my performance with the kids and leave the personal interactions...to being personal.

    Your thoughts will help go in there and focus on the most important aspect of this job.

  5. I appreciate your response Joy!

    Now, if you haven't already...Design a resume for yourself that is focused and hilights these positive aspects of your abilities, performance and results with your students at each teaching job you've had in Korea so far.
    If something successful was "co-designed" or "co-taught" state so, which indicates that you "work well with others"!!
    Being a "Team player" is important ...but don't get trapped bringing "all that" into this job search due to your own insecurities or shortcomings regarding relationships.

    Yes....relationships can over power skills, only if we allow it to happen! Acknowledge to YOURSELF, and maybe not even on this blog(?) that you've come a long way & recognize what work still needs to be done in this area....but hit the job market w/your abilities and love for your craft (teaching)!! An employer needs to see this "spark" of enthusiasm emanate from you...it will set you off from the usual job seeker & other teachers, as an "educator" proud of her craft!

    Now if your employer doesn't use a rubric to assess or "grade" your performance... you might consider designing one yourself, or finding some online to emulate & provide it to your supervisor or appropriate superior to rate your performance, add a apace on the form for comments as well.

  6. Good luck with your job search. Stay positive and apply for as many jobs as you can. Better to have too many options than none.

  7. Thank you Aaron and Mom.
    Live and learn....and keep living.

  8. yes Mom! >> see current post.

    I have done a lot of that. Would like to move on to a new challenge.

  9. I wish you the best in your job search efforts. While you are conducting your search, please keep me in mind for your scarf knitwear needs. I would love for you to become a customer. Also, in your meditation time, claim your job & know that it is there for you. Much success to you! hopejoyfun.com


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