Heat, Private Schools, and Controversy In the Classroom.
Well readers, I'll tell you one thing.
Yes it is. It's just as hot and humid here in the beach towns of Busan as it is back in the South. The moment you walk outside you can feel the oppressive wet heat soaking through your skin.
You know, I actually wouldn't mind it that much since I come from a similar climate. But....
MY AC IS BROKEN!
Well... not broken exactly. It still blows cold air just fine. However, it leaks like crazy. I have no idea what's wrong with the thing, and I'm not too keen on going to my school for assistance on the matter. I've learned via observation that asking them for help on any issue concerning the apartment is just not a good idea. (Barely restrains herself from going into details.)
Anyway, my apartment is sticky and uncomfortable at times, which makes for the occasional semi-cranky attitude.
Well, there's quite a lot to talk about today. This week has been full of revelations and plan making. Things have really been changing lately. None of those changes are bad, they're all either good changes, neutral changes, or just expected changes that can't be controlled.
I thought that I'd start off with yapping about a topic that's come up, especially lately, a lot in conversation with foreign teachers.
Private schools for kids: Are They Establishments of Satan?
We've all pretty much drawn the same conclusion about it. No one can be sure exactly, but the answer has come to be - It wouldn't surprise me.
There are so many complaints about the mistreatment teachers (foreign and Korean) receive at the hands of private institutions (especially the ones catering to children). Unfortunately I didn't hear the warnings until after I'd already signed on for a position with one of these places. Of course, I naively thought that if my attitude was good then I could face anything. Generally this is true!
I guess my downfall with the 'good attitude' plan was that I'm not used to letting people spit in my face and walk all over me. Back in the States if my work environment would have been even remotely similar to the one I first experienced coming here, I would have bailed out ASAP and possibly even filed a complaint with the labor board.
I'm sure that this isn't EVERY case, and I do know that there are teachers that are very happy at their private school. Unfortunately I hear negative feedback from the majority.
You know though, I do have a bit of an issue.
It's unfortunate for the rest of us who have LEGITIMATE problems and complaints that we're stereotyped as UNGRATEFUL because of other people who are just LAZY.
I'd like to say at this point that if you are a person complaining about having 40 hour work weeks, you need to shut your whiney yap. 40 hours a week is standard full-time. Get over it.
Would I love to have a 30 hour a week job that had all the perks of my 40 hour a week job AND better pay? Who wouldn't exactly?
But those jobs are few and far between, and certainly aren't the standard. No one should EXPECT to find a job like that. If you have one, consider yourself darn lucky.
What you SHOULD expect though is decent pay, a good working environment, supportive directors/supervisors/head teachers, and a work load/stress level that DOESN'T try to crush you every day.
Another thing I'd like to point out is that no one feels any sympathy for the people that choose to marinate in alcohol the majority of their free-time and then complain about having 'too many hours' or about their job being 'too tiring'.
At least for 40 hours a week you aren't destroying your liver.
I have no problem with people drinking alcohol and weekend shenanigans are totally cool (and expected). You don't have class, you don't have work obligations, do what you want. However, during the week it's your responsibility to make sure that you'll be fresh for class the next day. If you have a hangover on WEDNESDAY don't be offended when no one seems interested in your problems.
What I'm trying to say here is that there are plenty of people out there with legitimate problems with their working environment, but those issues are sometimes overshadowed by the brigade of ridiculous complaints from people who thought they were going to be working 20 hours a week for 2.1 mil a month.
Korea is not a desperate nation, and the number of QUALIFIED teachers has gone up over the years. Just like anywhere else you're going to have to work for the good jobs. Experience and credentials (or just plain luck<--- definitely don't depend on that) are going to get you the farthest. That means that you're going to have to put in your time at the bottom of the totem pole.
I'm not saying you should ACCEPT bad situations. No way. If you're being mistreated, threatened, swindled, taken advantage of, or lied to then you need to start sounding some alarms. But if your main complaint is that you're at work for the standard 8 hours a day then maybe it's time for you to take a weekend trip to the little town of "GROW UP".
If you want a better job with less hours then keep looking. Keep applying. Keep searching. You might find one, and that's great! But don't expect, or feel like you deserve one right away.
Aaaand.. On to the next topic.
ENGLISH CLASS: NOT YOUR SOAP BOX.
I'm not going to go into too much detail about this situation that I've come across on a forum. I just wanted to express my opinion about it.
Apparently there was a teacher who had some problems with other instructors at his Christian school. They were rather liberal and were advising the children/teens that they should be who they are. I would have no problem with this, because that's an awesome thing to advise children and teens.
However, the guidance continued on to introduce sexual freedom. The instructors were telling the kids that they are in control of their own bodies and can make their own choices in regards to their sex life/sexual relationships and what not.
This is where things crossed the line. Children should not be so openly exposed to the idea of 'sexual' freedom. THEY'RE CHILDREN. Even the teenagers have too much to be confused about without foreigners teaching them that sexual freedom is totally cool when their society says "NO WAY!". Besides, it is NOT the place of the teacher to instill those sort of personal moral values/beliefs into the students.
If I were the parent of one of those students I would be absolutely outraged.
As teachers it is our job to encourage the students and guide them into a brighter educational future. We are not their parents, older siblings, or their priests. It is not our place to discuss personal issues such as sexuality with them. Aside from sex education (which is highly technical and based the majority on fact and statistics and NOT personal feelings or opinions) topics of sex and sexuality should not be brought up by the teacher to students.
A teacher can live their life the way they want. Their life style is their choice, but it is not appropriate for them to encourage others to live the same way that they do, ESPECIALLY when their life choices are controversial. This is the very reason why religion can't be taught in public schools.
A teacher discouraging discrimination is a different story. Teaching children to be tolerant of people is one thing, but encouraging them to 'sew their wild oats' as much as they want is downright revolting.
I think that those teachers should be dismissed. Mostly my feelings about that are based on the emotional health of the children who don't need to be thinking about such complicated emotional issues anymore than necessary or BEFORE it's necessary. The rest of that opinion is based on the fact that it was apparently a Christian institution. A parent sending their children to a Christian school are going to be expecting a certain kind of environment and a director/manager/administrator should know better about how the parents will probably react when their kids come home with conversation topics on starting a sexual revolution in their country.
I have some other things to write about, but I'll separate the posts for the sake of keeping things organized.
By the way...
Highly serious topics finished for the day. No worries.
Until next post,