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Advice needed re the the whole teaching/contract thing
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Marathe



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Spider Hole

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 4:46 am    Post subject: Advice needed re the the whole teaching/contract thing Reply with quote

Okay.

here's the deal.
I'm at a small hakwon in Eonyang; there's 12 teachers, two foreigner (myself and an american). Wednesday is hakwon director's meeting day in Ulsan, so the kids have the day off of school. Naturally, I assume that this means teachers have the day off as well; only to be told that we were to come in and clean the school that day.

Now, nowhere in my contract does it state that cleaning of any form is demanded or expected of me. We each have to clean a classroom at the end of the day (2 minutes of sweeping, usually whilst smoking for me) but I think being expected to help clean the entire school is a bit much.

so, I am asking for opinions: should i:

A) Help out and do my part.

or

B) Tell them where to stick their broom and mop and vanish into Ulsan myself for the day (or something along those lines).

thanks in advance

marathe out
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Rand Al Thor



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Locked in an epic struggle

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

is it paid time? If it counts towards your contract hours then sure, provided its not backbreaking work.

Owner is obviously trying ot control you. If you get paid let it go, if not then say "no way!"
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Marathe



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Spider Hole

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think it counts towards my hours and all
but i'm just resenting that i get hired to teach english and wind up cleaning.

i see what you mean tho thanks
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The Bobster



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In one sense they are actually trying to include you in Korean life - I'm getting the impression the Korean teachers on staff also do this cleaning?

Still, it goes against the grain of what we westerners think of a part of the duties of a trained professional - I'd stamp my feet and fume about it, no doubt about that at all, but if it's included in the hours I'd have to also consider it a chance to slip in some prep time for classes in between sweeping, and prep time on the boss's dime.

I can dig it if you are ticked off, tho ... like I said, I would be also.
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I wouldn't do it. It's a judgement call but I'd be worried about setting a precedent. I think it's important to set some limits to what you will and won't do.
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Busan

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: Advice needed re the the whole teaching/contract thing Reply with quote

[][][

Last edited by itchy on Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Crazy Oz



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Ilsan, Korea

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most contracts have some type of extra-curicular stuff in them, not plainly worded, but never the less included. Most of the time this is usually unpaid. Check with your boss to see if this "cleaning" is paid time eg in lieu of teaching hours, before you pick up that broom. If not, you have a heap of prep time available (usually unpaid anyway), so use it wisely. Just tell the boss you will be doing prep for forthcoming lessons instead of cleaning should no reimbursement be made.
An alternative is to do a cleaning job that will make them wish you have never been taught the words "broom or mop", let alone understand what "clean" means.
Another option, if you have a really great boss, and don't care about the extra duties, is to just get in and do it. You don't have to bust a gut, and you might pick up a bit of cleaning bonus in the way of errant coins under funiture Laughing



Still crazy, still here.
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might be ok with it if it counts as paid hours. Not if it's "extra" - I've heard of some schools that expect the teachers to mop and sweep the entire school. I wouldn't go for that.

On the other hand, if the school gave me my own classroom that no one else used, and provided a broom, I'd have no problem sweeping up in my own class. That might just be me though.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should try to get the cleaning time either really early, or really late, so you can bugger off with your unexpected day off.
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 8:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Advice needed re the the whole teaching/contract thing Reply with quote

itchy wrote:
Marathe wrote:


B) Tell them where to stick their broom and mop and vanish into Ulsan myself for the day (or something along those lines).

thanks in advance

marathe out

-This is the correct reaction. You're a teacher, not a cleaning lady. If they can't afford to get cleaners in (very cheap in Korea due to a large uneducated population of middle aged women) then you should try to get them to fire you and move to another school.



I have to go with itchy here. If it were just your classroom, I'd do it. But the whole school? No way. If I were in your shoes, I'd go talk to the boss. If s/he still refuses to consider your viewpoint, politely but firmly say "No". If they fire you, you can always get another job. Do you really want to work at a school that treats you like some type of janitor?
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Marathe



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Spider Hole

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thaks for the validation peeps.

I'm going to propose that they tell me what i'd be doing tomorrow - if its not too extreme (like sweep the floor and wipe the desks) i'll do it tonite; otherwise i'm just going to refuse: if they fire me (which i'm sure they won't) i'll get another job by friday.

marathe out
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 10:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Advice needed re the the whole teaching/contract thing Reply with quote

itchy wrote:
Marathe wrote:


B) Tell them where to stick their broom and mop and vanish into Ulsan myself for the day (or something along those lines).

thanks in advance

marathe out

-This is the correct reaction. You're a teacher, not a cleaning lady. If they can't afford to get cleaners in (very cheap in Korea due to a large uneducated population of middle aged women) then you should try to get them to fire you and move to another school.


OK--I can understand telling the original poster not to clean on a day off but do you have to make a comment that seems to disparage women that clean as their jobs? You could have said something more along the lines of, " You are a teacher and therefore were hired to teach, not to clean" and it would sound less disdainful of those who clean for a living.
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matthews_world



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Location: Coming to a norae-bang near you!

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell, I'd clean for free!

Not just cuz i love to clean and am a clean freak and to begin with, but going the extra mile to exhibit that I am part of the family and that it shows teamwork.

Seems to me that foreign teachers usually don't include themselves with the Korean staff. We complain about our wages and conditions and don't take the time to immerse ourselves into the culture of the peninsula and truly have friendships with those who live here.

Do the cleaning. Show your co-workers that you are one of them and you're year will be better for doing so.


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

matthews_world wrote:
Hell, I'd clean for free!

Not just cuz i love to clean and am a clean freak and to begin with, but going the extra mile to exhibit that I am part of the family and that it shows teamwork.

Seems to me that foreign teachers usually don't include themselves with the Korean staff. We complain about our wages and conditions and don't take the time to immerse ourselves into the culture of the peninsula and truly have friendships with those who live here.

Do the cleaning. Show your co-workers that you are one of them and you're year will be better for doing so.


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


That has nothing to do with the issue here. We were hired to teach, not to clean. That should not even BE an issue. I don't consider cleaning toilets as immersing myself in Korean culture. If you want to, go right ahead. But keep in mind you are just going to be seen as a pushover.
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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheUrbanMyth wrote:

We were hired to teach, not to clean.


I have my own classroom and I clean it twice a week, which is expected of me by my hogwan. If I don't clean my room (the foreign teacher I took over from NEVER cleaned because it "wasn't in the contract") then I know that one of my Korean co-workers will have to clean it for me.

I do not feel that I'm being swindled in the least for it. For a start, I work 7 hours per week less than my contract stipulates, my boss provides me with free TKD lessons, all the teachers are regularly taken out for dinner (2 x month), I have a free lunch every day... none of these things are in my contract either...

marathe... is the "Director's meeting in Ulsan Day" day off for you in your contract? I don't think you can argue "Cleaning is not in my job profile / contract" vs "Director's meeting is not in my contract."

Now, I happen to feel that I am in a good situation, work for good people who respect that I do a bit extra now and then and in return they do nice things for me. You know the saying "what goes around comes around"??? At my current job, it works for me. I give a little, I take a lot.

Unfortunately though, there are too many bad hogwans and greedy directors out there for this to be the rule. There is no way in hell I would have cleaned a single desk, let alone a whole classroom or school at my last hogwan because they treated me like sh**!

marathe... all I am trying to say is that if you like your school, like your students, get along OK with the management, then roll up them sleeves, slap on some super duty rubber gloves and get with it... is it really going to hurt you to help out with the cleaning? (which I'm sure the Korean staff will be expected to help out with and not feel that they have the recourse to suggest that they were hired to teach English only). If your hogwan sux, then I'm with you all the way to tell them where and how far to jam their mop.

(Marathe, this is in no way directed at you, 'kay? Just my sentiment on some posts I see here and some attitudes I've encountered... I actually like your posts!) Here goes... Sometimes I get worried by the attitude of foreign teachers here in Korea, often including my own, that we think we are somehow a little bit more "special" (for want of a better word Rolling Eyes ) than any other Joe (or Kim) or uneducated middle aged Korean womanout there. When does asking become demanding? When does anticipate become expect? When does hope become presume?

I'm going to put my rose coloured glasses away now before i'm innundated with protests... I've been cussed at many times before for being optimist, but really, I think optimism is a blessing Smile Just my 2 cents for the day...
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