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Ohhhhh......EPIK!!!!
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Mosley



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anda: are you now siding w/ "King Rat"(of pie fame)? If people band together to fight for deserved rights, we deserve to be crushed? If I've misunderstood you please let me know, & justify your most recent post here. SCSA:(what does that stand for BTW? I have my own theory that I can't post-the mods would never let it go through). Despite your affinity for social darwinism(I know where you'd be on the evolutionary scale), you're wrong as always: something DOES exist in contrast to EPIK: it's called JET: a programme that would NEVER accept you. A level playing field it DOES provide, you pseudo-Herbert Spencer....
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:16 am    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Well Mr. Mosley all the teachers that banded together and demanded to be paid extra for teaching at the teacher training center weren't offered another contract at the end of their first contract nor was I after I had a fight with the supervisor below in my second year with EPIK. I've worked for three different education offices at this point in time. Um I'm a slow learner but I've learned how to last here. Most that post here on Dave's don't identify themselves in reguard to EPIK management but it is clear to them who I am. I am not afraid to make a stand but I see no point in giving out infomation that won't work for a new starter.
...................................................................................................

To give another example of how Korean teachers think I will use an example of what happened to me.

In my second year with EPIK I was asked if I would prepare teaching material etc for two days a week at a teacher training center. I said yes and looked foward to the challenge. When I started at the teacher training center I came under a educational supervisor. Right from the start I clashed with him. He was wanting me to write things up the same way as the old Korean textbooks were written up. They are dead boring. Anyway after a number of fights over a period of months I refused to continue to work with him after a final fight.

When I talked about what I had done to a number of close Korean teacher friends I found to my supprise that they all came down on the supervisor's side. To a Korean teacher it is unthinkable that a mere teacher should think that they had the right to backchat a supervisor. These teachers respected me as a teacher so it wasn't that they didn't think that I couldn't teach, it was just a matter of my position in relation to a supervisor.

If you come into the public school system here in Korea and start to exert yourself as higher up the ladder than what you are then you will find no support from any of the Korean teachers that you work with. You will in fact loss ground fast with all the staff (teacher, office, management) at the schools where you work. First prove you can teach and then ask politely for things and you will be supprised with the amount of help you get. In fact the school will start to ask you if there is anything that you need / want as they will start to worry about losing you.


Last edited by Anda on Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Austin



Joined: 23 May 2003
Location: In the kitchen

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 7:06 am    Post subject: Yes, Anda... Reply with quote

Anda:

When I taught in the states, none of the teaching staff ever voiced a complaint in the tone that so many "teachers" in Korea think is appropriate. In the U.S., if some teachers did not agree with something that was being passed down from the administration, they would not say anything at our meetings with them, but they would vent in private. The reason of course was obvious, because they wanted to keep their position (so many teachers are on "non-continuing contracts" and the rest do not care to draw unnecessary attention to themselves or be labeled).


I wonder how many "teachers" here have ever taught in public school settings elsewhere before arriving in Korea.

If you want to be a "troublemaker," that is certainly your choice. All I ask is that you speak for yourself, as I have an agenda all my own, and I do not need any help in accomplishing it.

Some of us learn these things a bit quicker than others, but it does mean that we are better. It just means that we are able to avoid these types of conflicts.


Thanks, Anda.

SCSA
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adventureman



Joined: 18 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, Austin, but in this case I have to say I agree with "Chairman Mao" (aka Mody Ba) Very Happy about the housing thing. I do feel like sticking you with bad housing or a homestay becasue the office is too cheap to shell out money for a private apartment and then blaming it on being a "cultural thing" is unethical treatment and should not happen, although after reading Anda useful comments I will proabably be a little more cautious about raising my fist in vehement protest on the first day if I am not provided with the perfect house, although I haven't planned my future out to the point where I can say whether or not I'll even WANT to re-contract next year Confused .... As for the teaching during school vacations thing i can't comment on that at this point becasue I have no I idea if that will even been an issue for me and I suspect i probably won't know for several months down the road.

By the way, there was an interesting little story I heard once about a guy on the EPIK program whose water heater or something broke in his apartment while he was on holiday for two weeks and EPIK tried to charge him 500,000 won and said it was his fault even though he wasn't even there when it happened, he didn't to anything to break it, and nobody ever told him that he would be responsible for something like that if it broke. EVERYBODY including his POE supervisor, his co-teacher, and the principal all said it was responsible for it and when he said that that is not how it works in his home country and that nobody ever told him him different they all just kept saying it was a "cultural thing". Finally, when he took matters into his own hands after two weeks of no heat in winter and went to the local prosecutor's office, they finally told him that he was NOT obligated by law to pay for something like that and they got the people who owned the place to pay for everything and relocate him until it was fixed AS THEY RIGHTLY SHOULD HAVE FROM THE VERY BEGINNING... I think that example clearly demonstrates the benefits of not being a yellowbelly when it comes to whole housing issue and standing your ground. Right, Chairman Mao?
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:42 pm    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

I'm not up to date on who gets what currently but before the Educational office for where you work would get 25 million won to cover lease money per EPIK. This figure is usually enough to get a fairly decent place to live out of the main cities. The reason that some EPIKS are put two to three to an apartment in the city is because bond money is a lot higher in most large cities here. Currently I think it is 30 million won that they get. Your schools local education office gets hold of this funding not the regional office of education. So if someone is putting you into a dump then it is someone from your local office of education. There have been stories that so and so at the local office could be getting interest on funding that is left over from from the cost of the lease on a EPIKS apartment. Anyway EPIK provides the funding but then you have the above problems. Also it isn't always easy to find nice accommodation for us in some locations due to a shortage of accommodation.
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Mody Ba



Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 4:14 pm    Post subject: Covering Your own Hiney...... Reply with quote

Adventureman...you have the right idea...and incidentally,I have a feeling you will be a helluva good teacher for them.Being a good teacher and doing a good job does not(nor should it) mean that you let them run roughshod over you,breach the contract materially,etc.SCSA....well, he is just hopeless.I would like to ask HIM how many places HE has taught in.I doubt if he has taught as many places as some of us or has the qualifications. However,in Doughboy's defense(ah,yes he does not need to be DEFENDED, he only needs to be UNDERSTOOD,like EPIK Laughing Laughing Laughing ),well, I hear he bakes one HELLUVA good apple pie! Laughing Laughing

Adventureman, I am not Chairman Mao Smile ...no umbrage taken.One person once described me as "being to the right of Attila the Hun"politically(well,that was hyperbole!).And no,I cannot bake worth a hoot, so Doughboy has that advantage on me. Laughing Laughing

I suggest that people who are unhappy with their assigned housing refuse tactfully(but firmly) from the very start to live in crap housing.Long time ago,I did that.I refused a homestay,went and lived at the hotel(and had the bill sent to the local school) until they found me an apartment.There was some grumbling,etc..but they KNEW I was a good teacher,wanted to keep me,and so went along with it. And they paid the hotel bill,too.

There are ways of showing your displeasure tactfully but firmly.

Stand up for yourselves.If you are honorable and do your job effectively and in an honorable fashion,there is no excuse for them taking advantage of you.
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jamesH



Joined: 22 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today in my Korean teacher group (14 of them) we talked about salaries and benefits. Note I am a Level 1 Epik and are supposed (according to my poe) to teach teachers) - well despite being the most experienced in years of teaching in the group- my salary of 2.1 million was only above a second year teacher and below all the rest, up to 900,000 monthly below!

They asked me why EPIKs would put up with such a situation, as we were the teacher trainers thus we should presumably get more than a second year teacher! They were also shocked at the annual eave we get compared to them - they get 10 weeks - we get 10 or 24 days depending - they all mentioned they get Bonuses every three months ranging from 25% to 50% as well, plus two large bonuses yearly.


Well, it seems to me if this idiotic organization wants us to TRAIN their teachers (some of whom can't speak English) EPIK should firstly
(a) Treat foreigners with some degree of professionalism
(b) Not treat level one EPIKs like they were dancing bears in a pink tutu performing for the locals
(c) Change the contract so at least to slightly stop the horrendous discrimination we (who all work for the same employer) suffer. - not to mention the numerous Laws I read that say we should be treated equally under the constitution and a myriad of other laws I assume..

If ever you want proof that EPIK is an organization that treats foreigners like S...T, start doing teacher training and see what they expect of you...

Well, (wrongly or rightly) as I look at my beautiful 4 walled studio pig sty the KOREAN Government program put me in, and as I wait for Epik to answer my 14 emails asking for better accommodation, I think from tomorrow this employee will start his dancing bear act, and give then value to what they pay and as they treat me.

I pity the new comers to this debacle.
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adventureman



Joined: 18 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 7:41 am    Post subject: Re: Um Reply with quote

Anda wrote:
This bad accommodation thing isn't that common with EPIK...A studio-type room...This type of accommodation is getting more common with universities etc these days and isn't that bad all said and done.


Apparantly, Anda the gentleman above would beg to differ with you. Wasn't another poster named Mosley also complaining about his accomodation at one point as well?

Also, although your advice is vey helpful I have found it to be somewhat conflicting...in an earlier post you said to "never move in the door of a dump or you will find it ten times harder to get somewhere decent..." but then a little later on you go into detail about how you should "prove yourself" to the school first before making any specific requests and if you can't can't get approval from the principal than "that's that"...



All the best


Last edited by adventureman on Thu Jun 12, 2003 1:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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The King of Kwangju



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting thread. For crybabies.

Maybe things have changed since I was in Korea, but my philosophy has always been: jump in both feet first and sort it out later. Sometimes you make out great, sometimes you get a raw deal, but that's part of the adventure, isn't it? Next time out, jump in again and you'll be a little wiser.

If you want everything to be predictable, accounted for, fairly doled out and in writing, I advise you to stay out of Korea. You're only asking for a headache.

Adventureman, why don't you just roll with the punches?
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adventureman



Joined: 18 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I'm fully already realize there are MANY aspects about going to Korea and EPIK that are a crap shoot (I've taught there before and been following this forum for almost a year). But at the same time there are also certain ways of increasing my odds of "beating the house" and obtaining a better situation, such as finding out as much information from a wide variety of sources as possible about a particlar situation before I join. Finding out what people's previous experiences have been like for a program I'll be joining can be a big help for me, and if they want to give me free advice, then what the heck? I'm sorry, I don't agree with your philosphy of just blindly rushing in without doing extensive reseach on a place or program, I feel this is part of the reason why there are so many unhappy Westerners living in Korea. Thanks to this forum I now feel much more prepared about what to expect next year but not to the point where it still won't be an "adventure" (that is my NAME after all, right? Very Happy )

Oh and I am a SURVIVOR, not a "crybaby" believe me Cool . I'm just proabably a little more "cautious" and persistant in getting what I deserve than most of the other EPIK "teachers". Thanks
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Mody Ba



Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 2:37 pm    Post subject: King of What? Marvin Gardens? Reply with quote

Yeah,well, we have King Rat(SCSA)..and now we have a guy calling himself "King of Kwangju" who thinks people who do not"jump in for the adventure" Laughing Laughing Laughing are"crybabies".Yeah "King" Laughing Laughing Laughing ,we have heard that old song before"WELL,if you don't like Korea, JUST LEAVE" Laughing Laughing Laughing Despite the fact that you may consider yourself "royalty" Laughing Laughing Laughing .I doubt if anyone is going to listen much to your "regal" advice Laughing Laughing

I am willing to bet that "King", like a lot of other self-styled "experts' really has no qualifications to teach English.If you are so intent on having an "adventure", try the Peace Corps(if they will take you. They DO have standards) and leave the teaching to people who are qualified and really interested primarily in teaching , not an "adventure"(farting around overseas).

Anda,adventureman is right. Moseley and other people have posted about accommodation problems with EPIK.Maybe YOUR housing is OK,Anda.That does not mean everybody's housing is okay,or as you have claimed frequently(with nothing to back it up) that accommodation problems are infrequent in EPIK.

God help us! Rolling Eyes The flotsam and jetsam.With occassionally some people like Moseley and adventureman who actually know what they are talking about, and are probably pretty damned good teachers.
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 4:20 pm    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Let's get one thing straight, we come here for one of two things. This being a more interesting life than we can get back home or the chance to save money. Considering that just one EPIK pay would get us a homebound air ticket I'd say that back home isn't offering much of a life or that we as individuals haven't got anyone offering us a better chance to save money back home.

The fact that mature Korean teachers make better money than level one EPIKS is a fact of life. Try teaching in Russia if you want to earn more than the local teachers. Me I rather stay here and earn tripple what foreign English teachers make in Russia.

This bullshit on EPIK accommodation. Take the 300,000 won a month and find your own. I've done it before, so why can't you. I've been to EPIK meetings many times in Chollamando, Gwang-ju and I don't hear complaints on accommodation when the subject comes up. Of the EPIK teachers where I'm working now nobody is complaining either. Yes I have heard of a number that have had cause to complain but all have had the problems sorted out bar one by their EPIK supervisor. The one that had no luck with their EPIK supervisor was helped by the Korean teachers at the school where she worked.

I'm not a pushover so yes I stand up for myself but there are ways that get results and there are ways that don't. If you want to go at things like a bull at the gate, then go for it, but don't kid yourself that you are going to get results.
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The King of Kwangju



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: King of What? Marvin Gardens? Reply with quote

Adventureman - just yanking your chain a bit. Good to see you took it instride.
Mody Ba wrote:
... leave the teaching to people who are qualified and really interested primarily in teaching , not an "adventure"(farting around overseas)...

C'mon Mody Ba. Admit that living in Korea is fun. Why should we let all you professional teachers have the fun?
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Mody Ba



Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 4:37 pm    Post subject: Oh,REALLY,Anda? Reply with quote

Anda posts"Let's get this straight.We come here for one of two things." Oh,REALLY,Anda? Don't you think it is just a little presumptious for you to speak for everyone teaching in Korea? Maybe other people have other reasons, in additon to the "one of two" you mention. Isn't that possible?

"Me,I rather stay here"(what kind of English grammar is THAT,Anda?)?????

Perhaps you have not heard many people complaining about the housing in "Chollamando(sic) and Kwangju". Believe it or not, Anda,there are other locales in Korea besides those two.Believe it or not,despite your longevity in Korea and time with EPIK,you may not be privy to EVERYTHING that is happening EVERYWHERE in Korea.And you can"beep' accommodation all you want( Laughing Laughing ),but some Epiks are still having problems with it, although perhaps not the ones in "Chollamando".
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 6:08 pm    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Then Mody Ba if you can't find a place of your own and take the option of the money then I would suggest that you give the one month's notice according to the contract and then apply through an education office say like Chollanamdo or Gwang-ju where very few have had a complaint on accommodation if you want to stay teaching in the public school system that is. Cholanamdo will even let you see where they are going to accommodate you before you sign with them. I've done it before so you can also

Why don't you post the names of the EPIK offices that are providing this bad accommodation so others will know not to accept a posting there. For instance I can say that Dague had a very bad name for itself of recent due to a bad EPIK supervisor. I could add that Inchon had an extreamly racist EPIK supervisor at one stage. I'm sick of your generalizing on EPIK month after month when I know that your generalization is false.

If you want to post the truth on your local education office's poor work conditions for EPIKS then you can use another name from a P.C. room. It is quite easy.

"Me,I rather stay here"(what kind of English grammar is THAT,Anda?)????? Australian usage.

Oh, and I'm so sorry that I didn't mention that some come here to get away from the law in their home country or to escape the control of their family etc. So,so sorry I over looked the special cases.


Last edited by Anda on Thu Jun 12, 2003 8:17 pm; edited 4 times in total
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