Thursday, 8 January 2004

School Dissent

Although I'm getting on ok with my teaching so far, and think I'm an alright teacher, there are bigger problems which threaten to destablise the whole things.

Basically, there appears to be massive dissent in the ranks. Not the students, but the teachers. And the Korean teachers as well as the English.

The director, although on a personal level has always been friendly to me, is a poor manager, and from what I gather the school is in financial trouble. Which is the main reason, I suspect, that she informed the paedo teacher David yesterday that his contract won't be renewed in March.

He wasn't too surprised, but was still disappointed. He's got many years teaching experience and I think is probably a very good teacher, so the decision was purely a financial one. But it's got me and John worried.

I'm not afraid of losing my job, but we're both afraid it might become very difficult to work here. I'm already teaching 42 classes a week. That's quite demanding and, unlike most schools, 40 or 50 minutes is just 40 or 50 minutes, and not an hour. When David goes, what becomes of his classes? If every day becomes as relentless as my Monday or Wednesday, life would become very exhausting. And it's hardly going to improve the kids' education.

I'm contracted for 30 hours a week, which is 45 classes maximum. 45 classes would be very demanding. John is talking very seriously on abandoning ship. I'm not thinking strongly along these lines yet. It's important to see what happens. But if I was to find a school with better working conditions (preferrably in Daegu) and I was able to keep my working visa, then why not?

The Korean teachers are thinking likewise. Term ends at the end of February, and some have said they are leaving. I gather that a lot of the good teachers have been driven away. The director just doesn't know how to manage. She keeps making sudden decisions without asking our opinions.

I'm going to make a few discreet enquiries. As to schools needing teachers and about how my visa will be affected. I'm enjoying teaching and Korea but if this school is so wrapped in uncertainty then I need to keep my options open.

No comments: