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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So, I think I'm staying!

Well, well, well...January 1st, and I'll have approximately 58 days until I leave my current hagwon. I have been going back and forth about whether to stay or go...meaning, stay and look for another position, or go back to the States.

I've had so many thoughts about my life and the goals I have. Living and working in S. Korea played a vital role in reaching these goals, on paper. On the other hand, I simply could not see myself in this current situation for a whole year.

So, with that being said, I've thought long and hard about staying. I definitely have some criterion that have to be met for me to consider staying here longer. 1) A public school position 2) My own apartment is a must 3) I want to be living closer to my sister.

Let me break it down for you:

1) A public school position, although not without its challenges, is a far better deal than a hagwon. Here's why. The main goal of a hagwon is to make money. Even if the kids drive you up the wall day in and out, much won't be done, because the hagwons don't wanna lose enrollment (that = $$). Also, you could be working up to 10:00 p.m. or later at a hagwon. These kids go to school all day! I actually got a decent deal being off at 7:00 p.m. My current hagwon job is 30 hours/week. However, if employed by a public school, you're guaranteed to be off no later than 5-most likely before then. Yes, you work from 9-4, but only 20-22 hours of that time is actual teaching time. The other hours are "office" hours. In addition, public schools usually have a co-teacher assigned to your classes. Meaning, a Korean-speaking teacher will be in the classroom with you. I've heard that sometimes this cuts down on behavioral problems and misunderstandings. Depends on your co-teacher. Oh, and did I mention the 2-2 1/2 months of vacation when working at a public school vs. the 2 week (gotta fight for it) vacation at a hagwon? Icing on the cake, right?

2) Soooo, I got pretty lucky with my first roomie situation. I was roomed with someone who I instantly hit it off with. There wasn't much effort to it. Well, I've got a new roomie, and it's going pretty well, but it has taken way more effort. AND, what is a 28 year old woman doing having a roommate?!! You tell me. I have been pretty used to my own space since sophomore year of college, and I hated digressing to having to share my space; which is the reason for my 2nd requirement.

3) Location, location, location! This isn't really a need, but a want. I want to be able to get to my sister's place, in less than 20 mins; just for convenience

Well, I've placed my resume with several recruiters. I've also had some awesome friends give me the heads up on positions that are opening up. So, about a month ago, my friend recommended me to the Office of Education that she works for. They do all the hiring for the public schools in the area. She had to keep reminding me to send her my resume. I finally did. Another friend gave me the email address of a lady to contact at the same office! I contacted her, and dropped some names (lol), and she emailed me back to schedule an interview for last Friday. I went to the interview, and although some things did not go as planned, I was able to make it to the interview on time, and thought it went pretty well.

So, I had my weekend fun, and got back to reality on Monday. I saw one of the before mentioned friends, and she asked me had I heard back from the hiring manager. I said no, and in my head was thinking "but I hope that I do." Well, I go inside my apartment to check my emails on lunch break. Lo and behold, there's an email from the hiring manager saying that she's pleased to offer me the job!! ~insert two-step here~LOL

I am sooooo very stoked! In a matter of weeks, with the help of God and wonderful people who've given me support, advice, and encouragement, my situation has turned around! I feel like dancing! Okay, so getting back to the requirements; It fits all the requirements, but does not meet the location want. However, I'm still very excited to possibly accept the position. I know a gang of the employees already, and I'll be generally in the same area as now, give or take a few miles. I'd have my own spot, and with the vacation, let's just say I'll be home for Christmas next year folks!

A huge weight was lifted once I gave my resignation I just feel like I'm on cloud 9! Thanks for all of your prayers from near and far. All the advice, all the late night phone calls, and grandma, if you're reading (which I know you are), your grand babies are just fine! :-) I know you've been praying for us.

I'll fill you in on the regular happenings on another day. Today just warranted a blog post. Until next time, "It is never too late to be what you might have been." --George Eliott

Friday, December 3, 2010

90 days left and counting....

Yep, you read right! I now have 90 days left at my current school. I haven't decided yet whether I will take another position elsewhere...a lot to consider. But let me fill you in on the recent events (as of today... especially for those keeping up with my journey).

I finally had a meeting with the owner of my hagwon. He is also a pastor. I asked him to explain to me about why money was missing from my salary.

Long story short, he was very belligerent. he said the money had been taken for pension....except, he didn't enroll me in pension. He went into detail about how he was very "appalled" that I had contacted the National Pension Scheme to inquire about pension. He stated that "no one has ever had pension at this school. And if I, the CEO, Boss, doesn't even have pension, why would you?" Wow....can you say, I learned that I have self control today!???

I calmly asked him just to see what he would say, "Well is that required, or is it an option?" He replied: "It's legally required, but right now, they're not enforcing it. That's why I was so surprised to see the letter about you wanting to be enrolled. We have never paid pension, and to do so now, would mean we have to rewrite your contract. I'd be very upset if we have to pay pension. We are not a school worried about profit, and right now, we're in a deficit. It would be such a burden to have to pay pension; It'd be more than we planned to pay...That's why we wanted to hire Christians, so that they would be mission-minded and not worry about the pay."

My mind said "Errr????" LMBO! Didn't know you wanted Christians so you could screw them over!??? Also, there was an insurance issue...actually the fact that they would not enroll me in the National Insurance, that we discussed. He adamantly stated that it was not "the company's" job to enroll me in insurance, but mine. "Err???" My mind went again. So, I explained to him how the NHIC said that it was, in fact, his legal responsibility to provide me with NHIC. Of course, he said...well, then that means we'd have to pay you pension as well, and we're not prepared to do that. We'd have to rewrite your contract. No other teacher has asked for insurance, they always have their home insurance to cover them. I reiterated the fact that I'm "not" other teachers. SMH.

WOWZERS! But anyway, in the next 15 mins, I had offered my letter of resignation, gotten it signed, and finished the meeting. I feel so much freer. I did things the right way, and I feel great about that decision.

So, it's either a GREAT public school position, or home for me...the future destination is unknown at this time, but I know wherever it is, it's gonna be AWESOME, cause I'll be there. :-)

Thanks for following my journey till now....hold on to your trousers, it's not over yet!!!!!