Friday, January 06, 2006

First of the year teaching blues...

It's already the first of the year, and nearly the end of the first week, and let me tell you---THANK GOD! I'm just about to go insane from my work schedule. Can you say, "No Breaks?" Is it me or does it seem like by the end of my contract, I will be worked like a dog, covered in gray and wrinkled like a prune from all the stress?

And let me just say, it certainly has nothing to do with the kids I work for/with. They're MARVELOUS!!

So I won't go into too much detail at the moment. But I was really thinking how lucky I was to have such a great job, a great bunch of co-workers, and a splendid boss who's caring, warm, and accomodating.

She certainly was to let me take the month break I needed. Let's just say, as a first-year ESL teacher, you will NEVER find a boss that'll be fine with that. I have had extenuating circumstances of course, but nonetheless, I came back to a job. What else can you ask for?

Well, I've asked myself that question over the course of the last week. And I've been thinking to myself actually, and maybe someone could set me straight on this:
Is it true that because I am a native English speaker, living in a country where my services are needed and abundant, whereas I make at least roughly twice the amount of my co-Korean teachers make---I should be punished for it, meaning, become accumstomed to working 6 or more hours straight without so much as a break to eat lunch/dinner--all the while be expected to maintain SOME LEVEL OF SANITY????
Or, maybe it's just me? Is this normal, or do I really have it good?

After this doozy of a week, I'm beginning to think I can no longer be classified a newbie ESL teacher simply by gradually being given a shitty work schedule. Ah, but wait! If I start teaching at 2pm, and keep going to 8 pm, hmmm.. that's about 6 straight hours of teaching! Now, don't get me wrong; I absolutely LOVE my kids. And I really admired my director and co-workers when I first came here. But a few things have changed since my arrival.

I often wonder what it would be like to work with other foreign teachers. I'd be able to seriously split up my schedule with them. What an idea! And come to think of it, we could get rid of the 2 other part-time Korean teachers, put their salaries together, and STILL be able to afford another foreign teacher.

You see where I'm getting at? I'm going insane, people. And that's because my director has wanted to find another foreign teacher for over a month and a half. But no dice. I've told them, I know about media-based advertising, why not have me do the publicity, the interviews, and write something on a few ESL websites to attract other foreigners to our school? Do you know what my answer was?

"I'll think about it" or "I'll consider it."

And do you know that Koreans have a very hard time saying no? So, basically, anything aside from a "YES" is suttle, simple, yet ordinary, in-your-face.... "HELL NO!" I wish somebody would have told me that in the beginning. Damn, if I've had to learn everything on my own!

(Initial post edited for privacy-sake)

So essentially, you may just as well call this, the first of the year teaching blues..


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