Contract Renewal

Here in Korea, about 3-4 months before a teacher’s contract is finished, the school will go to the teacher and ask them if they think they want to renew. That’s a reasonable amount of time, as they have now spent 8-9 months here, and probably have a good idea of whether or not they want to stay.

However, yesterday my co-teacher informed me that they want an answer now, after only 6.5 months here.  Barring a breakup with Marc, I will be going home, but I don’t really want to close the door here just yet, not until I get back from winter vacation.  

I was told in the morning to make a decision by the end of the day, but since I had to judge an English competition in the afternoon, and then hold a meeting about the teachers’ workshop that I teach, I didn’t remember to email her back about it.  I did, however, receive an email from the provincial office saying that some schools may be asking early this year, but that we did not need to give them a decision until December 29th.  So, I figured that was that, and that I would give myself a couple days.

Well, I got a call at 7:30am this morning (thankfully I was already awake due to my internal clock being set on “Dali” these days), asking for my decision.  I explained that the provincial office said that I had until the 29th.  My co-teacher insisted that no, she needs an answer today, and that Tuesday or Wednesday will not do.

I told her to mark me down as “No”, but that that could change sometime in the future, potentially.  Really, though, it’s highly unlikely.  My school seems to exist in an alternate universe to the one that the provincial office exists in, and that really bothers me.  Even if I were to stay in Korea, I do think I would switch schools.  I like Jindo, but I think that this area has some major kinks to work out, and as an experienced teacher, I can be put to better use elsewhere, at a school that knows how to actually use their foreigners.

I’ve been feeling better about things here lately, but today’s early morning phone call, combined with the gray weather I’m staring at right now, has put me in a bit of a sour mood.


[Originially posted over at Teh Blog]

2 Responses to “Contract Renewal”

  1. 1 Jason December 21, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I wish I could have read this blog sooner cause I would have suggested that you tell them they’ll get an answer when you’re ready to give an answer and they can wait–period. There is no reason you’d have to answer now. They aren’t planning WHO to post to your position yet cause you’re nowhere near done your contract term yet–and like Koreans plan that far in advance–nuh-uh!

    I suspect you’ll be wined and dined soon in an effort to try and get you to change your mind–if they don’t I’ll be surprised. When I was asked about re-signing and said yes, I’ll re-sign, but it WON’T be on the island in a two-street village or I’m GOING HOME–the regional supervisor of the island, my home school principal, vice-principal, and my primary co-teacher took me out to this insanely expensive restaurant. The table was crammed with what looked like a 20 course meal of the most expensive foods . . . and then the manipulative coercive guilt-trippy games began . .. I had a great meal, let them say what they wanted, and still said–NO.

    A small warning about what I’ve experienced, and heard from other foreign teachers: once you tell your school you’re not staying be prepared for a change in how you’re treated, how requests for help or whatever are treated, etc. Hopefully it won’t happen at your school, but it seems to be a general enough thing that it might.

    By the way, if my co-teacher had called me at 7:30am about this I think by the 6 month mark of my first year I’d have been really really really pissed, and we’d have had a ‘chat’ once I got to school–it shows how much character you have that you let it slide . . . . or did you (wink)????

    Good luck,
    p.s. Have you seen the book yet that they’re giving you for the camp?

  2. 2 Driftingfocus December 21, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Yeah, one of the reasons I wanted them to *at least* give me until the end of next week is that on Monday I’m giving my principal my official letter stating my vacation dates, etc, to sign, and I don’t want him to argue with it. Then again, maybe he will be nice about it, in an attempt to get me to stay. Who knows. I do expect that at least after vacation, pretty much any say I have with them will go away, as they will realize I’m not staying. Then again, I’ve gotten them in trouble at a provincial level through this blog more than once, and they still seem vaguely afraid of me.

    I would have a “chat” with her, but considering the last time I called her on a bad behavior she spent the next hour sobbing in the corner of the office, I’d rather not deal with the potential stares of death from my co-workers.

    Nope, haven’t seen the book yet.

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