The owners have two locations and I worked at their school in Gwangjin. They also have a school in Gangdong that, from what I hear, is equally as bad as the Gwangjin location. I was told by a Korean teacher, near the end of my contract, that the owners really dislike foreigners. Read the following and make your own assumption….I believe it 100% now that I’ve lived through it.
The work environment is hectic at best. Foreign teachers are required to teach a kindly class (or multiple classes if a foreign teacher quits-and they will) for the first half of the day. After lunch they are required to teach after school classes for elementary students. I taught, on average, 38 hours per week. That means I was on my feet, teaching children…not planning, grading tests, writing report cards or doing entrance interviews. All those things have to happen when you find time (during your unpaid lunch, before school starts, or in the rare event that all of your kids are absent from an afternoon class) The owner/director will get every minute of work out of you that they can, no matter what your contract says.
The pay (I made 2.1 million), compared to the workload, is entirely too low. As if that weren’t enough, the owners cheated me out of LOTS of money. They were deducting pension and pocketing it. They, per the contract, were supposed to be matching my pension but they were not actually paying in anything. I caught it early enough that I got the local pension office involved. In the end, after numerous lunch breaks on the phone with the pension office, I got most of what I was owed several months after completing my contract. We were rarely paid in full and on time.
The owners also over charged me for utilities and made me pay for repairs that were supposed to be their responsibility. I had to have a recruiter friend call on my behalf two months after completing my contract, to get the owners to pay my severance and apartment deposit refund. 14 teachers quit in the 12 months that I worked for this school. I stayed the whole year because they refuse to give release letters so that teachers can leave and work legally.
Moving back to my country was not an option I wanted to choose, so I reluctantly stayed. There is so much more I can say, but I think this is adequate information for anyone considering working here. It was the longest, most stressful year of my life and I tried REALLY hard to stay positive. The only reason I wasn’t cheated even more was that I stood up for myself. I learned how to be firm, but respectful and it helped. I am thankful to have learned this lesson, but I wouldn’t wish the stress and disrespect that comes with this job on anyone.
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