Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Intensive Sessions: Summer Fun
Korean parents brag about their kids private academy (hogwon) educations, its like having the best car or the biggest house, the most expensive clothes, etc. Unfortunately for the kids this means that they have to go to their regular school, ,which is private if their parents can afford it. Then they have to go to anywhere from 1-3 private academies after school and on the weekends. It also needs to be said that the public schools have classes every other Saturday for a half a day. Many kids go to school from 8am to 9pm. I have known a few kids who went from 7am to midnight. I consider this to be insanity but it does make very hard working and intelligent young men and women, it also creates extremely unhappy and depressed ones. Don't get me wrong not every Korean child goes to school this much, but if they don't its usually because their parents can't afford it. There are also many well adjusted and happy children here, but in general I find them to be very depressed and unhappy. This brings me to summer vacation. Vacation works differently here in Korea instead of getting a 3 month summer vacation they get a 5 week summer vacation and a 5 week vacation after the new year. So what do Korean children do during their vacations, relax, play? They go to school of course. They attend intensive sessions at the private academies like the one I work at. They do have less school on their vacations, most of them don't start until 9am and they finish by 6pm. Some only go for a few classes. For me this means that I have to teach from 8:30am to 5:30pm for 4 weeks, which is a bummer because my usual schedule is 2:30-9:30. I also don't really get anymore money for this because I am not really teaching more than the 27 classroom hours I agreed to in my contact. I work at a good school but I think for anyone who wants to work in Korea as a teacher they need to negotiate many things in their contract, the schools find many ways to make you do tings you are not really suppossed to do. But like I said I am happy with my school but as always it could be better, but I signed my contract, which is better than average but I have never been one to settle for better than average, I prefer outstanding. If anyone is thinking about teaching in Korea email me and I will help you to get a perfect contract, I think I know all the tricks now.