Numbers and Nerves- Has anyone read this?
This book is now top of my list for pleasure reading in my spare time but for now I just don’t have the time or oomph to read for pleasure. SO, if or when I’m finished slogging through academic journals and no longer gag at the site of highlighting pens next to trade paperbacks then I’ll start reading for fun again.
Note: I have no affiliation with OSU Press (other than OSU being my alma mater) and there is no commission code or anything attached to the links above. I just think it looks like a good read.
From the site:
By registering these activities on this site, others can join in and experience global collaboration. In turn, we hope that this day will raise greater awareness of the need for connecting classrooms and education organizations around the world. Empowering student and teachers to create authentic, meaningful experiences will deepen learning and improve educational outcomes for all children. Our hope is that this event will build greater understanding of the possibilities of global education!
Someone posted a link to a DGEV Tumblr site with information on DGEV here on my comments section. I believe the more information out there the better as long as it tells both sides. Most of the Tumblr site is a pretty fair description on some key points so that was good to see. A small bit of it- not so much, but you can read that below. I’ll just put a few responses on topics below and here is the link to the site for you to check out on your own.
Paychecks: To clarify- the 1.7 they mention on the site is AFTER taxes, national health plan and pension. This is a fairly accurate average paycheck deposit at the Level 1 starting pay of 24 million won per year. My starting pay at Level 2 was 25 million won and my average paycheck was 1.78-1.82 since, depending on the time of year, the taxes fluctuate. There are two adjustment months- one for taxes and one for the medical you pay into. If you work a lot of overtime and/or receive a bonus then these are reflected in the tax adjustment months. Pension is matched by the school and all is refunded to the teacher after they fulfill their contract, apply for a refund with national pension service (NPS), surrender their Alien Registration Card and leave the country.
Overtime pay: I was horrified when overtime pay was accidentally missed on a couple of occasions for a teacher and in addition to private apologies, I am now publicly apologizing. *I* was responsible for collating dates/names for overtime and sending the hours report along to the first of a chain of people that handle finances and on I think 2 separate occasions those hours were not copied over correctly. This was a terrible oversight on my part. I apologized in earnest and had the situation rectified as soon as I was notified someone didn’t get their overtime pay. They were not intentional oversights (the Tumblr site does NOT say they were intentional, but please understand that not everything that happens at DGEV is the Korean administrations fault).
Room deposit: Actually a security deposit that covers damage/loss of school laptops, unpaid bills for teachers that leave the DGEV apartments near Yeungjin College without pre-paying their final month of bills (the utilities run a month behind to calculate usage so teachers need to average and pre-pay the bill that will come through after they have left), and contract security as DGEV provides flights to Korea at the beginning of each full 12 month contract whereas others only refund the one-way flight at the END of a 12-month contract. I have been seeing in Hakwon job postings that the end of contract flight reimbursements are more and more common.
Yes, sometimes it takes a lot of email reminders to make sure the security deposit is refunded. Deposits are not refunded for 12 weeks after a teacher leaves to make sure remaining bills are paid but I now agree this time frame is too long. Hopefully, that is a conversation that can be had in the near future.
Good and bad both spot on. The shuttle can be an annoying curfew but still free. It probably should be said that once in a while a new bus driver would leave early which meant if you were running late you would end up paying an unexpected taxi fare. The schedule always says to be at the bus stop something like 10-15 minutes early just in case. 100% true and necessary. I was stuck with an unexpected taxi fare before and admittedly I wasn’t happy (actually, I was tired and angry for a few hours)…
The Bonuses (note: “bonus” equates to “gratuity”)
Historically, bonus time is when tempers run high. It causes more problems than it solves. Most people that don’t get a bonus are angry. A number of people that DO get a bonus are angry because it’s not what so-and-so got or they felt they ‘deserved’ more. Really- I think the bonus system should be eliminated and overall salaries raised but, unfortunately, I don’t make the rules.
To start, the idea that you may not get a bonus at DGEV because you don’t have ‘blonde hair and blue eyes’ is absolutely false and reduces the credibility of the Tumblr site when it has the potential to be a trustworthy site for on-the-ground information. I found that part to be a disappointing and unfounded bit of emotion-based opinion. However, don’t discount the rest of the information solely on that point.
In the past, there have been episodes of favoritism. It is unnecessary, extremely frustrating and sadly found in many work environments. There should always be a checks and balances system in place but yes, occasionally that fails which can really lower morale.
As the Tumblr site points out, your contractual PAYCHECK will be paid fairly and on time.
Basically- the bonus system is never guaranteed. Nobody is ever ‘owed’ a bonus. It is subjective and a gratuity that should never be viewed in any other way.
Just in case anyone has a Daegu Bank account and needs to check their balance from overseas (or…in country, as well, I suppose)…
I’m sure there are other cheap ways to go about this, but Skype averages about 10 cents for a quick balance check.
This is the basic order things will happen and as menu options are available. Note, when the system first answers it is all in Korean. If you speak it, great, if you don’t then go ahead and skip the long message by just pressing 7 for English.
+82 53 742 5050 (this includes the country code first)
1st menu: Press 7 for English
2nd menu: Press 3 for balance
When prompted: Enter first 6 digits of your ARC number (aka your birth date) then # sign: yymmdd #
When prompted: Enter Account number then # sign (inside front cover of bank book)
3rd menu: Press 2 for normal mode
When prompted: Enter 4-digit PIN (the one you use for your card at ATM)
System spells out your name then gives balance
Seriously. If you want to work as an ESL teacher in South Korea then you need to get FLEXIBLE and fast! I have seen and heard so many people that are frustrated, angry and complaining about their school not providing internet access (or if they have it then it’s not consistent). Considering all the truly valid concerns that people may have about working in education overseas, this is not one that should be making the list. My personal experiences have been with DGEV but this applies to so many schools/camps/hagwons and really isn’t even confined to South Korea.
To clarify: I consider myself a loud and proud EdTech cheerleader. My MSED studies revolve around it! I absolutely love using technology in the classroom and know for a fact that it really enhances or even completely changes the learning experience. I prefer having internet 100% of the time for personal and professional reasons.
However, even though this is the 21st century and it is essential that people build technology skills… if it is impossible for you to teach a lesson without internet or tech then you may want to look elsewhere for work.
Perhaps that sounds harsh. But seriously- just save yourself the stress and always be prepared to teach sans internet and/or tech. Or if it means THAT much then do like a couple of teachers I know did and subscribe to a phone plan with unlimited data so you always have a hotspot.
But really- please, please have a serious conversation with yourself about this. Be truthful with yourself- if you are looking to work in South Korea but find it difficult to be flexible then look for work somewhere else. Not everyone can just ‘roll with it’ and that’s okay! We’re all different! But please don’t put yourself in a position where you have to be able to turn on a dime sometimes several times a day. If you are up to the challenge though, being that flexible and demonstrating your abilities in that way is a mad skill. You’ll fly away from Korea
thinking KNOWING that since you successfully completed your contract then you can do anything. *^^*
A few of you find this blog while researching about working in the ROK and sometimes even DGEV in particular so thought I would just toss this little blurb up here to chew on. I may have mentioned this issue before but it bears repeating. Sometimes the information out there is a little sugar-coated and sometimes it’s just nothing but mud slinging. It’s not all good or all bad. I enjoyed teaching in Korea and I will work there again.
Just a quick note that registration for #Caption16, the first Caption Studies conference in North America, is closing Saturday, 7/30/16, at 11:59 pm PDT.
If you want to participate or attend, please be sure to register now!