Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Break time: Eyes wide open

Today, mercifully and most unexpectedly my schedule changed and I was lucky enough to have a break from teaching for two classes. My first breaks for four months. I had lots of preparation to go through for the rest of the month so I made good use of my time. The teachers room was fairly quiet with the usual noises all missing and no English spoken at all, just Korean.

During the break time several Korean co-workers were busy but took out time for a necessary lunch. Each person (including the manager) took a maximum of ten minutes to eat. No time to waste at all and straight back to work. No leisurely hour lunches. That's the Korean style/way. Again reinforcing what I've known for a long time but not what everyone I've worked with in the past has really appreciated. 'They' work harder than 'us' but 'we' get more money, more time off and a massively easier job at work with less little or no stress. There must be some resentment from some people in some academies especially where some foreign workers are ultra lazy. What must 'they' think?

It's not fair and everyone knows it but right now that's the way it is in this line of work in Korea. Foreign/English teachers should really try to remember - and not in a patronising or condescending way - that their job is easy and well paid in comparison to their Korean counterparts. Make the most of it while 'you' can but try to be respectful, mindful and aware of who you're working with before complaining of how difficult life is for 'you' here, because it's not. For what little 'we' put in 'we' get a lot more than perhaps we should expect to.

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