A Little too Close to Home?
Last week, I published this post: Korea, not the Place for Serious Teachers and the backlash against it was pretty harsh. I think a lot of people reacted so strongly because as one of my friends said to me in a private FB message,
(People are so mean and nasty…) “cos they filter everything through themselves. So what they are reading (in their head) is,
Oh crap, I’m trapped in a dead end job, and I am never going to escape this place.”
If that was going through my head, I’d certainly feel angry too and lash out at the person who wrote something that made me feel like that. Easier than taking a look on the inside, you know?
Am I a Total Hypocrite?
Anyway, what I do want to respond to are those people who criticize me for saying that Korea is not a great place to make a career teaching English but at the same time, I have a book about how to get a university job in South Korea. I don’t actually think that I’m a total hypocrite and I sleep really well at night. Here’s why:
University Jobs in Korea: Prime!
I’ve always said that university jobs in Korea are some of the most lucrative teaching jobs in the world. Every so often, I add up my total yearly salary and divide it by the number of hours I actually work. It always comes out to more than $100 USD per teaching hour and it’s sometimes closer to $150 if you add in pension and housing benefits. How could someone with an MA in Arts or Humanities possibly earn that much per hour doing anything else? Add onto this the fact that working in a university in Korea is probably the easiest job you’re ever going to have in your entire life. No supervision or expectations of results whatsoever.
I’d probably do it for $30 an hour and still think I was getting a fair deal.
Cha-Ching: Thank you Korea!
I think that the key is using your time working at a uni to set yourself up for something awesome in the future, whatever that may be: teaching in another country, teacher-training, test administration + grading, another career, self-publishing, building a website empire, etc, etc.
See: Don’t waste your time in Korea for some of my thoughts on how to do this.
So, if you can get a uni job in Korea, you’d be unwise not to take it. It’s fabulous, for a few years. See this post for more details: Is my Korean university job too good to be true?
I myself wasted plenty of years doing crap like watching TV and cruising around on ESL Cafe, but still managed to teach myself how to build websites and self-publish books, enough so that I plan on doing it for my job once I move back to Canada in a few months. These days, I spend far more time blogging and writing than I do on actually teaching, lesson planning or grading but I still get paid a very decent salary. It’s certainly a good gig if you can get it.
Great for a Few Years…
But, Korean university jobs are not fabulous for the long-term and I certainly wouldn’t recommend that someone make a career out of it. I don’t want to re-hash everything here, but you can take a look at these two posts for some details about why I think so:
Hopefully that Clears Things Up
Hypocrite? Not so muchee, as they say in Korea. And, that book by the way is: How to Get a University Job in Korea.