Today we had an interesting weekly meeting at CPIS. We met our future principal, and she was quite embarrassed to walk into such an awkward situation with all of our questions revolving around the absence of yesterday’s paycheck. She mentioned that she has administrative & marketing experience and told us that she would be writing a new curriculum & a teacher code of conduct.
Some of her news was good but we were too focused on how to react to the owner’s present lack of financial means. He collected more than enough money to pay all of the salaries & monthly expenses from last months tuition yet somehow lost over $150,000 in a week?
“What happened to the money?” Colin asked
Jane didn’t have a solid answer. She said she doesn’t know what happened and there are 2 people that Mr. Bae will give his phone # too; neither of which speak English or are involved in the day to day academics of the school. The accountant and a Mr. Choi who are both rarely seen. There’s no way to get a hold of him but we were assured that we “might be paid” by the end of the week.
“that’s simply unacceptable.” I retorted. “If Mr. Bae wants us to act professionally and work as teachers he needs to pay us on time. If he wants a glorified daycare where poor business practices can be accepted then he can’t hire certified teachers.”
“Mrs. Yi told us last time that she would pay us directly from the tuition collected. Why didn’t that happen?”
Leaving the meeting a few coworkers discussed the situation. We decided that no answer was probaly better than a blatant lie and decided how we would go about “teaching” today. A few of us resolved to hold our planned lessons until after we were paid. I did my regular morning meeting & taught art class but that was it for the morning; I extended their usual playtime and suddenly it was time to eat.
After lunch playtime went long today too and I opted to show Wreck it Ralph to the class in the afternoon. They were ecstatic but got restless by the halfway mark. I stopped the movie amidst cries and shouts and informed them we would finish it tomorrow and we ended the day with some centers. I picked the academic games; crash game (sight words), matching time, matching dominoes (addition) and a quiet reading center. Coincidentally they were all independent centers which let Mary and I relax a little.
When I mentioned this plan in the morning Mary, my coteacher, was worried the parents would complain. After all, she’s the one that has to deal with them. The kids were asking “is this math?” during the movie so I think they realized something was amiss; it will be interesting to see if there is any backlash from the parents. I told her to direct all complaints directly to Mr. Bae and the administration.
Tomorrow will continue without my regular lessons unless we are magically paid. I know I was among at least half of the teachers here who participated in a similar capacity today. The good news is I have an interview Saturday at a highly reputable private international school for a job that would start in the Spring giving me the 6 months required here to not repay my flight costs.
Thats all for now. I’m off to some stabbing stress relief at fencing practice.