Last Friday I finally got my letter of release! I immediately emailed it over to Young Hoon Elementary and first thing Monday morning I had a contract sitting in my inbox. That was yesterday. I looked it over and printed it out before giving it to one of the office assistants to fax. Now its Tuesday and I got my “welcome to Young Hoon” email!
Its such a huge weight off my shoulders to know that not only will I be able to leave my current atrocity of a “school” but that I’ve got a great job lined up with a month of summer and winter vacations! I don’t know what age I’ll teach yet but I asked for 4th grade and I’ll be working with 3 of my current coworkers (Susan, Sara, & Brian). We are apartment hunting together in the upcoming weeks and hopefully we can find somewhere with 4 apartments and have our own Seoul version of Friends!
With my new-found vacation time I’m going to try to do some backpacking in Vietnam and get out to the Pacific Northwest US over the summer; likely for a little backpacking with my same troupe that I went through the Southwest US last summer. If all goes well I’ll end with a stint back in NJ before teaching the second half of the school year in Seoul.
Teaching this week has been a little tough but that’s mostly due to the students being off their rockers. I’m sure things will settle out again soon and I just created a social story to help our “favorite” student behave on the bus and throughout the day. I enjoyed meeting some new friends and practicing my Korean & Russian last night at a coffee shop and am looking forward to my second Korean class tonight!
We are supposed to be paid in 2 days but I don’t think any of us actually expect to get our paychecks on time. When I brought up the payday last week with my principal she said “maybe” and they are still expecting me to repay half my flight out here (roughly $430). I told them “maybe” I’d pay them when we get paid, but am going to do my best to keep my money. My contract says nothing about having to negotiate or pay for a letter of release like they forced me to. I’m prepared to go to the ministry of labor if they withhold it from my paycheck (which is what I’m expecting to happen).
Thanks for following and cheering me on through this struggle. The support has certainly been welcome and I haven’t lost sight of my real motivation for coming to Korea. I am loving living abroad and learning about the wonderful culture here. They tell me its all part of the “honeymoon” phase but in spite of all the garbage I am dealing with at work I am really having a great time!