Pseudo Strike Day 5

It has now been a full week since the teachers at CPIS were supposed to be paid.  No paycheck today but we were told “maybe Tuesday or Wednesday” so there’s a slight chance it’ll come tomorrow.  I could go on about how I’m not doing any work with my students but that would be a lie.  Its too tough to sit here and just give them playtime for a whole school day!

In a surprise move our school officially has a new name with the same initials.  They put up new stickers all over the school changing the words “primary” & “school” to “place” and “society.”  We suspect that has to do with the inspectors coming back a few times over the past few weeks since we know our school doesn’t follow the guidelines required to be an “international school.”  (I would love to post the name but need to keep this anonymous while I’m still employed here)

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Psuedo Strike Day 4

We continue teaching without pay so have we continued teaching at CPIS in a similar vein to last week with minimal instruction.  I hate the feeling that I could be doing more for these kids but even in my short stay here in Korea I’ve learned that I need to take care of myself first.

That was one of the first lessons I was taught here from a more experienced expat.  “Koreans aren’t going to look after you.  You need to always look out for your best interests or they will just take advantage of you.  It happens all the time to Americans, especially at hagwons.”  I took my friend Hoho’s advice my first week after I found out about the first series of late paychecks.

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Psuedo Strike day 3

Still no paycheck so work at CPIS today continued in a similar capacity to yesterday.  I hate to say it but it is really tough to “not teach” these kids.  Its more boring and less fun to just let them have DEAR (drop everything and read) and playtime.  We did our morning meeting, took spelling tests and practiced our Christmas songs before I had to teach art and sent them to lunch.

At lunch I checked my account for the first time today.  I wasn’t expecting anything to be there and that was quickly confirmed so I grabbed some cheap gimbap for lunch before going up to to eat and decompress on the roof.  At least it was a nice day out.

I gave my class an extended playtime after lunch before showing 2 “how its made” science videos on cloth and paper.  We colored firemen to discuss fire safety & stop, drop & roll in social studies before  cleaning up and getting ready for centers.  I brought out the CRASH game (sight words), 2 matching math games and a short vowel sort for centers.

My normal centers include a station where I am teaching and another where they are doing math or phonics independent work rather than just all 4 stations as games.  I’ve got a new Uno sight word game for my more advanced students and word wheels that I want to start using.  But, without a paycheck or any payday in sight the teachers resolved to do minimal teaching so I followed suit.  The sad truth is that its difficult to get motivate myself after being told the owner of your company is embezzling your salary.

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Psuedo Strike day 2

Today at CPIS wasn’t that bad.  Still no paycheck so we resumed the “no pay = playtime schedule.”  I had a lot of preps today so I took a walk enjoying the gorgeous weather and had a delicious lunch with my coworker.  My students had extended playtime & finished Wreck it Ralph in the afternoon.  We did minimal work all day but still had our morning meeting & practiced some phonics.  The scary part is that I think we are still doing an “acceptable job” but Korean hagwon standards.

Perhaps the best part of today was a conversation with Mrs. Yi (my principal).  She gave me what I believe was complete honesty about the situation and some general advice about how to find a good school to work at in Korea.

“You want school that owned by corporation not person.”

She was speaking from personal experience after either quitting or being fired from the our school which falls into the latter with Mr. Bae being the owner.   She told me she understood that I was nervous since its been questionable since my first day and the first incident happened less than 2 weeks in.  But, she said not to worry about getting paid because

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