1.4 Spring 2020 (COVID Archives)

May 29, Anticipated Devastation

Korea giveth and Korea taketh away.

C told me today that there would be no native teacher replacing me next semester and Seoul will not be hiring any new teachers in fall. The reasoning was that new teachers would have to do two weeks of quarantine.

The excuse is a bit flimsy to me since new teachers, and anyone else arriving from abroad, must do a mandatory two week quarantine and have been doing so since March. Why is it now a concern?

It got me thinking though and when I got back to my desk I did some research.

Many provinces through the national program and even the independent provincial program for Jeolla have cut all native teacher positions for fall.

Was Gyeongnam going to follow suit? I emailed the recruiter but no response was received and I’m too nervous to check my email now.

What does that mean for my future? My three year plan?

(This is also why plans are dumb.)

In my shock over my future falling apart I made a possibility map and planned ahead for every potential outcome and what I should do. It eased the pain a little.

It’s especially annoying that just today they decided to shut down most fall positions when I and hundreds back in the US had applied or planned to apply for fall positions months ago. Asia Time to a nefarious degree.

Couldn’t you have decided earlier? Now I look foolish because I turned down renewing my current stable job for a job that may no longer exist.

My research led me to a few options if Gyeongnam falls through:

  • Get a private kindy or cram school job for fall (I hate cram schools but I have to put it on the list)
  • Look for an international school in Korea (unlikely, they hire in the spring and I need my teaching certification in hand)
  • After this contract ends, stay in Korea and switch to the D10 job searching visa (I will need proof of address; the residence can’t be a hotel or air BnB so I would have to rent a different place)
  • After this contract ends, register for a short term language course (assuming they have classes on campus) and switch to student visa, more leisurely job search while in country
  • Return to the US, finish up all teaching requirements, visit family, get a PT job, and wait until the spring cycle with the possibility that either better positions will be available or perhaps spring positions will also be canceled
  • Beg current school to renew my contract even though I already said no and the deadline passed (in my opinion a non option, I’d rather just go home than stay at this school just to stay in Korea, but all should be considered)

I am of course open to suggestions. I can’t move as freely around in the world right now so other countries are also a dead end. And China is not on the books until 2022 at least.

It sucks too in that my life keeps stopping and starting. At least I have a lot of vacation time between jobs…?

So I went to the gym and worked out in quiet devastation. This was not part of the plan. I decided it would be too pathetic to cry over the possibility of something, however, and at the gym no less.

All I can do is keep moving forward with Korean tutoring and my teaching course and wait for an answer.

*The following day the recruiter let me know that Gyeongnam is still deciding if it will hire teachers for fall— whether they are already in the country or not. He anticipates a decision by mid June.

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