I received an email last week letting me know I would not be offered a contract for the next year. The formal letter gave no details but thanked me for 'excellent service'.
-I started writing this post on Sunday, Dec 20, but will keep it in draft for a while. I don't know when I will release it. As you can imagine, my emotional state has not been good and the emotions themselves change almost by the second. When I am ready, when there is something useful to share with my readers, I will post this. -
Although I am confident of finding something to do by March, I don't think I will get as good an arrangement as I had with the job I have left. Yes, they let me go, and yes, I had a few complaints with how the classes were run and the teachers were managed (and yes, those two things may have led me to my current position. 'May have', as I don't have a clue why as yet (Dec. 20)), but I still recommend the university as a place to work. I don't think I should name the university here, but you can find the name quickly enough on this blog.
Anyway, it was a good job and included a lot of free time. I am disappointed, in hindsight, with how poorly I used that time. I did write two textbooks for the science class of a summer camp and did prepare for classes somewhat beyond what was absolutely required of me but after seven years teaching with all that free time, my qualifications have aged terribly and I do not have a Masters degree or other qualification that could get me the next job. I am even looking, for this January, at getting a '100-hour- TESOL certificate' online. I am told it will be very easy and will not take one hundred hours, so the only reason I would get it is to improve my paper value rather than my actual teaching skill. I do expect, though, to learn a few things from it.
Well, New Year's resolution #1: If my work schedule allow this, I will start a Master's degree in TESOL. I will also work hard to ensure my work schedule allow this.
Updated Dec. 28:
I mentioned that I was depressed about losing my job that is definitely true, but I am also somewhat buoyed by the unanimous opinions of my friends and acquaintances that I am an excellent teacher and that the dismissal from the university is their loss and has nothing to do with my teaching. Thank you to my many friends and my apologies if I overstated your opinions about my teaching - just a little.
Updated Jan. 26, 2010:
First, I should thank Alistair at Korean Horizons, a recruiting agency. He wasn't able to find me a job because of my personal situation. My wife's job appeared to tie us to Sokcho (although now that is changing and I am looking at another city with a Coast Guard station) and I approached Alistair a little late in the hiring cycle for the winter. Indeed, this is my major complaint with my university - the late notice they offer. Anyway, Alistair wasn't able to help me find work, but he has been a great help in other ways and even offered a contact name for a location nearby. He did this after hearing I had already applied so he wasn't in a position to make a commission. I think he's a good guy and I recommend his services.
He suggested I take a 100 hour tefl course and the classes have just arrived. I will start Unit one after finishing these next few sentences (but probably before I actually post this). I do hope to learn something but I am doing it to improve my pay schedule if I am hired with EPIK more than anything else.
Updated Jan. 26 (Later- just started unit 1)
I find myself thinking about how to study most efficiently for the test. I am sure that there will be useful material in the course - there will be things I already know but better articulated, entirely new material and well-tested material (I've been doing something two ways and the course may show that one method is much better than the other) - but I'm taking this course for the certificate more than for a desire to learn.
Perhaps this is how my students see the academic world!
Anyway, I don't particularly want to read the bulk of the material more than I have to. If I can understand and absorb it in one reading, I don't want to read it twice. I am now using mindmapping to take notes while I read - to test how mindmapping works and to pick up the points in one pass.
Updated Jan. 28
I have had trouble deciding when and how to put this message out. Happily, life has intruded in a way that makes me grateful for being let go.
My wife is being transferred to Busan and will leave in a few days to start work there and look for an apartment. I guess I will be packing and such, getting ready to leave February 8th or the like. I wish my university had told me earlier that I would not be offered a contract for this year, but the notice I did get has put me six weeks ahead of where I would otherwise be.