Which country offers more for the English teacher?
Living and teaching in both laid back Thailand and fast paced South Korea has made for an interesting perspective on life in Asia. The two extremes are hard to compare but I think I should at least try.
The true value of an English teacher
Native English teachers incompetent in the classroom? Of course they're incompetent. Many of them, anyway. Then again, many of the Korean English teachers are incompetent as well.
It's not just for blond-haired blue-eyed wonders anymore.
no one bitches and moans like foreign English teachers. Especially the foreign English teachers with blond hair and blue eyes. Especially the foreign English teachers who have been spoiled over the last three plus decades with free airline tickets to and from home and rent-free apartments
An article in the Korea Times
Far too many native English teachers come to Korea with neither plans nor goals in dramatically raising the English language ability of their students. Having failed, they then blame the Korean education system for being uninspiring and unprogressive.
The Hines-Ward effect
Yes racism still exists in America and other Western nations. But there's a difference. Here in many parts of Asia, there is no classification of racist acts because no distinction is made between the racist act and the racist person.
The joke is on us
The stress and aggravation of life in Korea for expats can be brutal at times, and that's why it's important to blow off a little steam every now and then. During times like these, most expats simply get together to eat, drink, and complain about life in a society that still views foreigners as less than equal.
Noble warriors and the culture of Irresponsibility
I believe that just about all of us noble warriors would like to look back on our overseas teaching experiences with pride and come to the conclusion that we did well. I don't know anyone of us who wants to look back at their experiences in anger and disappointment and conclude that they failed.
Changes in Korean education
Education in Korea has rapidly changed in recent years. Up until the end of the Yi dynasty (1392-1910) Korean education was heavily influenced by Chinese practice. Only a few privileged children were allowed to enter elementary school to study Confucianism, Chinese language, and literature. At age 15-16 elitist students attended secondary school. Graduation entitled them to sit for a crucial lower level civil service examination.