The QiRanger Adventures

Job searching…

with 2 comments

While looking for a new school to resume my teaching career, I posted this letter of interest on a Korean Job Board:

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Steve. I have worked in Education since 1994 and LOVE IT! My career first started out working in University Dorms, assisting new students become acclimated to their new surroundings. It wasn’t long after that, that I started serving as manager for both educational programs and international conferences.

However, the greatest joy I’ve ever received has been in the classroom teaching. I’ve taught science laboratories at the University Level, various vocational classes, and English to Korean elementary, middle, and high school students. It was the last experience that I truly enjoyed. I love languages and cultures, so it was pure joy developing curriculum and being able to implement it to assist new English Learners that was relevant to their everyday lives. In fact, I still keep in contact with some of my Korean students via Skype.

I loved living in Yongin and exploring the Seoul Metro area. Seeing the country’s rich history made me fall in love with it and long to return. What made my experience so positive immersing myself with the language and with the people around me. I pride myself in establishing friendship bonds not only with my coworkers, but also with those that live in the city where I work. I love living abroad and can’t wait to return to the Land of the Morning Calm.

I bring with me a diverse professional background that includes a solid foundation of instructional design. This allows me to tailor each class session to meet the changing dynamics of the classroom, while still meeting the educational objects of the school. In fact, I counseled most of the teaching staff on how to develop innovative and interactive teaching strategies.

I have several obligations in the United States, but will be available to return to Korea 15th June 2009. I’m looking forward to learning more about this exciting opportunity.


Steve, MEd

With my resume and letter, it wasn’t long (and I mean within 15 minutes), that recruiters started contacting me. It was with great humility that I started screening out potential recruiters, for I did not want a repeat of what happened last time. During the course of discussions, and subsequent interviews with public and private school, required me to go into detail about why I left my former school. Here’s what I told them:

There are two reasons why I did not finish my contract at the hagwon. Primarily due to health reasons. My one-room was unclean and too small for me. I am 194cm and the ceiling was only 190cm. This caused neck problems for me. Furthermore, there was mold in the bathroom, which led to a fungal infection of the sinuses. This leads to problem #2.

My employer was supposed to pay 50% of the health insurance. They did not and did not assist in helping me see medical attention for the fungal infection. As a result, the associated cervical lymph nodes were also impacted. Because my employers would not take me to the hospital or physician, I was only shown to a dermatologist who could not identify the issue. After 5 months of not getting medical attention, I had no choice but to return to the US. After one visit to the US doctor and simple over-the-counter medication, the issue completely resolved within 2 weeks.

Above and beyond not paying for the 50% health insurance they were contractually bound to do, they did not contribute 50% to a pension fund, paid myself and other teachers late, and took money out of my pay check for bills and then didn’t pay the vendor – thus resulting in the vendor coming to my door asking for money. The owners would also ask myself and other teachers to work during non-paid hours for free.

Since June 2008, eight teachers have left before their contracts were complete. When you hear horror stories about corrupt and crooked hagwons, this one is the classic example. When I left, I asked for a letter of release and my tax information. The owners failed to provide both, even though I gave a month’s notice.

I hope this clarifies things. I would have loved to have completed the contract, but working for an organization that fails to abide by the written contract and cannot even assist to provide simple health needs, it wasn’t in my best interest. I can assure the you that I will complete my contract and not only be an exemplary teacher, but their best for many years.

Let’s see where this gets me…


Written by Steve Miller

March 28, 2009 at 6:37 am

2 Responses

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  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).


    March 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm

  2. No harm in telling the truth….they need to know what is going on and should prevent this from happening again…


    March 28, 2009 at 9:15 pm

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