Sorry. I just have to get this one off my chest.
Look. We all came to Korea for different reasons. Most of my closest foreign friends here are not teachers -- they are "teachers". And that's fine. That's what Korea asks for, so that's what Korea gets. And I respect the fact that people work jobs to earn a living and provide opportunities for themselves, so long as they do what they can to successfully complete that job, even if they're not particularly fond of it.
But for those who.... oh. Look. I'm not one to run my mouth about certificates and qualifications, given that I don't have any. At all. None. I don't have any formal training, either. But I've been teaching since the age when it's realistically possible for someone to teach. Both my little brother and little cousin had learning disabilities, and the task of assisting them with not only their homework, but also additional materials to help them catch up and keep up with their classmates fell to me. And then I taught university students for nearly two years. It's something that I know I have not only an inclination toward, but also a great affinity for. I love teaching. Everybody fucking knows that. But I have no formal qualifications to speak of. That's not what I'm talking about.
Teaching is not like working the counter at the 7-11 -- it's not something just anyone can do. I believe it takes a certain natural-born constitution, as well as the ability to learn and adapt yourself, and rather quickly. It also requires a certain epic amount of patience and tolerance, not only with the students, and with yourself, but also with the fact that more times than not you're going to be dealing with an institution that wants things done a certain way, whether you think that's the best way for things to be done or not. You'll almost always have to find ways to accept things you don't think are helpful (in some cases, the opposite of), and work around what you can.
Maybe your job really is horrible. I don't know. But for some of you, the reason why you hate your job is not because your co-workers are awful, your students are stupid and your school is a disaster -- it's because you're not a teacher. You're not cut out for this. You don't care about this. And it's not a job I think anyone can do for any reasonable amount of time and stay sane if they don't have a true love for it. How is that anybody else's fault?
Where did you think you were going, and what did you think you were going to be doing once you got there? You're not amused by children. You find them disgusting and annoying. You don't know how to deal with the completely random utter nonsense that springs forth from their little mouths almost constantly. You hate being touched. You don't like repeating or explaining yourself.
What the fuck, exactly, were you thinking, then? That you'd show up here and have a fantastic year doing something you loathe, by your very nature, for 40 hours a week?
I just can't get my head around this. I really can't. And I understand that there are proper Teachers out there, with degrees and everything, who have just as many (if not more) complaints about the Korean education system, and their place within it. Those are a different set of complaints -- one I don't really have the right to tangle with, being that I don't fall into those ranks. But as for the other... I don't say this often. I go out of my way not to say this, unless in the private company of my very nearest and dearest. But please... just fuck off home, would you?
Because I'm tired of hearing out of my students how their other foreign teacher here or there is always scowling and screaming, ignoring them and refusing to talk to them, slamming doors in their faces and generally giving them the idea that they are something to be abhorred. It's not their fault -- they're just showing up to school everyday like they have to. Nobody's forcing you to be here, so get your shit together and go find something that has a shot at making you happy, instead of bringing everyone else down with you.