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16 February 2005
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KLB - My Reply


Since I've lost pretty much all interest in this job I had no qualms about writing this reply:


Listen, the reason I didn't complain to you about the materials is
because I don't like complaining to my boss. I complained to Cathy,
but I thought that was in private. That she reports everything I say
and do to you makes me not want to talk to her at all.

I don't even know what the problem is because I have taught 95% of the
material in the new books - with some exceptions with difficult
readings. Now, you seem to imply that part of that problem is my
students ability level is lower than other schools. That makes me
angry because these kids are fantastic and I feel pride when I see how
smart they are and how much they have learned. They are far above
average for their age group and that is because I supplemented the
sub-standard materials you gave me with interesting, exciting lessons
in phonics, conversation and writing. Have you ever seen kids so
excited about learning? Well it isn't because of your curriculum -
that's for sure.

I'm sorry but the books your agency made are nothing but a
bunch of random photocopied pages from other books bound together.
Perhaps your other teachers haven't had a problem becuase they don't
want to complain either or their assistants haven't told you
everything as mine has. You know what? I have a degree in English
Education from a State University of NY and 5 years teaching
experience in America and Korea - when I say that these are the worst books I've ever used, I mean it. However, this is the point: I didn't complain
to you before and I still taught the material because that's my job.
So what is the problem here exactly? Maybe the problem is I didn't
teach everything 100% on schedule, but that's because it's important
the kids learn the material before moving forward. I'm sorry I didn't
call you and tell you exactly what my thinking was...

The only other material I've been having trouble with is the
Rainforest Theme. It's a big waste of time teaching kids about obscure
animals that even American adults don't know the names of. And without
being able to use Korean in the classroom, it's next to impossible to
teach about the science of rainforests. It's also not very exciting.
I'm sorry again I didn't report that to you, but I didn't want to
complain about these bad ideas.

I'm sorry, but I just don't have free time enough to make extra
preperations. If you wanted to pay me a few more hours a week to come
in and prepare, that would be fine. I would happily do so without pay,
even if I lived only an hour away. But as it is, I spend 3 hours/day
just to get to and from work. That's a big waste of time and has
prevented me from finding part-time work. I haven't complained to you
about that either - but I don't think you should expect more from me.
Yes, I agreed to this, but if you recall, you needed a teacher ASAP
and I had to make a quick decision. The reality turned out to be much
harder than I expected.

As for Cathy - I understand she is a very hard worker and so serious.
I often feel sorry for her that she has to work so hard for so little.
If she worked for me, I would never make her work that hard. She tells
me that she sometimes stays at your office until 12 AM! Sometimes she is
so stressed out that she gets blisters on her mouth and she tells me all
the time that she sleeps just a few hours every night. I don't understand
why everyone has to take work so damn seriously. Maybe it's a cultural
difference, but that's over the top.

Well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow. To tell you the truth, I'm not
looking forward to it. I've made up my mind I don't want to deal with
these headaches over a part-time job anymore. That's a shame for both
you and the kids. I know for sure they will really miss me. I know I'll
be very sad to say goodbye to them, too.

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