Are English teachers helpers* for native speaking teachers?There have been articles like this before, such as the 2010 New Daily article about "the discontent of Korean instructors who kowtow to native speaking teachers in schools," and the 2011 NoCut News article about the "explosion of complaints from some support specialist instructors" about native speaking teachers (an article which begins by saying there is "a 90% satisfaction level [in regard to having foreign teachers]. However...").
Speak out on difficulties: "From finding a room to eating... for the first half year we're responsible for their lives"
Provincial Office of Education: "From this year we're considering measures such as designating mentors"
"The native speaking teacher called me once at home in the middle of the night because their dog was sick and there was no one who could aid them, and, compelled to help, I couldn't help becoming indebted to a parent who runs an animal hospital."
Gyeonggi-do teachers are revealing their complaints about being in charge of native speaking teachers, which has nothing to do with their jobs.
According to the Gyeonggi-do Office of Education on the 3rd, there are 1,200 native speaking teachers in the province, with support from the provincial budget for 483 native speaking teachers this year. At the end of last year there were also 720 teachers supported from the budgets of 31 cities or counties.
Native speaking teachers are currently working in elementary. middle and high schools in the province in order to do things like expand the ability of students to speak English and help them adapt to the culture of English speaking countries, but most [Korean] English teachers have to take care of these teachers' lives, including their classes, for their first six months.
However, as native speaking teachers' knowledge of the local area in which they work and their ability to adapt to Korean society is nonexistent, they rely on the [Korean] English teachers for almost every little thing, putting the teachers in an awkward situation.
'K', a 32 year-old female teacher from the Gapyeong area, revealed that, "When native speaking teachers come, [Korean] English teachers not only have to take care of every little thing from finding them a room to eating, but also have to do all of their original work as a teacher, so they are very put upon." "I wish there weren't any native speaking teachers."
'L,' a 35 year-old Suwon-area teacher, pointed out that, "When native speaking teachers come, there actually are cases in which they sense that teachers are doing these things involuntarily." "It's not always, but there are many cases in which some native speaking teachers are aware that the [Korean] English teachers have to do everything for them."
Regarding this, a provincial office of education official said, "In the case of new native speaking teachers there is an orientation, and local offices of education are also running programs to welcome them." "From this year we are making efforts to designate mentor teachers from among native speaking teachers to provide help to the new teachers during their first half year."
He also added, "I think it would be a good measure to hire as native speaking teachers people for whom it is possible to speak Korean, such as gyopos."
I like the bit about how NSETs' "ability to adapt to Korean society is nonexistent." As well, there were probably more possible mentors out there back before GEPIK cut 900 teachers (see here and here) to make room in the budget for free lunch programs.
I also don't really get the part about how being in charge of the NSET "has nothing to do with their jobs." There are lots of extra duties teachers have to do which have nothing to do with teaching (running the AV cub, maintaining the website, running girl scout activities, etc), some of which encroach upon their weekends. I can certainly sympathize with those teachers who feel put upon after work by demanding foreign teachers who they're responsible for, but the article opens with a worst-case scenario and puts nothing forward which would allow readers to empathize with people who have moved to a foreign country with little knowledge of the language, the school system, or where the recycling goes or how to pay bills.
* doumi - 도우미