Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Foreign teacher stories from around the peninsula

Here are some stories about foreign teachers that have popped up over the past few weeks and months.

Looking first at Chungcheongnam-do, on Monday the Joongdo Ilbo published an article titled "Married native speaking teachers rescue woman who fell into water."

On June 2 at around 3pm the couple, who work at a middle school and high school in Daejeon, were walking in Maenyeon-dong in Seo-gu near the Expo bridge when they heard a strange sound and, running toward it, came upon a woman in her 30s who had fallen into the water. The husband and wife jumped in and together pulled her to safety and turned her over to 119.

The couple modestly said that it was just something they had to do, and that they didn't want their photos taken or names recorded.

As well, News 1 reported that native speaking teachers took part in a Korean cooking culture experience on May 25. Cultural experience programs for NSETs like this are often reported in the press.

Enjoy it while it lasts, I suppose - back in March, the Daejeon City Journal reported that 760 Korean public school teachers were being trained by the Chungcheongnam-do office of education in order to replace native speaking teachers. Around the same time the Joongdo Ilbo reported that Hwadong Elementary school in Taean was having internet lessons every day for twenty minutes with Filipino native speakers in a program which helped 20 students from grades 3 to 6.

In less good news, the Chungcheong Ilbo reported that a 'foreign teacher' was booked without detention by police for stealing a cell phone worth a million won from a bar on May 17 in Cheongju's Sachang-dong. Since the words 'English' and 'native speaker' don't appear, I'd assume he wasn't an English teacher, but who knows?

As for the Busan area, Yonhap reported on May 27 that seven native speaking teachers as well as students at Busan International Middle and High School were organizing a fundraising drive for an orphanage in Kenya which one of the native speaking teachers worked at previously as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

In not-so-good news, Yonhap (and several other outlets) reported on May 24 that 54 year-old Mr. Shin was arrested for stalking a female American English teacher for two months. It started on April 1 when he saw the high school teacher in Busan's Bugok-dong, near where she lived, and began following her and speaking to her in English. He'd wait near where she lived when it was time to go to work and follow her, and even threatened to kill her if she contacted the police.

It would appear female foreign teachers haven't had the best luck in Busan. Yonhap also reported back in March that on March 9 a Canadian hagwon instructor was crossing the street near Haeundae Station when she was hit by a 125㏄ motorbike without a license plate and suffered a fracture to her femur. The 17 year-old driver fled but later felt guilty and turned himself in.

In a happier two-wheeled story, several outlets reported that at the end of March 30 foreigners in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do, including university professors, school teachers, hagwon instructors and students, took part in a 'Changwon bike party.'

As for teachers from Gyeongsangbuk-do, several media outlets have reported that last weekend 16 native speaking teachers from Uljin went on a trip to Ulleungdo and Dokdo; this report even has a photo.

There are a few reports (such as this one about Gyeonggi-do and this one about Busan) about NSET cuts in public schools that I'll save for later.