My Core Values Put to the Test

One thing I’ve noticed about Korea is that a lot of things are about appearance, and how things appear to be.  Especially at this school.  They want you to paint a pretty picture and gloss over everything to please the parents.  Which…I understand..to an extent.  I know this is a business and that you want to please your customers and make sure they’re happy…however, I DO NOT condone lying to people just to make things seem all cherry and wonderful.

I’ve noticed that report cards are altered for elementary students, and we’re not allowed to give a student lower than a C.  A “C+” might be switched to a “B” to make it look better, and teacher comments on student’s performance in class is changed also.
The main point of my post is that we have little books that we send home with the kindergarten students (to their parents).  It’s about the kid’s behavior, how they’re doing in class etc.  Those are sent home twice a week.  Seems a bit excessive since we do the same theme all week long and not a lot changes, but whatever.  I was also told from the beginning that I’m supposed to put a positive spin on things in those books too.
So…I do.  Not lying, just basically sticking to what we do in class and using the OREO (good, constructive criticism, good) technique if there’s something I need to comment on.

I recently had one parent ask me in the parent comment section why her daughter didn’t really seem to be speaking much English at home.  She asked how her daughter was with the other students and how she was doing in class.
First off, her daughter is sweet, but she has a hard time paying attention in class and is often distracting the other students.  (She’s also like 5 in American age).  We’re working on this…and keep in mind that she’s only been in school for like a month and half.
My head-teacher came over to me and told me that I needed to white out the part about her not having a hard time paying attention in class…She also wanted me to write over the top of it how wonderful the girl was doing in school and that her English was good in class.
I can’t do that.  I couldn’t do that.  I whited out what I wrote, but I couldn’t write that.  Her mom asked me directly how her daughter was doing.  What a shitty situation to put someone in.
Apparently, the head teacher said she didn’t end up handing out the journal because she didn’t have time.  Doubt that.  Looks a bit funny with a giant chunk whited out.  Heh. 😦

Now, I’m back, and it’s Friday, and I’m having a hard time even being in the same room with her.  I really can’t stand her (the head teacher) now.  I’m currently in the teacher’s room and I have my music playing and I have headphones.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.  I have 11 months left, and I can’t be around people with a character like that.
I’m not going to quit or anything, but I’m not going to lie to someone just to keep them happy.  Especially someone’s parent.  Geez.
She can do it, but she’s not dragging me down with her.

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One thought on “My Core Values Put to the Test

  1. OMG. This is absolutely CRAZY. As an educator….I’m literally about to barf. I agree that in South Korea, an English school is a business, but it seems to me they want it to be a shady business. I’m glad you stuck to not writing that nonsense, though I think whiting out your honesty was 😦
    If I were in your situation, I have no clue what I would do…I suppose you could lose your job for standing up to her, but then again, you do have a long time to go before the year is over and can you really live with it?
    I’m sorry you are dealing with this! I’m so mad just reading about it!!

    How is she supposed to get better if people keep lying to her mom?

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