The Unhappy Life of an English Teacher

My name is Daniel. I was an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and am now a writer who has
published three books including South Korea: Our Story by Daniel Nardini.
                            How things have changed since I was an English teacher in Korea. Back
in the day I was treated fairly by the school I worked at, got paid on time, did the best I could for
my students, and I was provided housing and other benefits from the school. When my contract
ended, I was given severance pay, money for a plane ticket out (they would have given me the
actual ticket but I opted to stay in Japan for a week before returning to the United States. The
school was very good about that), and made sure I had medical care until the last day I left
Korea. The horror stories I have heard since then are just unreal. English teachers getting fired
one or two months before their contracts are finished so that the private schools can save the
money, private school bosses treating their foreign English teachers very badly, and now the
South Korean government making it harder to get the necessary visas for people who are
qualified to either get the right doc-umentation and work in the country. Those western English
teachers who have been kicked out of the country, even though they believed they had the
right visas and were told they had the correct doc-umentation, are now quite bitter and are
stating very clearly to not go to Korea. That makes me sad—I had a good life in Korea and
would change it for the world. But the government is making it worse by cutting back the
jobs of 7,000 English-trained and qualified Korean teachers in the public school system. What
will these poor people do? It is still true that English is the language of business and that
Koreans will be greatly disadvantaged in the not-so-distant future compared to the Chinese,
Japanese and Taiwanese who will have a far greater command of English and the 
advantages of provided by their school systems. The real problem is the Korean school
system which has real problems in it; not the foreign English teachers nor the Korean
teachers who try their best.