It’s been a bit quiet around here at A Seoulful Year, mostly because there have been some unknowns that we had to sort out as well as wrenches thrown into our plans so to speak. As early as August, Mike and I talked about the possibility of staying another year in Seoul. We were throwing the idea around seriously a few months later when Mike’s position went to full time and I decided I really enjoyed working at my school and was not quite ready to leave Korea yet.
We made the decision to stay another year, all of this hinged on the idea that my school would ask me to renew my contract. Since they regarded me favorably, I thought this was a secure possibility, and I let my co-teacher know of my intention to stay another year if they would have me. We told our friends in Korea that we planned to stay and they – especially those who would be here another year also – were thrilled for us. We made plans and I even started furniture shopping. So when my school informed me that they were unable to renew my contract privately due to funding issues, I was pretty devastated.
Not to go into too many of the particulars but the funding they received to hire me from the previous school year had been cut for all of the school district. The next year’s native English teachers had to be hired through the main Seoul Office of Education. My Co-teacher gave me a number to call to speak to someone from that office about how to keep my job. The next few weeks were full of false starts, misinformation, and still no promises or guarantees of the desired result. I was completely frustrated and at times thought about taking the other road of going back home to the states and dealing with the unknowns there. But, my loving husband rallied me not to give up: that we were not done with our time here and reminded me how I would regret it if I didn’t at least do all I could do to stay at a job and in a place that I love.
So, with his support and that of family, friends, and of course prayers, I managed to navigate the bureaucratic barriers (the mental image of a show horse jumping an obstacle course came to mind often) and…I’m happy to say that I signed my contract today, renewing my position with my current school! This means the Kantors are in Korea for another year!!