Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Praise and Gratitude From Your Boss

How many times has your boss told you "thank you"? How many times have they said, "good job" or "good work" or "you're doing well"?

If you work at a hagwon in Korea, that number is probably numbingly low.

Praise and gratitude are two things that are definitely missing from the how-to-be-a-good-manager textbook in Korea. I've heard from lots of fellow teachers and live it every day myself: "thank you" is not common.

At first, I didn't notice it so much. I guess I didn't think about it because I was on such a high of being in a new country and trying to learn how to wrangle kids into learning English. It was only after almost a year that I realized I was feeling some resentment towards management. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated, (even if you really are appreciated!) because of communication issues.

I want to be clear here, the management at our hagwon are nice and from what I've heard from other teachers, pretty great compared to what they sometimes have to deal with. However, I only have had one or two times where they've told me "good job" and "thank you" is a rarity.

I like to think of it as a cultural thing or language barrier but it's something you should know if you're planning on working in Korea because it can be disheartening.

I'm very curious to know, if you're an English teacher in Korea, does your boss ever say "good job" or "thank you"??

EDIT: Tonight, the very night of when this post went live, we had a free BBQ outside in the garden after work. Just wanted to let you all know. 

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