Last Thursday, I sat down with my director to discuss my exit strategy from Korea Poly School (Pentagon officials may want to take notes). I had sent him an e-mail asking what I could do to best help with the transition. I had suggested writing a letter to the parents explaining the amicable split, and assuring them that their children would be in good hands with my future replacement. He assured me that was unnecessary, and asked that I just keep my students in the dark for the time being.
It’s difficult to teach them with this knowledge of my imminent departure at the forefront of my mind; I want to tell them and I feel that they deserve to know. Every hug I receive feels stolen and dirty–much in the same way a lover or spouse must feel after being unfaithful. However, I abide by my word. I know rumors of my exit will surely create anxiety for the parents, and concerned phone calls for my boss.
While it is personally important for me to handle this exit in the most professional way possible, the more pressing issue was to determine my final day at KPS, and receive my letter of release that goes along with it. Without a definite final day, I could not sign a contract with my new school, nor could I begin planning my move. Although my resignation letter had stated my desire to leave the school on June 24th, I had agreed to “some flexibility” for dates between the 27th and 29th. I figured it would be the 29th. I was wrong.
He asked me to stay for the morning of the 30th. While it was only a half-day, I was not thrilled by this request. My starting day at Gyeonggi English Village is July 1st, which will give me one evening to move in and get settled before starting my new job. And it seems that no matter how prepared I think I am to move, there is always something else to clean or pack or throw away.
Clearly in this case, more time off is preferable, but in the end I relented. My director did not need to give me a letter of release, and by doing so he allowed me to finish up the month with KPS, and not have to go to Japan for a new visa. This was the best solution for both of us, and one half-day was not going to kill me. It will be a chance to give a proper good-bye to my kindergartners, and my final class will be teaching gym, so I’ll be able to leave them with one last, fun memory.
Now, as each day ticks off the calendar I become more and more excited for a fresh start. Small and large issues alike no longer bother me, as I have had this giant burden lifted from my shoulders. This weekend, I’ll turn in all of my necessary documentation to my new school, and get to take a look at the apartments on campus, as well as the campus itself. I’m ready for my experience in Korea to truly begin, and soon enough, it will.