A little while ago I got a press release email from Rob Ouwehand, ATEK’s national communications officer, about ATEK’s presidential nominations period and upcoming elections.

There isn’t much time left for nominations as “the presidential nomination period has begun, and closes on August 6th: the first Friday in August.  ATEK is looking for people to run for president.”

As of five days ago when I received the email ” . . . there [were] not, as yet, any nominees for president.”  I wonder what the association bylaws say if nobody decides to run?  Hopefully that doesn’t happen.  I’d like to point out, though, that perhaps having the nomination period during the peak of native teacher summer vacations might just be a BAD IDEA . . .

Chris in South Korea wrote up a post about the nominations, On ATEK and a new president, and I think he also had some really good thoughts on what he hopes ATEK’s new leader can do, and what ATEK might want to consider for the future.

Then Rob wrote up a post on his own blog, ATEK’s Next President, and his ideas on who would be an ideal candidate and how to nominate one’s self (which I find a little strange, but hey, why not).  Here’s a key quote,

“Any general member can run for president… to become an associate member, go to ATEK.or.kr/join, and to become a general member (which you have to be, to run for president), the e-mail you receive for becoming an associate member will have more information.  Then, once you’re a general member, go to the general member discussion forums, and post a comment announcing your candidacy.  For more information, e-mail Russell at officers@atek.or.kr, or Greg at president@atek.or.kr”

Something else related to the elections and ATEK is a survey that was put out a while ago.  You can read about it here in Rob’s post, Calling All English Teachers, past or present… Survey.

When the link to the survey was first posted I went and took a brief glance at it and dismissed it immediately as having nothing much to do with an E2 visa public school teacher’s issues for living and working in Korea.  Later, I went back and did the survey anyways, hoping that my two cents on the questions might contribute something to the time, effort, and energy behind it.  But I did post a comment on Roboseyo’s blog about it.

Hi Rob,

I finally went and did the survey…but it really seems to be aimed at researching hogwan native teacher issues…

I might be making a survey aimed at E2 visa/public school native teacher issues…we’ll see if I have the time to make a question list and then put it into an online survey…

I’ll probably send you a draft of the questions if I get to it.


I never got a comment on it from Rob, but then he’s also an INSANELY BUSY MAN who just got married, was on his honeymoon, and also must be running around with his head cut off prepping and whatever other things a national communication’s officer does leading up to a presidential race . . .

Here’s the info, instructions and link that Rob put up on his blog (still, go check out Rob’s post about the survey too).  Oh yeah, it only takes about 2 minutes to do the survey.

1. click on this link

2. put your e-mail address in the two boxes.

This step is necessary so that we know we’re getting unique survey-takers, not the same ones again and again.

3. After you’ve entered your e-mail address, the survey website will send you an e-mail with a link, and then it will forget your e-mail address forever.  Another person will get an e-mail saying “hey! another person did the survey!” and that will be it: your address will never be connected to your answers, and will not appear in any kind of database.  Promise.

4. Once you get that link sent to your address, click on it, and fill out the survey.

It asks you questions about your experience teaching in Korea – answer the questions about your entire time teaching in Korea.

5. Tell your friends about the survey.

But I should get back to the ATEK presidential nominations . . . like I said at the top of this post, Chris in South Korea wrote up a post, ATEK’s Next President, and he had a lot of very good points.  What kind of person do I think ATEK needs?  Hmmm . . .

I put quotes on leadership (see below at the end of this post) at the end of My response to President Dolezal of ATEK which I wrote as part of a series of posts that created a wee bit of a flame storm between myself and the president, vice-president, and a few other people . . . I posted the quotes about leadership because I was pretty astounded at the kind of responses and leadership style I was being confronted with (though with everything happening to the president the stress he was under excuses a lot of what was said).  I’m re-posting the links here, along with other ATEK posts I’ve written, to give some context to how and why I blog about ATEK.

ATEK opens a Twitter feed, publishes its first newsletter, and a news article in Korean Herald about Legal Assistance Program — Looks like communication is improving under Rob’s leadership as the national comm’s officer…

The road to hell is apparently paved with my intentions to help ATEK out . . .

ATEK gets a new national communication’s officer – also known as – Roboseyo

And the post that sparked quite a bit of attention from ATEK,

If ATEK falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Musings on why ATEK isn’t communicating with the expat community . . .

I don’t know that I really have much that is new to say about ATEK and what I hope its next leader does . . . I pretty much feel like just repeating some of the suggestions I made in this post.

1.  ”The Faces of ATEK” – Do a photo shoot where the faces of ATEK each do a one minute self-introduction video (or 30 seconds) and introduce themselves, tell a little bit of bio info, and then say what they do for ATEK.

This will HUMANIZE ATEK for the native teacher community, and make it less of some kind of abstract entity.

It doesn’t have to be a pro video (maybe later in the future) and could even just be someone’s netcam or point and shoot camera in their apartment that they self shoot for now.

I’ve noticed that X is an ATEK member, I think.  Why not ask him if he’d be willing to volunteer some of his time to do a photo shoot of the council?  . . .

Point number 1, that I suggested in my post from April 28th, 2010, ties in with Chris in South Korea‘s post, ATEK’s Next President where he talks about his “recent poll [and how ATEK] showed a lack of name recognition” . . .

4.  Is there an ATEK monthly newsletter . . . ?

Yes, there is.  You can see the July 11th, 2010 issue of it here.  It’d be nice if there was more content but it’s a start.  Perhaps in the future it can have a “What did we do this month?” section with stories that have been “sterilized” of any content that allows the evil Hogwan Empire to track down the teachers being helped by the Rebel ATEK Alliance . . . and this way teachers in Korea would get a small glimpse into what ATEK spends its resources on.

6.  ATEK Town hall on Skype.  Why not have ‘town hall’ meetings once every 3 months, or twice a year where all members can watch live video feed of the president and executive council talk about issues and questions sent in before the meeting begins, and then during the meeting members and non-members can ask questions?  This idea needs a lot more fleshing out but it would be a truly democratic style medium in which all members and teachers in Korea could get some access to the leadership.

Hopefully something like this can be up and running for the coming elections–I think it’d be VERY interesting and might generate more interest in the elections process.

12.  Does ATEK have a blog widget (is that the right word?) that bloggers who are members could put up on their blogs?

Maybe an ATEK blog widget for the upcoming elections to remind people to vote???  Hmmm . . .

Anyways, I’ve said pretty much everything I can think of right now.  I don’t really see many Kblogosphere bloggers posting about ATEK’s presidential nominations–but again I go back to why would nominations be scheduled during the peak of vacations for native teachers?

I really hope more than one person steps up and nominates themselves to run–actually, I’ll settle for ONE PERSON cause how embarrassing would it be if nobody showed up?


“One of the hardest tasks of leadership is understanding that you are not what you are, but what you’re perceived to be by others.”

Edward L. Flom

“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

“A leader must be constantly aware of the power of his words . . . and his silences.”

Simon MacDonald

“Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.”

Susan B. Anthony

“The ability to summon positive emotions during periods of intense stress lies at the heart of effective leadership.”

Jim Loe

People who let events and circumstances dictate their lives are living reactively.  That means that they don’t act on life, they only react to it.

Stedman Graham