Friday, February 27, 2009

Ch ch ch changes

March must be the golden month at teaching facilities in Korea, because for me it means a new coteacher and a manipulated schedule.

These past few days I have been sitting back waiting for these changes to come in. As is the custom, I have found it better to let information come to me than seek it out. Of course I go looking for answers when it is necessary.

A new coteacher, I feel, is like getting a new captain for a ship. If I were the crew member then I would want to know if my captain is going to steer us clear of danger.

Day 1: First Impressions

New coteacher arrives. First impression is all right. Turns out she taught English in Daegu for three years and has experience working with foreigners.

But our meeting was very brief, as she spent most of her time getting briefed about the classroom with my ex-coteacher.

From this small bit of information and meeting I feel that she will know what to do and that communication won't be so difficult.

But I am apprehensive because we didn't spend time talking. On monday classes resume and her and I did not go over what we will do. Sure there is the book to start teaching for the classes, but usually each lesson doesn't fill the whole class time.

If she is relying on me to have a rock solid what-to-do plan for next week, then she better rethink that. I have the lesson plans ready to go, but as for how we teach it is up in the air.

I am guessing it will go something like this, where we start the class and figure out what to do as we go along.

Of course though I am worried about what she expects from me. Does she expect me to teach everything and she just do something now and then? The ideal situation I feel is that we share the teaching time and keep it fun and interesting for the kids.

Ah well I guess it is another just wait and see scenario.

Revised Schedule:
My schedule didn't change much day to day. It is more like they made little shifts here and there. Let's take a look. Keep in mind the schedule for all of this is from 9:00 - 4:30 pm (each class is 40 min long).

  • 4-1
  • 4-2
  • 4-3
  • 3-1
  • No change here.
  • 5-1
  • 5-2
  • 5-3
  • There use to be a 3rd grade class at this time but no more.
  • 6-1
  • 6-2
  • 6-3
  • 3-3
  • There use to be no 3rd grade class and just planning time.
  • 5-3
  • 5-2
  • 5-1
  • 5-4
  • This 4th - 5th grade class is new, so that means we will be teaching an extra helping of older kids.
  • But generally the class hours for Thursday haven't changed.
  • 6-1
  • 6-2
  • 6-3
  • 3-2
  • 5-4 (After lunch)
  • Activity class
  • Change here is the 3rd and 5th grade slots. Friday remains to be the busiest day.
As you can see these changes aren't that big, compared to if I were still at the hagwon. There you get an entirely new schedule.

Certainly my new coteacher will have concerns of her own for starting her new job. From what I gathered our Principal isn't the nicest guy out there towards the teachers. Also I wonder if she finds our classroom to be a technological downgrade, due to that we have an old big screen TV, chalkboard (some classes have an interactive white-board) and no classroom computers. If so then maybe she will work hard to get the class upgraded! (I need a faster computer)

Anyways I am going to try my best and go with the flow. Get to know her and the style in which she teaches. I am a little scared because I am still new to teaching and don't have all my skills yet, so I hope she can see this when we teach together.

We will see. ~


  1. In Korea the Principal and vice principals are around to discipline and whip the teachers into shape.

    I'm not sure if anyone explained that to you - but it really affects the inner politics of the school you work at.

    Don't worry too much - all you can do is be yourself. I've got a new co-teacher too who I'm struggling to communicate with right now. I'm hoping once he gets settled it will be easier. :)

    At least you have a schedule! I didn't even know what grade I was teaching until yesterday. I'm coming in Monday with no idea what classes I'm teaching.

  2. Yea I can see that as his job. Sometimes I am a little wary of how good things are here. I guess the balance comes in that I am the only foreigner at my school.

  3. It seems that you might have been slightly more proactive & at least requested a 10-15 minute brief meeting for you & the new co-teacher to discuss some of the things you mentioned.
    AND to especially establish what each of you are respectively responsible for, so there's no uncomfortable gray areas later!

  4. good advice.. although we all know it is too late now. But seeing how we will get started on Monday I will try to not be so shy and get the ball rolling.

  5. Offer to take her to lunch or tea so you can get acquanited & define your roles with each other!
    It's not too can tell her you waited til Monday or Tuesday so she could observe first what & how you work, etc... with the students and get a feel for the school, etc...
    Tell her you're openminded about her ideas, methods, etc...

    Stress the teamwork angle!


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