As most of you know I use to work at a hagwon when I first arrived here in Korea. After 5 months I quit and switched to a public school.
Lately, I have been finding that I still can't escape the hagwon system. Certain aspects of my work at a hagwon has crept into my current life.
I teach an advanced class three times a week. This is an after school program for selected students. Last semester I didn't hear many complaints from the Mom's. Either because there weren't any or my old coteacher didn't bother telling me.
Since last week I have already received two parent complaints. It isn't anything as severe as it was in the hagwon. Meaning I won't get fired over it. But one student was pulled from the class from her Mom.
What's the big deal?
The class is a mix of 6th grade down to 4th grade, so that means the English levels differ. I have to talk slower for the lower grades but provide higher level material for the advanced kids.
So some kid's parents might think the class is too easy, while others will think it is too hard.
Competition with hagwons:
The main grief I am experiencing I feel is because there is the option to send their kids to a hagwon. Of course it would be a lot more expensive, but certainly more thorough.
At hagwons kids are tested on many levels, given progress reports, butt-loads of homework and a lovely ride in a hagwon van.
At the Advanced Class in an public school the activities and work is determined by the Foreign teacher, myself.
So the parents see all the work other kids are doing at hagwons and think "Why can't my kid be doing that at the advanced class?" And so they examine my class and call up to make some comments.
At first I was a little take aback by the comments, because I thought I had left that kind of thing when I quit the hagwon. But I can see now that the parents are just concerned for their child's education.
This semester I already have planned more homework, activities and tests that are more extensive than last semester. Already the mention of these things have not pleased the students, who just want to play during their time in my class. But I hope it gives the parents something to agree with, and at the same time help my students learn English.
But I am going to follow my own style and methods, not what a Mom thinks should be done because she saw it at a hagwon.