The new school year started sometime last week…I think. My first English class was last Friday but the details leading UP to the first day of teaching are equally as interesting my teaching.
It all started the week of Feb 21st. It was a week full of deskwarming and last minute changes and surprises. Tuesday I heard that there would be a meeting with the new teachers who would come to meet the staff AND everyone else would get their assignments. I was anticipating this because I was getting a new contract co teacher and possibly losing my main co teacher.
I met a few new teachers who looked so fresh and wide eyed- ACTUALLY excited! It was nice and refreshing. One of them speaks almost perfect English- score. Random awards were given to certain people for reasons I have no idea about. Finally it came time for announcing who was teaching each grade along with their class lists.
First grade was called and 2 teachers go up to the principal and choose an envelope from her hand.
Second grade- the same thing.
3rd grade- 3 teachers went up and randomly picked between the three different envelopes.
4th, 5th, and 6th all went through the same process. Wait, what?…the class lists are completely random?
During my student teaching last year I was involved in the placing of children to the next grade. It was a careful and thoughtful process. We considered things such as special needs, personality and structure of the classroom. It was really hard, but in the end we both felt like it was a good place for the students. Watching how all homeroom teachers and students are completely random was really weird for me. I felt like it was another example of how students are never really thought of in the equation of their learning.
I realize that because of the way that Korean schools are structured its impossible to go through a process even close to how my teacher did last year. (Korean teachers get new assignments each year potentially. It is usually up to the Principal and Vice Principal what each teacher’s assignment will be for the year. -people don’t apply for a second grade position, most like A POSITION IN DAEGU, then they get a 5th grade job at my school. )
I wonder what their reasoning is? I think that it does have a positive- it is COMPLETELY objective and random. No favoritism is played.
Should I be shocked? Is it really that bad? I just worry about students involvement in their learning on a day to day basis. They are rarely considered.
Anyways, they are all in their new homerooms and they are cute as ever. I saw a lot of familiar faces. One face that I didn’t recognize stared at me in the lunch room then got up and introduced herself. What a brave soul. I don’t know where she came from but I am glad that she is here.
2 new, 1 same. One new English teacher came to my school and I feel really lucky to have her. She is nice and WILLING to let me teach. Interested in my ideas- so far. Easy going and doesn’t believe that she has to be a hard ass to gain their respect. Her English is great and she has traveled around the world- including the USA!
Other new English teacher is actually the head teacher of the school. She is the third in command to the Principal and Vice Principal. It is a little nerve racking but she likes me, so I just have to keep smiling.
The textbooks are ‘updated.’ They are just so silly. The characters however, don’t have Korean English accents. Nami can now say “Is Peter THEre?” I’m so proud of her. haha
Below are the new English books for 3rd and 4th grade. This year is the first year that each school had the responsibility of choosing the new books. As opposed to every other year where EVERY SCHOOL HAS THE SAME BOOK. Thus, www.waygook.org was created haha.
I welcome this new year and hope that all the hard work I put in these past 6 months show for something in the next 6 months!