Monday, 18 February 2008

Is this even a school week?

The week just past must have been one of the most useless in my career here in Korea. After the long winter holiday, we came back to school for just one week before going starting another two week holiday. Even worse, this week was still part of the previous academic year.

I was expected to give class, but there was no way I would be able to do that. Anything I did would go in one ear and straight out the other. That I was if I could even get it in to the one ear in the first place. I ended up having class on just two of the five days and showed a DVD.

“Why have this week then”, you might ask. I would love to know the same thing. Apparently, some schools do not have it anymore and there are rumours that it will soon disappear completely.

The only almost useful thing that happened was the graduation ceremony for the third years, but I will go in to that tomorrow. I tried to do a bit of work for next year, but there isn’t much I can do. My schedule will be changing and I need to speak with the teachers to figure out what they want from me.

Next year I will be teaching all three years, plus two levels of adults and one group of second year extra class students. The number of classes is not what worries me though. It is the number of individual lessons I have to prepare. Consider this. One lesson a week per group, that is three lessons right there. Add two sessions for the adult classes and one for the students’ extra class and I will be expected to prepare six individual lessons per week.

That is not really a problem when you have a definite syllabus to work with, but I do not. For the normal classes I only have the dialogue that is already in the textbook. Going thought that would take about 10 minutes if I stretch it. Working with each group in each class will take about 2 hours though. I can try to break the lesson up in to two, but how do I keep it interesting? I will have to create almost everything from scratch.

The Extra classes are easier. With these I can follow any syllabus. For the parents I will likely be using the same book we used last year and because I do everything in the lesson, not just part like with the students, it will be easy to just follow that and prepare quickly for each week.

The students’ extra class is fine as well. I will be using the lessons I tested during the Winter School. All I need to do is expand it and work out assignments.

Even though three of the six are not that difficult, it will still be a lot to contend with, considering I’m still relatively new to this. The more I learn about teaching, the more I learn about improving my lessons and see how my lessons are lacking. Of course, I can use what I learn, but the better I want to make the lessons, the more time I will need.

I hope I will be able to handle this satisfactorily. We will just have to wait and see.

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