Friday, April 02, 2010

Disinterested, Detached, and IN DENIAL

Three words to describe the administration's and (to a certain degree) native teachers' level of awareness in Pohang Jecheol High School.

I was informed today that like the other teachers, I would have to do some paperwork for my absence since "this process is what all teachers do when they are absent officially."

That's reasonable.

"what you need to do is write 2 pages(A4) about what you were going to teach today for 1st graders."

I practically choked on laughter.
They are all still under the disillusion that there is any teaching going on??
Talk about naivety. Well, given their age, more like severe DENIAL.

I wrote back stating in no uncertain terms that although all my lesson plans are done a week in advance, I could barely fill one page much less two.


Just because everyone sits up straight, listens attentively, and answers in unison while you are in the room, it is the height of ignorance to assume it would continue afterwards.
In a normal foreigner's classroom it is NON-STOP TALK.
It doesn't matter if I use the timer bomb or crank up the mike to ear-drum piercing range. No effect not counting their whining about how loud it is.
I wouldn't have to turn it up that loud if you would all SHUT THE F()%#) UP for 2 MINUTES for a few instructions!!
The logic of which is naturally, completely lost on them.

As a language class there should be talking. It is one of the four parts of language teaching/learning.
But the incessant talking in Korean classrooms is non-excusable and completely unworkable which is why any lesson 'plan' fills up at most 3 lines.

It is an attitude problem.
One at critical levels because I have been doing this for over 5 years now and I have NEVER had such mean, racist (mostly a boy-problem), rude students as the ones in this high school.

When I first came they tried to pass it off as "they aren't used to your style yet". First off, I have been doing this long enough to smell that was NOT the case. Secondly, even if they didn't want to believe me, a year later, NO CHANGE. And it is not just No Change, the new students coming in are the exact same way!

Then there is the other common 'excuse' for this behavior - the foreigner's class doesn't effect our grade so wth cares?
BUT the flaw to this argument here is that in Japan and Korea - NO GRADE MATTERS. All students advance to the next grade regardless of their previous work.

It's not style, not grades... That leaves us with the life-determining "college entrance exams."
English isn't on them so...

Oh, wait. Yes, it is.
Including a listening test.

But conversation isn't so again WTF cares?
...Except elite schools also include interviews in English.

And even if you weren't going to one of the highly-tauted elitest schools.we can still take out even this argument.
All you have to do is walk the halls during other classes.

English is useless?
NOT exactly...
You know what IS a useless class from a student's perspective?
Chinese. Japanese, Gym, S.E.W.I.N.G. class.

And yet if you walk past these classrooms, whether it be girls or boys, there is attentive silence while the teacher is talking. There is no one reading magazines, watching movies on their PMP, surreptitiously writing email on their cell phones.

The teacher does not have to spend 5+ minutes constantly asking for and not receiving attention.

Of course not.
That teacher is KOREAN and that is all that matters..
And that is what is boils down too - a severe attitude problem towards non-Korean teachers.

And specifically Korean.
I never had this crap in Japan which is why I can never answer their "which country do you like better?"

Gee, I don't know.
WTH do you think??

Cheers! (^_-)-☆

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