Tuesday, September 23, 2008

School Stresses

I must dedicate today's post to my bitching and moaning.
Teaching is not what I thought it would be. When I first came to Seoul, I watched a demo class to see how an English teacher taught with their coteacher. It was the perfect classroom with perfect little children who are willing to participte. But of course it was too good to be true. The whole demo class was totally scripted and this totally misled me.
All my 21 classes are driving me insane. They do not respect me at all or take my lessons seriously. I'm like a field trip for them, use the cellphone, pass the notes. It's quite ridiculous. I've had to confiscate so many phones and MP3 players.
They do not stop talking, even if I stand there staring down the chatty kids. Talking over them certainly doesn't help, it's just bad for my throat in the end. The 4/5 of my English coteachers are no help. They don't try to stop the kids or even translate anything if they know that the kids don't understand. My other coteacher is not afraid to whoop the kid's asses. Which I don't mind since they kids totally don't respect me.
Enough of the kids, now on to the teacher that is making my blood boil.
I was ok with her at first since she tried to make an effort to get to know me better. But apparently, since she has been to Singapore for 2 years, she thinks her English is amazing, so she tries to correct me. No offence to anyone in Singapore, but I just don't think that her English is better than mine just because she has been there for 2 years, for vacation was it?? I do recall that I was born in Canada and I also went to school in Canada for the last 20 or so years of my life. GAWD!! That's not the only thing that annoyed me. During a lesson I made some handouts. I didn't realize that I wrote "who's" when it was supposed to be "whose". So the Miss Know It All stops me during the class, comes up to me and uses her pen to cross out the "who's" on my paper and writes "whose"!! At least she could have told me before hand. Or at least help me plan the lessons.
Before I continue, there was a 3 day Korean holiday last week so my Monday-Wednesday classes did not go through my first lesson. I was told to continue with the chapter anyway, even if the kids missed my lesson from last week.
So anyway, the teacher stops me while I'm talking, and tells me to go back to last week's lesson and teach that. And I tell her that I'm already halfway done this week's lesson, and it will confuse the kids if I go backwards. But I had to do it anyway because she could not teach those kids the previous lesson, since they should hear my pronunciation instead of hers.

Again, teaching here is not what I expected. There are alot of unanswered questions and indefinite answers floating around. I have to chase teachers to ask them why in the hell do I not get the $500 a month that they told me I would get. I am in a single dorm with Tim so it's like living in a sardine can. That $500 a month was supposed to compensate for the error that the school district made with our housing (which will be another story one day). Now I have to call the head Seoul Education office and chase them down for the answers, even though they don't pick up the phone.
Maybe things will get better, who knows, I might sign another 1 year contract. But right now, things are not as glamourous as I thought it would be.
Now I'm hungry so I have to go out to search for dinner.


Shanelle said...

hi there :)
have been reading your blog for awhile since you blog about cosmetics + moving to korea.. seems like things aren't really going well now. but i think everything will improve over time.
as the koreans would say, fighting!!

take care,

MiuMiu said...

Hey Shanelle,
Thanks for dropping by!
You wouldn't believe how crazy the kids are. I thought that Koreans are really strict about education, but the kids are just everywhere. Maybe because I Chinese and I blend it???? Who knows.
Hopefully they'll get better as time passes.

blahsayblah said...

Hmm..maybe you could threaten the kids with sending them to the principle's office..tell them if they are not respecting u, u will send them to the principle so they get in trouble and tell their parents about it. u gotta whoop their butts into shape and make them fear u. hopefully as time goes on things will work out such as the 500 dollar thingie..just keep bugging them till u get some answers...or they send u the money!! It's ok, u will get thru this tough time! try to stay positive. (: