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The School System

June 10, 2008

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Today is the first of three days that I (Simon) have to spend in an empty school. The entire school is away on a three-day field trip. Each of the three grades have gone to different places. For some reason, even though I don’t have any students, I still have to come to school. I am in an empty office. My co-teacher is in it for maybe five minutes at a time, then goes away for an hour or two. This is not fun.

In my excessive spare time, I am lesson planning. I was able to grab my co-teacher in her brief stint here, and asked her about how to plan lessons. Here’s something absolutely shocking that I learned: My class will be split up into two halves, like I mentioned before. One week I will get one half of the class and the next week I will get the other half. This means I have to make one lesson plan per level for two weeks of class. Technically, since I teach two grades, I will be teaching two different lesson plans for two weeks. That is absolutely shocking. In Canada, I had to make a new lesson plan for every class, three classes a day, every day, which means 30 lessons for two weeks, worst case scenario. Here, I have 2 lessons for two weeks.

What’s even more shocking – and this is where I get a little bit upset – is that I am not supposed to give the students any homework. Majority of students go to an after school academy, which means they are swamped with homework there. And so, I don’t have to mark anything, ever. I’m surprised that their after-school academies have an impact on their regular schools, and makes me question which one takes precedence. The reason why I am upset is not because I am stupid and want more work. I’m upset because I would like to have a bigger impact on these students. Really, I teach them for 45 minutes every two weeks. I can’t monitor or evaluate their progress. I don’t do enough to have an impact on them, compared to the many times I would see my students in Canada.

I’ll say more about this when I learn more about it. For now, I’m just very, very surprised.

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Teaching in Korea

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The School System

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  1. It’s kind of the whole “stage mom” mentality of wanting their child to be the best. I saw it all the time as a choir girl of girls being pushed by parents to do shows and pageants even though they really didn’t want to just to show up the neighbor’s little girl. (I did choir because I loved the music I could have quit any time and my mother would have been perfectly okay with it… I was just having too much fun!)

    4 years ago
  2. That’s an interesting view. I haven’t heard of hockey moms or soccer moms, but it’s true that in Australia, parents strongly encourage their kids to do a sport. In fact, people have said that Australia’s religion is ‘sports’.

    4 years ago
  3. Thanks Kato. Glad you found this useful :D

    6 years ago