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Author Topic: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"  (Read 2097 times)

Offline eggplant_tyrant

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Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« on: December 09, 2011, 11:19:12 AM »
When I go back to Canada, I intend to get my B.Ed and try (hope against hope, maybe... :( ) to get a job as a public school teacher in Canada. I'm sure there are many others in my position, as well -- people who have not taught in our home countries, but who, after teaching in Korea, think that this is something we would like to do as a career.

I know that teaching in Korea (be it in a hagwon or a public school) is quite different from being a "real" teacher back home, so in order to get an idea of what to expect, I'd really like to hear from all of the certified teachers who have taught in the public school system in their home countries. In your experience, how is the Korean school system similar to your home country's school system? What are some major, important differences? What kind of responsibilities did you have back home that you don't have at your job here? How do those responsibilities compare to those of our Korean co-teachers here? Any and all details would be helpful -- class structure, learning expectations, office politics, working hours, things you miss, things you really don't miss...

Also, any advice for new teachers going into the school system in your home country would be extremely helpful.

Finally, feel free to use this thread as a venting/complaining zone, as long as the venting/complaining is related to differences between teaching in Korea and teaching "back home." Even that can be incredibly instructive, in terms of things to watch out for. What was the worst thing about teaching in your home country? What's the worst thing about teaching here?

Thanks! I really appreciate the responses, and I'm sure many others will as well.

Offline smippy

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Re: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 09:36:13 PM »
This is something I'm interested in learning more about, too.

bump.

Offline dahknee

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Re: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 04:17:34 AM »
Kinda off topic, but I hate when my co-teachers always say "See, aren't Korean students so much more well behaved than other countries?"  Yeah effing right. :blank:

Offline Adobe

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Re: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2011, 11:44:55 AM »
Responsibility wise, you are right things are not the same.

Here I prep 3 lessons a week(at most).
At home it was 4-5 lessons(different subjects) a day.
Here, there is no paperwork
No real discipline required(not stabbings/fights/drugs/shootings/students having sex at school)
At home, we had to keep observations diaries of the students and their progress(24 kids in the class)
I had to check their work had been completed and was up to date, and follow up were needed.
I had to design and administer tests on several subjects and was responsible if there wasn't progress(if the kids didn't do the work and didn't study, it is your fault not the child's or the parents)
MARKING...it never ended.
Inspections(like OFSTED).
Extra murals/parent teacher meetings/sports days/assemblies, all consume your 'free time(planning periods)'

So, eventhough I finished teaching at 1:30. I had extra murals etc till 4/5. Then home to mark,prep answer inane questions about little Jimmy from his mother who forgot to come to the meetings/read the notes that had been sent home. Work was 'done' at 8/9pm. Weekends, the first year were horrible...horrible.

Korea is night and day. My first year it felt like I was getting paid more than 2x what was being paid back home and doing a 10th of the work.

Love this country going on 6years...

Offline eggplant_tyrant

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Re: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2011, 12:14:11 PM »
Thanks for your reply, Adobe! If you don't mind my asking, in what country and which grade levels did you teach?

Offline taeyang

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Re: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 12:24:26 PM »
i have it on good authority that being an elementary school teacher in ontario comes with the same about of crap that korean teachers get here.

it's also getting to a point where teachers do less teaching, and more administrative stuff.
use google to search the site

site:waygook.org XXXX

replace 'XXXX' with your search term

Offline Adobe

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Re: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 01:40:29 PM »
South Africa and primary school grade 4.

Offline mswalker214

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Re: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2011, 12:57:03 PM »
I agree with Adobe on most of the differences...I taught middle and high school in the States for 5 years before teaching in the middle east and now Korea. The middle east and back home were very much the same. But they only hired certified teachers. In Korea, you just have to be a Native English teacher, so the job doesn't require you to have any teaching skills or methodology.

I think, in addition to what Adobe already mentioned, school politics, keeping your creditials current by going to teacher training workshops (sometimes in the summer) and decorating your classroom are the other differences I see.

Good luck with your teaching credentials...teaching can be a rewarding but thankless joy! ;D

Offline AnnieMarie

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Re: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2011, 01:52:16 PM »
I am a certified teacher in the U.S. and taught for 2 years at home. I have been teaching here in Gyeong-gi for over two years. I am not sure about Canada, but you will probably have waaaay more responsibilities. These generally come in the form of meetings. Meetings with principal/vice principal, meetings with parents, meetings with visiting teachers as part of career development, even meetings with your students.

I really do miss being able to meet with my students and understand them more, their learning styles and how they are getting along. Sometimes I wish I was more "in the loop" at my school. Yet, other times (especially during the 2 hour Monday staff meetings) I am happy to stay behind in my little office. It is a give and take.

Good luck to you! Teaching is a fun career and if you ever get restless, you can change subjects or grade level or obviously country!! Lots of options ;D

Offline Ytse Jam

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Re: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2011, 12:04:12 PM »
Like so many others, I agree with Adobe. But it's not all doom and gloom. Every school is a little different, and will reflect the culture of the community in which is services. I've been told that it gets a bit easier around year four or five as you settle down into a routine and your skills and manipulating children into learning improves. (Though I never quite made it that long myself). Being a "real" teacher is not for the weak of heart by any means, but if you are passionate about it then you can make it work.

Ochodnid

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Re: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2011, 12:15:37 PM »
Students tend to be more respectful at my Korean school than my school at home. There are some students at my school far worse than students back in the US, but I have seen and gotten a lot more respect than I remember teachers getting at my school. If a student gets out of line with me, I just give them the look and they snap back in line, 90% of the time. I saw more rebellious students in the states. This isn't speaking for every school though. I am just speaking from my experience. I seem to have some mythical hold over my students though, can't explain it.

Offline DevilMogun

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Re: Korean Public Schools vs. Schools "Back Home"
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2011, 12:19:16 PM »
I'd ditto Adobe.  I taught in England - middle/high school.  As a new teacher teaching 2 subjects I was planning maybe 12-15 lessons a week, marking homework, talking to parents, starting the day with teacher meetings at 8am, more update sessions after school (often with the school counsellors, truancy team, and others who attempted to manage the worse of student behaviour), usually got home around 7 or 8pm and started marking and planning and - in my first year - writing essays and reports to send back to my college to complete the newly qualified teacher status assessment.

The kids were on the whole pretty horrible, behaviour was quite shocking sometimes and I got paid about the same as I get here, but with a cost of living that made that effectively less.  If I'd still been there now, no doubt it would have become a lot easier and the pay would be higher.

As for the behaviour of the students here - I have been here 3 years, seen 5 school years pass through my school and without a doubt can testify that things are getting worse and worse.  The 'no beating' policy has been replaced with a 'talk to them more' generalisation, the kids eat more and more junk food, spend more time watching TV and playing computer games - what else is to be expected?  It's a badly managed transition period which I suspect won't be addressed until it well out of hand.

Having said that, I'd rather be here - at least I can just walk away from it.
"She lacks the indefinable charm of weakness" Oscar Wilde

 

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