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I do nothing
« on: April 23, 2019, 12:46:09 pm »
Hi,

Before anyone says, "You should talk about this with your co-teacher," I just want to let you know I have. And nothing.

Like the title says, I do nothing. With one of my teachers, I just stand in the class. When prompted, students listen and repeat after me, like a human tape recorder. I want to help. I try to help. But she insists, "It's okay." For some, this might be a blessing, but I want to work. I want to teach. I'm not used to working in a job where I do nothing.

I don't usually post, but I don't know anyone who's ever been in this situation. Anyone have advice when dealing with this? Is this normal? It's my first time teaching in a public school.


  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1693

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Re: I do nothing
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 01:13:26 pm »
Ah yes, this brings back memories and no, you aren't alone, it's happened to many of us; you sit in the corner while your CT rattles on in Korean. Maybe you'll annotate a script or two, but that's it.

There are various reasons why you've found yourself in this predicament and I'll try to explore the most common:

You CT doesn't want you there

Your CT may think of your presence as an insult to his/her competence, they process of becoming a teacher, particularly a HR teacher, is particularly difficult (more for the degree of mindless memorizing required than genuine ability) and it's a long journey. Co-teaching is also never taught or done. You being there is basically telling him/her that they can't do their job by themselves, it's quite a lose of face. To compensate, they'll sideline you as much as possible and let everyone from the students to the most remote tribes in the Amazon know that he/she is your superior.

Alternatively, your CT is TERRIFIED of you. Their level of English might be rather poor, a fact they'll go to great lengths to hide, particularly from the students. Your presence puts your CTs ego in very real danger, the moment you start talking in English is the moment his/her English level is exposed.

Finally, it's simply easier for your CT to just teach straight from the book instead of planning lessons with you.

Either ride the wave or politely demand that you have your chance to teach. I'd suggest splitting the class time, your CT does their half and you do yours.


Re: I do nothing
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 01:13:35 pm »
i've had this.  at one elementary school where I should teach 6 classes, I stood by the board and repeated stuff for the kids who were bored to death by the co-teachers class.  she never asked for my help.  at the other elementary school at that time, where I also had six classes, that teacher just told me to sit at the back while he taught from his tv.  I did nothing and got paid 2.8 million a month for it while sitting at the back of the class.  waank, I know.  but what can you do?


  • CypherSoul
  • Veteran

    • 153

    • May 02, 2018, 07:51:18 am
    • Daegu, South Korea
    more
Re: I do nothing
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2019, 01:34:35 pm »
i've had this.  at one elementary school where I should teach 6 classes, I stood by the board and repeated stuff for the kids who were bored to death by the co-teachers class.  she never asked for my help.  at the other elementary school at that time, where I also had six classes, that teacher just told me to sit at the back while he taught from his tv.  I did nothing and got paid 2.8 million a month for it while sitting at the back of the class.  waank, I know.  but what can you do?

I would have spent that time learning Korean to be honest ;)
Slay My Life! Walk boo boo walk! Cat Walk for me boo boo! This isn't cat walking, this is a hyena walking! Lion walking! Tiger walking! Leopard walking! Enter my Queen!


Re: I do nothing
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2019, 01:45:16 pm »
Hi,

Before anyone says, "You should talk about this with your co-teacher," I just want to let you know I have. And nothing.

Like the title says, I do nothing. With one of my teachers, I just stand in the class. When prompted, students listen and repeat after me, like a human tape recorder. I want to help. I try to help. But she insists, "It's okay." For some, this might be a blessing, but I want to work. I want to teach. I'm not used to working in a job where I do nothing.

I don't usually post, but I don't know anyone who's ever been in this situation. Anyone have advice when dealing with this? Is this normal? It's my first time teaching in a public school.

Enjoy it while it lasts?


  • OnNut81
  • Expert Waygook

    • 782

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: I do nothing
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 02:04:39 pm »
I think the way only you could enjoy that on a day to day basis is if you had fraudulent documents and were in fact barely able to function in English.  Not being able to teach takes away the prep work but would make for an extremely long day. I know a lot of hakwan teachers roll their eyes when I complain about a day like tomorrow where all my classes have been canceled, but it's going to be a boring day.  When I first started at my current school I was just given a pregnant co-t who was put in there until she took off for maternity leave.  Didn't do a thing beyond sit at the back and watch and occasionally translate something.  It's worked out great.  All my subsequent teachers have never worked with a foreigner or taught English.  When I tell them not to worry about our class they're grateful and the time in class flies. 


Re: I do nothing
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2019, 02:08:26 pm »
i've had this.  at one elementary school where I should teach 6 classes, I stood by the board and repeated stuff for the kids who were bored to death by the co-teachers class.  she never asked for my help.  at the other elementary school at that time, where I also had six classes, that teacher just told me to sit at the back while he taught from his tv.  I did nothing and got paid 2.8 million a month for it while sitting at the back of the class.  waank, I know.  but what can you do?

I would have spent that time learning Korean to be honest ;)

hey, my Korean is great, 'aratchi':wink:

the English teacher at that second elementary school, his 'hwa-byeong' was ridiculous for real non-events.  i saw first hand from the back the severe, prolonged, embarrassing shouting punishment he handed out to the students.  they were always crying.  didn't like him. 

I can't write 화병?   :undecided:

okay, I can but I'm too lazy to go back and delete it...

FML
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 02:13:33 pm by Ronnie Omelettes »


  • AMDC
  • Veteran

    • 101

    • April 19, 2018, 08:00:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: I do nothing
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2019, 03:25:40 pm »
I think that's probably the most curious thing about this job (public school teaching). Depending on which day of the week you ask me, I might say "I love" or "I'm done with" teaching in Korea. SO much of it depends on who you're teaching with. Co-teaching with one teacher might leave me fulfilled, inspired, and euphoric, while teaching with another could leave me infuriated, fed up, and exhausted. Not only in regard to what kind of work you're able to put in, but also this applies to the classroom environment. So much of the students' behaviors, attitude, and respect for the teachers (or lack thereof) is dependent upon the other teacher in the room.

OP - I think your teacher wants to teach in a specific way, and/or doesn't want to take the extra time to co-plan lessons. Assuming you've been riding this out for a bit, you understand the particular way your co's lessons are generally conducted, yes? You can offer to take over portions that they normally do, that would be easy for you to handle (require little to no Korean). So perhaps instead of offering your own 50% of the lesson (game or whatever), you're simply taking on some of what they're doing. Offer one activity at a time, little by little, until you've established a routine where you're doing ~50%.



  • LIC
  • Veteran

    • 205

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: I do nothing
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2019, 04:12:33 pm »
That sounds like a great job. It perfectly describes my years in Korea. I loved it cuz I'm a lazy man. You wanna pay me to sit around and do nothing? I'll do that!


Re: I do nothing
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 07:32:31 pm »
Hi,

Before anyone says, "You should talk about this with your co-teacher," I just want to let you know I have. And nothing.

Like the title says, I do nothing. With one of my teachers, I just stand in the class. When prompted, students listen and repeat after me, like a human tape recorder. I want to help. I try to help. But she insists, "It's okay." For some, this might be a blessing, but I want to work. I want to teach. I'm not used to working in a job where I do nothing.

I don't usually post, but I don't know anyone who's ever been in this situation. Anyone have advice when dealing with this? Is this normal? It's my first time teaching in a public school.

Enjoy it while it lasts?
Agreed.


Re: I do nothing
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2019, 09:49:19 pm »
My job was just like that when I was in Japan, usually when I would be teaching the middle school students.
But when I returned to Korea in 2012 (and even when I was there in 2006-2009), The only times when I acted
as a tape recorder was when I first started in my career in 2006, and when I was teaching at one of my joint
school between 2012 and 2014. Most of the time I had to do 95 to 100% of the teaching using a lot of visual
aids through power point, You Tube, flash cards, and digital pictures. I also allowed students to learn things
on their own and engaged them into activities and games. So the work I did never required too much assistance
because I also made a cultural connection with my students by using a few Korean expressions, especially knowing
the fact that Korean is an easy-to-read language.


  • tomoakleaf
  • Veteran

    • 153

    • September 22, 2012, 03:38:47 pm
    • South Korea
Re: I do nothing
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2019, 10:12:51 pm »
If you seriously want to teach come to China.  As I have and you'll be thrown into a class of 55 Grade 1, 2 or 3 primary school kids and told 'teach!'  You'll have not co-teacher so it's all on you!  Personally, I have taught in South Korea and it was waaaaay easier than what I've been exposed to in China!  Also, I don't teach in the best of areas so the kids are more of a challenge.  For example, I walk into the class and the kids are far from settled and waiting for the class so I have to organise it all from the get go!

So, if you want to teach send me a PM and I can get you set up ASAP otherwise just do as you are told and perhaps build a better relationship with your co-teacher first.  I'd say focus on building a friendship with your co-teacher if you can and once you are getting along better just say 'do you mind if I teach the majority of the class next week?' Who knows it might work?

Roy.


  • debbiem89
  • Expert Waygook

    • 507

    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: I do nothing
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2019, 09:08:49 am »
You're going to have to talk to your co teacher, again.

I know you said that you have already, but have you really? Like not in a passing comment way?

I only say that because there's been times I've made comments about my classes to CoTs and thought they'd took it on board...only for them to be not really listening and just go back to doing the thing anyway.

Tell them you need to sit down with them outside of class and have a conversation. Just tell them you want to at least divide the class up. Maybe get some ideas of activities together and show her that you're prepared?

Honestly for everyone saying it sounds great...it isn't. During exams I have to monitor them (stand at the back and watch) and it's PAINFUL. I would rather teach any day of the week.


Re: I do nothing
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2019, 09:35:21 am »
Honestly for everyone saying it sounds great...it isn't. During exams I have to monitor them (stand at the back and watch) and it's PAINFUL. I would rather teach any day of the week.

Yep, most definitely isn't cool.  It's soul destroying, but in some cases there's little you can do.  Out of thirty co-teachers, I've only had two, which isn't such a bad percentage.  This week my students have self-study and next week have tests, so I'm enjoying my time to do lesson planning and tidying my classroom a little, and I also don't have night classes for last week and this week so enjoy going home on time.  But it gets boring after a time. 


Re: I do nothing
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2019, 10:07:51 am »
The fact is that your coteacher has probably been teaching the same material using the same methods for years and years.  Seriously just coasting.  Suddenly they have to work with a native teacher.  Oh dear.  That's scary.

So they just don't want to deal with it.  Why should they have to change the way they've done it for years just to incorporate you (this is what they probably think).  I can sympathise with that view.

I think the best thing to do is suggest that you do a game for the last ten minutes or something like that.  Because I assume the coteacher will be worried about getting through the textbook material and won't want to surrender that responsibility to you.


  • debbiem89
  • Expert Waygook

    • 507

    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: I do nothing
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2019, 12:36:54 pm »
Honestly for everyone saying it sounds great...it isn't. During exams I have to monitor them (stand at the back and watch) and it's PAINFUL. I would rather teach any day of the week.
Yep, most definitely isn't cool.  It's soul destroying, but in some cases there's little you can do.  Out of thirty co-teachers, I've only had two, which isn't such a bad percentage.  This week my students have self-study and next week have tests, so I'm enjoying my time to do lesson planning and tidying my classroom a little, and I also don't have night classes for last week and this week so enjoy going home on time.  But it gets boring after a time. 
I wouldn't mind so much if I were allowed to take something to do, but no I have to just stand there.

I also monitor pretty much every exam, more than any of the Korean teachers...guess they want their moneys worth. It means 4 back to back classes where I stand (I'm not allowed to sit) at the back of the class. It's torture.

I'm lucky this isn't my usual situation (Usually I do everything..) but yeah I couldn't cope with that every day.


Re: I do nothing
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2019, 12:54:04 pm »
I wouldn't mind so much if I were allowed to take something to do, but no I have to just stand there.

I also monitor pretty much every exam, more than any of the Korean teachers...guess they want their moneys worth. It means 4 back to back classes where I stand (I'm not allowed to sit) at the back of the class. It's torture.

ah, you mean actual invigilating?  yep, our school shares them around so over the year all the teachers have the same amount.  I may invigilate 2-3 tests in the morning each day.  Usually, after the Korean teacher signs the question papers, I gesture whether they want the front or the back.  Usually, they fancy the back.  also to alleviate boredom, I walk up and down the rows while the students are doing the test.  When I taught middle school, if me and an English teacher were invigilating together we had a game which was who would give out the most new answer papers after students made a mistake.  the winner gets a cookie off the other teacher.  they've stopped that now as students can use correction tape on the multiple choice. 

We do/did this with the national listening tests too.  Before the test started we'd pick five random questions, say what we thought the answer was, and then note it down on each other's paper.  the loser buys the winner a cookie.   one of us would be at the front the other at the back.  Usually, the questions involving money were most fun.   After three quarters of the conversation I've got the right answer, only for the guy to mention he has a discount card and gets 10% off at the end to make my answer wrong.   :cry:  love my co-teachers!  :-*


  • debbiem89
  • Expert Waygook

    • 507

    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: I do nothing
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2019, 12:59:00 pm »
I wouldn't mind so much if I were allowed to take something to do, but no I have to just stand there.

I also monitor pretty much every exam, more than any of the Korean teachers...guess they want their moneys worth. It means 4 back to back classes where I stand (I'm not allowed to sit) at the back of the class. It's torture.

ah, you mean actual invigilating?  yep, our school shares them around so over the year all the teachers have the same amount.  I may invigilate 2-3 tests in the morning each day.  Usually, after the Korean teacher signs the question papers, I gesture whether they want the front or the back.  Usually, they fancy the back.  also to alleviate boredom, I walk up and down the rows while the students are doing the test.  When I taught middle school, if me and an English teacher were invigilating together we had a game which was who would give out the most new answer papers after students made a mistake.  the winner gets a cookie off the other teacher.  they've stopped that now as students can use correction tape on the multiple choice. 

We do/did this with the national listening tests too.  Before the test started we'd pick five random questions, say what we thought the answer was, and then note it down on each other's paper.  the loser buys the winner a cookie.   one of us would be at the front the other at the back.  Usually, the questions involving money were most fun.   After three quarters of the conversation I've got the right answer, only for the guy to mention he has a discount card and gets 10% off at the end to make my answer wrong.   :cry:  love my co-teachers!  :-*

Ah I have to stand at the back, as they give all the directions from the front. We still give out the new papers, they're not allowed to use correction tape on ours. Some of the teachers give them to me, some won't let me hand any out.

I just read whatever is on the wall behind me usually, or count the ceiling tiles. Sometimes the students write me little notes on the paper that covers the TV screen haha but that's the only amusement.

The teachers I do it with don't talk to me at all (it's one of those "the foreigner is invisible" schools) sadly!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 01:00:37 pm by debbiem89 »


Re: I do nothing
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2019, 01:26:21 am »
  This is so like uptight Japan! In Korea I once taught at 3 industrial high schools. There were many great classes, but there were also classes of angry, disaffected kids who just did not see any point in doing English. The co-teachers gave no help whatsoever. It was just "you are the teacher, you TEACH! Goodbye!" and they would go off for a smoke outside. I was even expected to discipline students, something I knew was not part of the job. I was expected to provide everything myself and to know intuitively what to do. I got things right quite a lot, but this was not a satisfying way to work.

So be thankful for small mercies. You are not expected to do everything yourself and then receive criticism at the end.


  • paxxie
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • May 06, 2019, 08:03:59 am
Re: I do nothing
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2019, 07:47:42 am »
That sounds like a great job. It perfectly describes my years in Korea. I loved it cuz I'm a lazy man. You wanna pay me to sit around and do nothing? I'll do that!
Same lol I wish my elem school would let me sit around and do nothing. I've used two "sick" days cus I just can't with them haha