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Is this common?
« on: August 29, 2011, 03:33:09 pm »
Hey guys . . .

I just started teaching today at a small school (Hansong Elementary/Middle) and wanted to know if it is common that a new teacher (with no experience outside of orientation) should be responsible for teaching the entirety of classes from K through Middle 3 (with the addition of after school classes Tuesday and Friday)?  Today it wasn't too bad since I just used an introduction Prezi/played a few games to get the students active and interested. But I'm getting worried jumping into the curriculum for all of these different grade levels for tomorrow. . .


  • Tpre022
  • Veteran

    • 147

    • November 10, 2010, 12:32:50 pm
    • Namhae island, South Korea
Re: Is this common?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2011, 03:50:13 pm »
Pretty common especially in rural areas. I teach all those as well, and had no experience. It can make for piles of lesson planning I'm afraid. You may want to look around this site for a few easy game templates ( this thread http://waygook.org/index.php/topic,9490.0.html is a fantastic source for templates) that you can fill in fast for a review lesson. Expect to be pretty worn out the first while though, unless you are one of those with a knack for improvised or part-improvised lessons.


Re: Is this common?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2011, 04:29:18 pm »
I hate to say it, but it is common.  Just make sure you're being compensated if you're teaching over 22 hours.  By the entirety of classes, I'm assuming you mean English classes?  I know some teachers with only 9 students in their entire schools, others who cover PE and other subjects, and a few working ill overtime (by choice).  Nothing surprises me about teaching in Korea anymore.
You get what you give :)


  • resmike
  • Newgookin

    • 2

    • August 30, 2011, 07:27:21 am
    • united States
Re: Is this common?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 07:39:40 am »
You'll be fine. I wouldn't worry about it.

Hey guys . . .

I just started teaching today at a small school (Hansong Elementary/Middle) and wanted to know if it is common that a new teacher (with no experience outside of orientation) should be responsible for teaching the entirety of classes from K through Middle 3 (with the addition of after school classes Tuesday and Friday)?  Today it wasn't too bad since I just used an introduction Prezi/played a few games to get the students active and interested. But I'm getting worried jumping into the curriculum for all of these different grade levels for tomorrow. . .


  • cyfyang
  • Waygookin

    • 13

    • August 26, 2011, 10:27:34 am
    • Canada
Re: Is this common?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 08:08:35 am »
Yeah, they have me do something similar here because it's a smaller school (300ish kids), so I'm going to be well acquainted with every single student, from the looks of it!


  • SBracken
  • Expert Waygook

    • 579

    • March 07, 2011, 07:41:22 am
    • Pohang, S Korea
Re: Is this common?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 08:23:50 am »
I third this. I got dropped in too. No book, no help from the co-T's, just a 'ok go teach'. Country schools, it can be hit the ground running and learn by doing. as Tpre022 said, you'll probably be well worn. I was playing catch up for the first couple weeks, trying to teach and create a curriculum for 6 grades and 12 classes- well after I had started 'teaching' them. a lot of CTs seem to think that being foreign gives you magic powers to plan spectacular lessons from spare bits in your pocket, write theatre-worthy 10 minute plays, design summer/winter camp curriculum, and goodness knows what else. It's especially astounding when you consider that the vast majority of us have little to none practical experience in a classroom, let alone planning a curriculum, and many of us have a degree other than English lang/lit.

But you learn. Getting to know your classes (as groups of people) will help you a lot as you plan their classes. Figure out what they need- are you talking too quickly? the material too easy, advanced? do they understand what's expected of them in class, and what your rules are? What happens when they break a rule, or when they behave exceptionally in class? anything? if something does happen, what do they expect? Are they bewildered by your lesson plans (something I still struggle with) or can they pretty much predict the flow of things?
The more comfortable they are the more likely they'll be willing to participate in class.


Re: Is this common?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 08:44:01 am »
I'm at a rural elementary school with about 25 students in total. I teach all different grades, mostly afterschool classes where I prepare the curriculum. The class sizes are tiny, some grades don't even have anyone in them!

It's not so bad. I'd rather develop as a teacher than be a translation box stood in the classroom corner all day.


  • kgby143
  • Adventurer

    • 42

    • June 13, 2011, 10:42:52 am
    • Seoul Korea
Re: Is this common?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 10:21:22 am »
Yes, it is pretty common.
I remember my first year out of orientation...
My first co-teacher handed me a text book an hour before class and expected me to teach 45 minutes on my own! It was horrible, but I got through it and adjusted through time~


  • jemak
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • August 30, 2011, 12:03:21 pm
Re: Is this common?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 01:37:59 pm »
to ease the pain of lesson planning, barryfunenglish.com can help with activities for your grades. but you have to pay a little bit for a subscription. There's a whole section specifically for the korean cirriculum.


  • SRon
  • Adventurer

    • 53

    • August 31, 2011, 07:57:36 am
    • South Korea
Re: Is this common?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2011, 08:57:43 am »
I had my first classes yesterday, Intro powerpoint didn't go down too well, I was informed that I am in charge of the school newspaper that is produced every October, I must help my 2nd grade Middle school with the conversational competition and to top that no one in my school speaks English except my co-teacher!!

Luckily after the initial WTF I ealised that I can only do my best and nothing more


  • kgorman2
  • Explorer

    • 8

    • September 01, 2011, 10:29:43 am
    • Chungju
Re: Is this common?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2011, 10:58:42 am »
I have the same deal on Fridays, when I go out to a rural school. I like it, though. My classes are really small, I can teach what I want and I can get my lesson plannign done quickly because I don't have to schedule time to meet with co-teachers.