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  • rlwalke3
  • Waygookin

    • 14

    • May 11, 2011, 12:22:44 pm
    • Seoul
co-teaching advice
« on: November 18, 2011, 07:07:41 pm »
So for the past month my co-teacher has not come to class because she is making an English room. I teach with GEPIK and my coordinator told me that it is not 'legal' for me to teach alone. I saw how busy my co-teacher was so I did not make a big issue of it, even though trying to get 6th graders who attack their homeroom teachers and do not even know the alphabet is quite difficult since they do not understand what I am even saying to them.  So the discipline has been quite out of control. She has not even going to her own classes and tried to get me to 'cover' them unpaid and I said no. She has not been teaching any of the key phrases in her classes and has to reschedule her classes since she did not go to her classes either.
That being said when she does come to class, she either runs out crying because of something the children have said or she starts hitting the students...
Recently she has decided to start teaching the book in her class, but she did not tell me that she was teaching my lessons so I would go into class and she had already taught what I was supposed to teach. Needless to say I was not prepared to teach four lessons in advance so I had to just go with it for those lessons since my students told me that already. I am supposed to use the book. She told me that she had no time to teach the book in her class. 
So today right before it's time to go home, she approached me and told me that the students do not understand what the key sentences mean. Then she pretty much got after my teaching style, even though she has not been teaching anything for the last month or more. Then she starting blaming me on the student's lack of comprehension.  I did not really even know how to respond to this.
So does anyone have any advice on this situation? Sometimes I am convinced that she is out to sabotage my lessons since recently she just interrupts  when I am explaining a game ( even when I have a ppt to model the game). I would rather just work together and have a good lesson rather than just attack her back. 
So how could I delicately tell her that she needs to stop crying in class, interrupting me, and try to explain it to them?


Re: co-teaching advice
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2011, 10:01:09 am »
I have co-teachers who nitpick everything and maintain super grim appearances during my classes. What's funny is that when they make similar mistakes they do the little giggle/cover your mouth routine.

The other day we were starting an activity/game and I explained the basics assuming my co-worker would assist w/ any explanations. She says "well, I don't understand either". It's just a way of criticizing and being a douche. If the class slows down unnecessarily she's the first to complain about it being too slow etc...So, yes, in my experience they're happy to sabotage if it fits in with their bad hair days (or whatever's going on psychologically?)

As their actual availability to participate is so dependent upon their mood disorders the only defense is to go in with a strong offense. Plan to do it all and if they help at all it's icing on the cake. I'm increasingly going in with PPT's that demo the game/ activity more.....it's the only strategy I've got at the moment!


  • Andyroo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 676

    • February 09, 2011, 12:49:41 pm
    • Korea
Re: co-teaching advice
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2011, 09:05:11 am »
So does anyone have any advice on this situation? Sometimes I am convinced that she is out to sabotage my lessons since recently she just interrupts  when I am explaining a game ( even when I have a ppt to model the game). I would rather just work together and have a good lesson rather than just attack her back. 
So how could I delicately tell her that she needs to stop crying in class, interrupting me, and try to explain it to them?

I think it's safer (and better for your sanity) to assume she is just unprofessional, sometimes they feel like they have to do something to justify their presence. I have a co teacher who with the best of intentions explains things in Korean juat before the part in the presentation containing the explanation. They are doing it because they think the students need it so you shouldn't be angry with them even if it frustrates you....at least not angry in person, feel free to vent on here or to someone in no way connected to your school (i.e. not a coworker no matter how much you think you can trust them).
They don't know the lesson plan and aren't interested in knowing it so tend to work of the cuff a bit more.

If she is anything like my head co teacher (who never goes to class) she tries to make up for general slackness by being a bundle of awesome teacher in a very short time..... which just makes it worse.
He will call out individuals and ask them tough questions about the dialog and make them feel stupid if they don't answer perfectly.
A student greeted him with "nice to meet you" and he exploded with "I am your home room teacher, do you think nice to meet you is appropriate". I am pretty sure that kid won't be using English greetings anymore.

My suggestion would be to just make sure you teach what you think you have to teach and be patient.
If she has already taught them the lesson but they haven't gotten it then it seems the kids would be fine doing the same lesson twice (once with her and once with you) as a review.
Concept checking, reinforcement etc etc.. just quiz them a little harder as you are going if they have already done it with her.

I am sure your styles are very different and having a lesson in Korean (your average Korean teaching English uses about 90% Korean in my experience) and then doing the lesson again but in 90% English has plenty of merit.
But the key is patience patience patience...... my head co teacher is also unprofessional but patience patience patience worked for me, and my work situation has improved a lot. When making ďsuggestionsĒ donít save up a list as that comes across as hostile. Write a list perhaps but only bring up one thing every couple of days.

If she leaves the room crying because of what students say to her I donít think you have any hope of her becoming a good co teacher. I would suggest preparing to teach alone, its not that bad but you have to be a little firmer with the kids (which is tiring). Suggesting she take a rest (during your classes) because she looks really busy and stressed would probably improve your situation and paint you as the hero.

Even though itís not a large post Iím recognizing a lot of traits in your co teacher in mine.



« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 09:16:51 am by Andyroo »


  • fishead
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1138

    • April 23, 2010, 07:58:05 am
    • Yangju Korea
Re: co-teaching advice
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2011, 02:17:02 pm »
Unless you're fluent in Korean it is never a good idea to teach solo. When your coteachers suggest you willl have to teach alone it's best to contact a Kyopo co-ordinator in your region. These co-teachers Know they are not supposed to make you teach the lesson alone.  There is a good reason for this and that is discipline. These kids get beaten regularly by their teachers since they are in a class they are not graded in and there is no punishment they will naturally revert to being hyperactive. ADHD goes untreated in this country. Not to mention you'll be held accountable for injury or vandalism that might occur when a co-teacher is not there.

 I know there are people on this board who can handle the classes alone. Yu Bum Suk. He's been at the same school for almost a decade. He's also picked up a lot of classroom Korean and is quite literally willing to be proactive with discipline. His situation is unique. He's really picked up on the Jung of his school.