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Terrible Coteaching Style
« on: March 02, 2011, 12:31:25 pm »
So I've been here for almost two years. I have three weeks left on my contract (I was a late replacement for someone who pulled a runner a week into their contract). I have been teaching elementary school solo for those two years, with the exception of one class*. That class I had to coteach with the homeroom teacher, who was also the head teacher, and has some sort of high position within the POE's English program. She's also a close friend of my coteacher (administrative purposes only) at my main school. I just got a message that she will be coteaching with me for all of my classes, grades 3-6.

My problem is this: I hate coteaching with her. Not because I don't like her, because I'm fine with her, but because I think her teaching methods are horrible. She leads the lesson and then will occasionally put me on the spot by announcing to the class that I am going to give them a quiz, at which point I must immediately come up with three questions about the dialogue they've been watching. Every single class has exactly the same format. First, she plays the dialogs on the CD, maybe twice. Then she announces that I will be giving them a comprehension check quiz, X or O style. Then she skips to listen and repeat, has me write the sentences on the board, then has the students get into their groups, practice the dialog for an absurdly long time (5 minutes to practice two sentences??), and has them come up to the front with their group and role play the dialog, while I am forced to give them a score.
In the lessons with songs or chants, she will just play it a couple times, then a few kids will pick it up, but for the most part no one listens or cares.

I teach 12 classes between two schools, and her class was by far the worst in terms of English ability. She literally did not teach them anything besides the "listen and repeat" phrases. She never once discussed any of the grammar points or taught them any dialog outside of what was in the textbook. She isn't teaching them anything except to memorize a couple sentences for 5 minutes.

Now she's going to be leading all of my classes.

So what do I do? Because of her position, I have to be super careful not to say or do anything to offend her, but I'm really worried that she's going to screw over that entire school by refusing to teach anything outside the "key dialogs".

*The reason I had to coteach with her, was that she sent her (30+ 3rd graders who don't speak a word of English) students to me the first day, didn't even bother to come to the class until 10 minutes before the end. All we were doing that day was colouring nametags, so obviously, the kids are going to get loud while they're colouring. She then comes up to me and tells me that this "isn't working" and that she thinks she should teach them from now on. This really irritates me because I took it as a personal insult to my teaching abilities, which is especially irritating since I was given an award for being one of the top English teachers in my province a few months later, and get nothing but praise and great evaluations from my main school.

  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • The Legend

    • 4962

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu Province, Taiwan
Re: Terrible Coteaching Style
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 12:53:49 pm »
You have 3 weeks left, grin and bear it
Everything is not as it seems.

No one owes you anything.... get over it.

There is no known medical cure for stupidity!

Re: Terrible Coteaching Style
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 12:55:26 pm »
I'd rather not screw over the next teacher to replace me...

  • ame
  • Super Waygook

    • 338

    • December 02, 2010, 02:58:32 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Terrible Coteaching Style
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 01:00:24 pm »
Hmm.  I can see two things you can do.

1) You have three weeks left of your contract, so you can walk away.  It's a little late to transfer schools (schools hire all the time/any time, I mean it's a little late to get the paperwork sorted for an easy changeover).

2) You could listen to the CD dialog *in advance* and prepare for the inevitable three-questions-on-the-spot.

It sounds like life is good at your main school.  Sometimes you just have to put up with a situation you don't like.  I often like to repeat "Kill me!" silently over and over in my mind.  Choose your battles.


Re: Terrible Coteaching Style
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2011, 01:01:15 pm »
Hey man.  These things used to upset me but my attitude is now, it's the KT's society, school system and tax dollars.  Create your lesson plans, offer your imput and do everything you are given the chance to do to the best of your ability.  If she doesn't want to allow you to do your job so be it, you only have a few weeks left.  Maybe the teacher coming after you will be able to work something out with her.  Either way, I dont see how thats your problem.

Re: Terrible Coteaching Style
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 01:05:10 pm »
Thing is, at this point there's not much you can do. Even if you confront her on this, she seems the sort who wants to do things her way, which means that she'll pull the exact same thing on the new teacher that she pulled on you. Trying to make sure kids are actually educated for three weeks won't make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things, because the second you're out the door, she'll be dictating terms to whoever replaces you, and that person will be polite and not want to rock the boat in the first few weeks of school, so there will be no one to continue your efforts.

Really, it's great that you're thinking of the kids and your replacement, but you can't control this teacher once you're gone.

Re: Terrible Coteaching Style
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 01:09:58 pm »
"on of the top English teachers in my province" Thats just do they gauge that award.?

Re: Terrible Coteaching Style
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 01:20:16 pm »
I see your point. I have an issue with people not doing their job appropriately, especially when the kids are losing out on what they're entitled to. I'd say see what happens over the next 2 weeks. Then, your last week, why don't you tell this woman what she's doing wrong, and that as a teacher she's supposed to be going beyond the curriculum and teaching the kids, not just showing up for her shifts. You've got nothing to lose at that point, right!
PS, I'm so envious. I wish my contract was ending in 3 weeks. Good luck!

Re: Terrible Coteaching Style
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 01:36:39 pm »
"one of the top English teachers in my province" Thats just do they gauge that award.?

They will have an "open class" where they videotape our classes, and the parents and teachers from other schools and administrators from EPIK are invited in to watch and fill out evaluation forms, then a group of top English dept administrators go through all the videos and rate them by some sort of criterion. I'm not sure whether the evaluations by parents/teachers etc. are factored in or not. Either way, if I was renewing, I'd get to skip a pay grade.

Re: Terrible Coteaching Style
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 01:45:19 pm »
Thanks, Patch.

I looked at the calendar, and it looks like I'll only have to deal with this for 6 days, probably only around 18 classes. I feel bad for the next person to replace me, but it's really not going to be too bad for me. I think the kids are going to hate it though, because I taught them last year and I incorporated a lot of fun games and a reward system into my lessons, neither of which is likely with this teacher.

  • kate.d
  • Veteran

    • 84

    • May 10, 2010, 07:57:50 am
    • South Korea
Re: Terrible Coteaching Style
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 01:46:19 pm »
"I teach 12 classes between two schools"

if this is true, i can't believe you would ever complain about anything, you teach half of what most people teach, i teach 27 hours between 4 schools with about 13 different people who all do things differently and expect different things from me, or you know, just don't come...

i think you can make it 3 more weeks

Re: Terrible Coteaching Style
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 01:55:27 pm »
I meant 12 different classes. I have the standard 22 teaching hours.