Read 4889 times

KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods

This raises some interesting questions. Do parents expect too much, or are Korean teachers producing too little? In my experience here I can see it both ways.

Parents often complain that teachers aren't waving magic wands and broadcasting sunbeams of genius into their children, and the children are bustled off to hagwons for "real learning".

But then, as the editorial points out, teaching is a soft nest to land in, and many people go into teaching because it's, frankly, so easy to coast and practically impossible to screw up.

Hmm. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 08:08:49 am by oatmealkooky »


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5733

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu County, Taiwan (not part of China)
    more
Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 08:28:48 am »
I think you summed it up pretty well, it is an equal amount of both.

I do, however, feel very sorry for some Korean teachers who try their best but the response they get is children sleeping in the class because they only got home at 1 am from their hogwan. Parents too don't help because I think their attitude is largely, 'Don't worry about school, just go to your hagwon'.

Korea, suffered greatly from the Korean war, but almost an equal tragedy is the legacy it left behind, that in their struggle to recover, it has lead to an unhealthy outlook on life, where getting 'educated' and one upping on the Kim's is seen as the only guarantee that they will never again be poor.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5733

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu County, Taiwan (not part of China)
    more
Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 08:35:05 am »
Adding to my previous post, I wouldn't want to be a Korean kid for all the money in the world too.

I think I would be a bitter adult, when I realised my childhood was stolen from me by over-demanding and over competitive parents living their dreams through me.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 08:35:50 am »
Helicopter parents causes students to lose respect for their teachers by sending their kids to hagwons. Students won't care for public education as much. (Either they start to hate 'studying' or believe what their parents say.) Some teachers will be less motivated and slack off.


  • iamrhart
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1937

    • November 16, 2011, 01:20:16 pm
    • XXXXXXXXxx
Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 08:36:53 am »
as per the USA style of teaching and the new-ways of korean teaching,
i suggest going onto YouTube and looking up "South Park Sarcastaball"

the point of the video(s) is that kids are not buiding self-worth, motivation (generally speaking), and character. We take away all feels of 'negativity', which in turn, takes away from the childs self-realization that they need to improve and better themselves if they want to accomplish a specific goal.

for example:  USA: baseball, everyone gets to hit, no one gets out, and they dont keep score.   Dodgeball: eliminated.   Bombardment: eliminated.  Medic: Eliminated.

instead, lets give them lollipops and parties and tell them 'everyone is a winner'.

yeah, your all "Winning" *Charlie Sheen*
You only live today once. You wont get a second chance. You wont get to live it twice. So make the most of it.

A sane man in an insane world will appear insane.


Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 11:22:03 am »
This just reminds me of a friend mine who pulled out her kids from hagwons so they would have more time to study for school. It worked. They have much better grades now that they have lives and free time after they are finished school.


Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 11:36:12 am »
I agree with what was said about the US education system and how everybody is a "winner." I think kids needs to know what it's like to lose and how to be a gracious loser. In this modern world you can never be the best. There is always going to be somebody better.


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5733

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu County, Taiwan (not part of China)
    more
Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 11:53:47 am »
I agree with what was said about the US education system and how everybody is a "winner." I think kids needs to know what it's like to lose and how to be a gracious loser. In this modern world you can never be the best. There is always going to be somebody better.
   

Now back to the topic.............. .....   :P :P
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2013, 12:03:36 pm »
as per the USA style of teaching and the new-ways of korean teaching,
i suggest going onto YouTube and looking up "South Park Sarcastaball"

the point of the video(s) is that kids are not buiding self-worth, motivation (generally speaking), and character. We take away all feels of 'negativity', which in turn, takes away from the childs self-realization that they need to improve and better themselves if they want to accomplish a specific goal.

for example:  USA: baseball, everyone gets to hit, no one gets out, and they dont keep score.   Dodgeball: eliminated.   Bombardment: eliminated.  Medic: Eliminated.

instead, lets give them lollipops and parties and tell them 'everyone is a winner'.

yeah, your all "Winning" *Charlie Sheen*

I'd rather kids enjoy their childhood instead of being emotionally tortured and forced to do unnecessary work.

Korean kids spend their entire childhoods "studying" for the eventual goal of attending a prestigious American university, whose American students did way less studying to attain the exact same result.

And don't get me started on Korea's fear of critical thinking, or how their fear of hierarchy leads to inaction and institutional paralysis.


  • rocketeerjoe
  • Expert Waygook

    • 769

    • March 08, 2012, 07:52:35 am
    • Jinhae, South Korea
Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2013, 12:09:09 pm »
I think a lot of this is actually the fault of the curriculum. Someone mentioned in another thread that reading and writing comprehension and actually proving you understand the material is more common in other countries. I think that if there was less emphasis on tests and more emphasis on those skills, and better materials, it could help Korean teachers more.

But yeah, the children in this country are often miserable. You can't do anything to really circumvent intense demanding overparenting. Also, when I was their age I was interested in a million things and I'm always shocked at how little interests them. Apart from TV shows and movies. It's depressing.

I try to make my afterschool classes as fun as possible and go out of my way to make sure they have fun learning whatever material we have. Partly because I'm devoted and partly because I just feel so sorry for them. The ones that go to hagwon hate it there.

"If you want to change your direction. If your time of life is at hand. Well, then don't be the rule, be the exception. A good place to start is to stand. Just put one foot in front of the other." - Rankin Bass Santa Claus


Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2013, 01:22:04 pm »
What do you guys think about the varying roles and attitudes of public school teachers and hagwon instructors? I'm talking mostly about Koreans here. I've never worked in a hagwon, so I'm not sure how the qualifications of public school teachers compare.

I do get the impression, though, that parents value hagwons over public school. From what I've heard, Koreans think that having to pay more for something makes it better (the bottled water syndrome), so the education from hagwons must be worth more. This trickles down to their children's attitudes, and some of the more insufferable kids in class will be those that overestimate what their hagwon teachers have told them.

To be honest, I think there are many good hagwons, but I'm biased against them. I've heard too many tales of woe and misfortune about them, and it seems that any yahoo with start-up money can rent a space and "teach".


Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2013, 01:51:04 pm »
When I was out in the country a few years ago, most kids didn't do hakwons.  They only got their English education in schools.  When I started teaching in middle school, guess what?  Ninety-eight per cent of them sucked at English and couldn't hold a conversation with me beyond "hello" to save their life.  Now, I'm in a bigger city where the kids have done hakwons from a young age and their English skills are way superior.  Many (not all), I can actually talk to a little bit. 

So, the curriculum isn't cutting it.  If anything, most kids are bored with the textbooks because it's too simple for many.  Others, it's too advanced for them and they know no English (prob because of no extra studying when they were young).  Teachers end up having to teach to the middle and there's no winning.  Also, middle school grades count for little, only entrance exams.  Make the middle school grades count and let the teachers have some more discipline and you watch how much the respect comes back.


  • alainbut
  • Veteran

    • 107

    • February 27, 2013, 12:08:10 pm
    • Bundang, South Korea
Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2013, 01:51:21 pm »
Parents have a lot to do with it but Korean teachers who think that signing songs and having to play two games during class don't really help.


Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2013, 02:40:26 pm »
Yeah teaching to the middle is part of why the schools don't do as well as they should, and it causes all kinds of problems. Everyone has to take the same exams and face the same curriculum, whether they have down's syndrome or are the smartest kid in the school. In the US we break up the classes, so you get maybe one gifted class per grade, one or two honors classes, and the rest are regular. Then any kids with developmental disabilities have their own classes. None of this nonsense of putting kids in a foreign language class who are so developmentally and physically disabled they can't even speak their own language. Yes, it's segregation, but everyone is given the schooling they need to excel at their level rather than being forced into a one-size-fits-all approach.

In my English classes in a rural town my classes of about 25 kids break down like this:

- Maybe 1 or 2 kids are at a really high level of English for their age, and can hold down a conversation.
- About 3 to 5 other kids are at a high level for their age, and have the most to gain from English class, but the lessons are just below their level.
- About 15 to 20 kids are pretty low and are barely able to keep up with the curriculum. Because they're the biggest group they have to be catered to the most. Which is fine, but it means the other kids are bored or lost.
- About 3 to 5 kids are hopeless and are either really lazy or have learning disabilities, and don't even know the English alphabet, let alone hangeul. There's usually one kid with severe disabilities like down's syndrome etc.

Everyone goes "aigo" about how tough the tests are and how they require sooo many hours at hagwons, but how tough are they? The smartest kids have to take the same tests as the poorest students, and the teachers curve the grades so that everyone is within the same range, probably so that they have some cover from parents who would freak out and call for a government inquisition when their unmotivated kids get an F. What was that about American teachers telling everyone they're a winner? At least in the US results matter, and if you don't study you get bad grades. No culture of buying SAT results either.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 02:43:29 pm by MayorHaggar »


  • munchkin
  • Veteran

    • 154

    • December 01, 2011, 07:18:53 am
    • Seoul
Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2013, 07:04:24 pm »
as per the USA style of teaching and the new-ways of korean teaching,
i suggest going onto YouTube and looking up "South Park Sarcastaball"

the point of the video(s) is that kids are not buiding self-worth, motivation (generally speaking), and character. We take away all feels of 'negativity', which in turn, takes away from the childs self-realization that they need to improve and better themselves if they want to accomplish a specific goal.

for example:  USA: baseball, everyone gets to hit, no one gets out, and they dont keep score.   Dodgeball: eliminated.   Bombardment: eliminated.  Medic: Eliminated.

instead, lets give them lollipops and parties and tell them 'everyone is a winner'.

yeah, your all "Winning" *Charlie Sheen*

There are no outs in baseball?  I must go back and watch this new kind of baseball.  Is there any crying in baseball?


Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2013, 11:55:43 am »
Removing tenure of teachers will do a lot to help improve teaching standards. It's almost impossible to remove teachers from a school in Korea, and will take something like killing a student or something to be fired.

When I spoke about the ease in which teachers can get fired in the UK, my co-teacher was shocked. Get some government body to evaluate teachers, if they suck then get rid of them


Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2013, 12:29:27 pm »
As far as the Korean teachers' coasting, I've heard from my co-teachers that there have actually been amendments in the requirements for tenure in an attempt to keep out the slackers. At my school, there is one older English teacher who is not up to snuff and they can't fire her because she received her teaching certification before the prerequisites were ramped up. I have another co-teacher who is younger and is now studying over 5 hours a day for the examination she has to take to get the same certification (or so I've come to understand).

I don't have any experience with the students' parents besides one "open house" day when they were allowed to come and watch one class. I just played a game with my students and they all seemed pleased from what I could surmise from their expressions. However, I think an entire change of process could do the Korean education system some good. If the grades here meant as much as the attendance, I could guarantee that 70% of my students would not be advancing to the next grade level and they would probably be a little more serious about their studies at school rather than going to their respective academies. Of course, not that I think a shift like that is even probable or possible the way things are now.

I think the fact that they are required to complete at least through middle school is grand, but the fact that they don't have to actually pass any of it is where the whole thing falls through. But, now I just feel like I'm saying what everyone has been saying already for a really long time.
But I'm not a marine biologist....


Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2013, 01:13:56 pm »
This sort of thing does happen in the States, although not to the same extent that it seems to here. As a student teacher I was placed at a suburban high school, and I was told that students whose grades were in the D range or below at the end of the semester needed to "redo" their homework for higher scores in order to raise their grades into C range. This was all to pad the school's (more importantly, the district's) stats and I was essentially told as much--that it was my job to give them the homework again, help them if need be, and re-grade it. Some of the kids never did it in the first place.

That really rubs me the wrong way--it's totally unfair to all of the kids who actually did the work a) well and b) on time, not to mention it doesn't teach the slackers ANYTHING about real life. I agree with all the rest of you that this is a MAJOR part of what's wrong with the system right now. No zeroes and no failures do not help anyone's kids.


  • acousticr
  • Expert Waygook

    • 503

    • January 24, 2013, 11:42:50 am
    • Gyeonggi
    more
Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2013, 02:53:50 pm »
There are no outs in baseball?  I must go back and watch this new kind of baseball.  Is there any crying in baseball?

I think you know that there's no crying in baseball.
$10 off your first order at iHerb.com with this code: BPC852


Re: KH: Teachers' Status - Korean teachers fail to deliver the goods
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2013, 03:13:57 pm »
I'm gonna pull a Tom Hanks next time someone cries in class. "THERE'S..NO...CRYING...IN ...ENGLISH!" :laugh: