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Open Class Frustrations
« on: October 22, 2013, 04:27:23 pm »
Let me just start by saying that this is mostly a rant of my frustrations regarding my upcoming open class, but I am also looking for suggestions to improve my situation. Next week is my first open class, and the time leading up to it has made me realize first-hand how ridiculous the whole system is. First, the CT I’m teaching the class with has put everything on me to make with regards to the lesson (powerpoint, games, printouts, “official” lesson plan, etc.). This isn’t so bad in itself because it’s what I’ve been doing the whole time at this school, but what makes me mad is how she’s said the open class is supposed to be created and taught together, yet she’s done nothing to help. On top of this, when we practiced the class together with different homerooms, all she does is take notes the whole time on how to improve the lesson and leaves me to do everything on my own – even though she’s supposed to be co-teaching this exact lesson with me. After the practice lessons, her notes mostly included criticisms like “don’t do this, this, or this,” and “make it more fun.” I do welcome (constructive) criticism, but not when it comes from someone who can be so hypocritical and offer nothing other than what not to do. She also said she should have a bigger role in the lesson (so that she doesn’t appear lazy to the teachers that will watch, I would assume). Well maybe she should have included herself in the lesson planning to begin with if she wanted to have a bigger role.

These open classes are totally bogus. They’re not reflective of a “real” class at all. They choose the best homerooms to have the lesson with, and the CTs do way more than they normally would during the class. And in my case especially it doesn’t even matter because only teachers from within my school are coming to watch, which probably just means the VP and maybe the principal for 5 minutes.

 It’s really been stressful for me with a lesson that would normally take no time at all to make and is supposed to be fun (it’s a Halloween lesson). But because of her and other CTs suggestions, I’ve been second-guessing myself and have had to edit the lesson and contents several times already.

I don’t care about the open class itself at all. I’ve done enough preparing for it already. Is there anything you could suggest that I do from now until I have the class, or how/if I should tell my CT how ridiculous she’s been? Have any of you had similar experiences? I know my situation probably isn’t the worst people have had, but it just surprised me (in a bad way) because I haven’t had major problems with that CT before.

  • Aqvm
  • Expert Waygook

    • 573

    • March 09, 2012, 06:55:24 am
Re: Open Class Frustrations
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 04:56:10 pm »
Open classes are performances and not really classes. Korean teachers already know that. Don't worry about it too much.

Here's my open class advice.

Generally do what your co-teacher tells you to do, just to show her that you can follow instructions. Her opinion of you is probably more important than anyone else who happens to observe your class. If you haven't already, include your 'lesson goals' in your presentation to the students and be sure you have a conclusion-review at the very end. Make sure you write the vocabulary or whatever language you're teaching on the whiteboard. Every open class I've seen has those things.

Extra credit: Include personalized content in your lesson. Throw in some photos from around school or pictures of yourself to illustrate vocabulary or whatever. I always do this for open class, and always get positive comments on it.

When you get criticism for your open class (if you do get any) bring a notepad and a pencil and write down what people say to you. Smile and nod and thank them for their feedback.

Again, don't worry about it too much.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 05:04:31 pm by Aqvm »

  • Wintermute
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1196

    • October 06, 2011, 01:07:27 pm
    • MURRICA!!!
Re: Open Class Frustrations
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 05:51:48 pm »
yea Aqvm gave some solid advice. I'll roll off of that and into some more

have a list of all of the students, and when asking a question pick a student from the list a place a check so as to not call on them again. Or use popsicle sticks, makes it seem more random. these are two great methods as it shows; you are not playing favorites, everyone gets a turn to speak, and that you are confident in every students ability and yours. And if a student is struggling, play it cool, don't panic, reteach the material, hopefully your class is calm and doesn't go ape-shiz yelling the answers. re-teach until that student gets it, unless it take too long, then have another student help the fist, but make sure the first still gets a chance to answer.

I agree with writing your goals on the board. Koreans really seem to love seeing this.

for dealing with the co. yea had the same problem Friday, cept it wasn't open class, it was parents visit. but he said that the principal wanted to make sure the co spoke, so he asked me to include him somehow...thing is he is almost always off campus, hiding, smoking in the bathrooms, etc. so he can't be found or approached to prep, so I left it up to him to find me so he can get prepared. he never did, as expected, he was not ready or prepared, he was hella nervous, I laughed and enjoyed.

So its your choice really, do you want the co to crash and burn in front of the VP and P. it will reflect poorly on you and your ability to work with others. but at the same time the co should be held responsible for how she performs, but of course that won't happen.

I should tell my CT how ridiculous she’s been?

you seem smart, so I'll assume that if you do, you will use a better choice of words. Something along the lines of "expectations". "What are your expectations of me?" "my expectations of you are not met." And always offer suggestions. never go in to anyone saying,"don't do this this and this", or "I dont like this this and this". whatever it is you have to say, say it in a suggestion.

So instead of saying "Why are you always 5 minutes late, I already started class and you come walking in with your cup of coffee not ready to teach"

What can he say instead? Comment your answer below! and if you like this post like comment and subscribe below!


Re: Open Class Frustrations
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 01:52:05 pm »
Thanks for the advice. I've added slides at the beginning and end of the ppt showing the lesson's objectives and a wrap-up/review to make it seem more "official."

I figure there's no real point now to complain to the CT and/or talk about my expectations of her as it may only damage our relationship; it's clearly important to her and if it's only once or twice a year then I'm fine just grinning and bearing it... this time.