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  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5346

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5440 on: June 25, 2018, 10:43:12 am »
Getting rather burned out with all this talk of pointless speaking tests and cheating students. I also just learned last Friday that it's illegal to fail students. There's almost no purpose, huh?
It bothers me less when I mentally adjust my internal grading schema: anything under a 70 is a fail, 70-85 is a C, 85-95 is a B, and 95+ is an A.  :undecided:


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5441 on: June 25, 2018, 11:06:00 am »
Well, there are the good students, and despite how much I hate the speaking tests themselves as they're kind of symptomatic of larger issues, I actually do enjoy interacting with the students on a day-to-day basis. Having a good relationship with them usually improves student attitudes over English in general. Most of them still hate studying it, but they come to learn to like playing with it, and it increases their confidence levels. For the right students, this can even provide a huge boost in their motivation to learn English more seriously. Even students that start off terrified of speaking English at all normally end up feeling comfortable enough to experiment with it by the end of the school year. This is what I get out of it.

The speaking tests are only two weeks out of every semester that I've got to worry about. It's just a small smear.

As for not failing students, their motivation is supposed to come from their entrances into certain high schools and colleges. While they may get to graduate, they will not get accepted into the schools of their choices if their grades aren't up to par, which is a big deal here in Korea because it can make or break your career path.


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5442 on: June 25, 2018, 11:44:11 am »
Regarding not failing students, etc:

It's dumb, but it's just one symptom of a much bigger problem here: forced egalitarianism.

There are a lot of examples that are tangentially related. For example, senior citizens ride public transit for free. All senior citizens. Whether they're a multimillionaire or someone who picks up cardboard all day to support themselves, they all get this benefit. There is absolutely no reason that affluent people need to be provided with free public transit after a certain age, but everyone has to be equal.

Recently an allowance was introduced for all parents with children under five years old to receive 100,000 won monthly, in an effort to increase the birthrate. Again, independent of that family's income bracket, everyone receives it. Again, there are a lot of compelling practical arguments against providing people who are already wealthy with the same allowance as families or parents who are struggling financially. But, everyone has to be equal.

So, it brings us to school. Unlike western countries, where students can (I'm sure there are exceptions) move ahead or be held back according to their performance and ability level in school. But if that was tried here, the cries of 'unfair!' would be too many to manage, because everyone needs to be equal.


Obviously I'm really oversimplifying all of this. But there's a very strong "well if I can't have it, they can't have it" mentality, which is covered up by very superficial 'we're all a big family, Korea!' veneer.


  • Mister Tim
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1565

    • September 08, 2013, 10:33:54 am
    • SK
Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5443 on: June 25, 2018, 11:55:26 am »
Well that was... interesting.

I went to my classroom, turned on the projector, plugged it into my laptop, but then rather than seeing my laptop on the screen, we were treated to the CCTV feed from one of the admin offices.  :laugh:

Apparently some people are here today installing a new system of some sort, and in the process it seems they mixed up some of the wires & connections running through the ceiling. We got the CCTV feed, and presumably the security office got a nice view of this week's listening activity. It was pretty funny in retrospect, but it seemed less funny at the time, since the result was I had to teach the entire class without video (so long, multimedia presentation I worked so hard on yesterday!).

It really makes me wonder why these maintenance things always happen during school hours. There have been many other times in the past where maintenance workers come in as I'm teaching a class and carry on with their business. I asked a KT why they don't just have that maintenance done after school hours or on weekends, and was just told "the workers don't want to do it then."

Okay.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5346

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5444 on: June 25, 2018, 11:58:27 am »
Recently an allowance was introduced for all parents with children under five years old to receive 100,000 won monthly, in an effort to increase the birthrate. Again, independent of that family's income bracket, everyone receives it. Again, there are a lot of compelling practical arguments against providing people who are already wealthy with the same allowance as families or parents who are struggling financially. But, everyone has to be equal.
You're assuming that the Korean government is doing this as some sort of child-rearing subsidy. I don't feel that this is the case. I think it's an out-and-out bribe to encourage folk to crank out more babies. Want 500k? Show us a baby. They don't care if you're rich or poor: they just want more Koreans that will be able to pay taxes in 20 years so that they (the politicos) don't have to worry about their pensions getting axed.


  • JVPrice
  • Expert Waygook

    • 796

    • August 29, 2017, 10:26:13 am
    • Cheongju
Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5445 on: June 25, 2018, 11:59:46 am »

It really makes me wonder why these maintenance things always happen during school hours. There have been many other times in the past where maintenance workers come in as I'm teaching a class and carry on with their business. I asked a KT why they don't just have that maintenance done after school hours or on weekends, and was just told "the workers don't want to do it then."

Okay.

It's like the people that have jobs don't ever want to do them
The World Ends With You


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5446 on: June 25, 2018, 12:15:02 pm »
The system isn't good, but if you don't agree that all studying should end in a test then you can teach students interesting things that they will remember and you find interesting to teach.  You also take your little victories where you get them.  Whether you're not allowed to by crappy co-ts, or students think they're wasting their time, is another thing.  But them's the challenges, I suppose. 

I just count my blessings that my current coTs are okay for the most part. A couple of them just lose their sanity during this period, and it drives me crazy.

What topics have you taught that are kind of atypical but that students really seem to latch onto?

Picking your brain for new ideas for camp.

Quote
My co-teacher talked with the students and they said it was their hagwon teacher who gave them a kind of template for this essay, so they could change little bits to answer the question.   :rolleyes: Firstly, what a div.  Whoever told them, used some really stupid phrases, and ones that anyone looking at it could tell they were not the students original ideas.  I'm going to go over it again and then we'll decide what score to give.

So did the students not "realize" what they did wrong, or were they aware but just thought that they could get away with it, lol?


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1424

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5447 on: June 25, 2018, 12:20:29 pm »
I'm doing speaking tests this week myself. Today's are over, and only 1 student is challenging my grade. I explained with my co-T nearby, that he has the ability to get an A, but I had to put him down as a B, as he only gave shortened answers. He was nervous, and when he went for longer answers, he'd freak out and stop.
I mentioned, if he relaxes a bit, he'll definitely be able to reach the "A" next time.
2 of the students, thought they would get a low mark, but got a high mark. They pushed through their nervousness and gave me good answers.
The rest got what they thought they'd get.


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5448 on: June 25, 2018, 01:20:33 pm »
Just finished my last round for the day. Marked improvement from what I left off with last week. Hope it's a good sign for the rest of this week.


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5449 on: June 25, 2018, 02:04:46 pm »
What topics have you taught that are kind of atypical but that students really seem to latch onto?

Picking your brain for new ideas for camp.

What level are you teaching?

[...]

Cooking class?

Middle school, and my current school has a decent-ish budget, so there's always a cooking class. xD I've got that mostly decided already, but I'm open to new ideas.

I was thinking about making one of the classes a science class, but I'm still undecided. I thought maybe balsa wood bridges but wasn't sure if I could find bridge kits here, even online  (I know that people have used things like paper and spaghetti, but I really want actual balsa wood).

Might try the balloon car, thing, though... or maybe even do a catapult competition, see which team can Macgyver the best one out of the materials I give them.

I like the greetings idea, too. Geography really isn't a strong suit for my most of my students, but I could do a thing where I introduce them to countries and their capitals. That way they can use some recall to help answer a game based on it.


  • Pennypie
  • Expert Waygook

    • 862

    • July 26, 2014, 08:16:47 pm
    • Koreaaa
Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5450 on: June 25, 2018, 02:52:50 pm »

20 days left of term. The last 20 days of my Korean teaching career. Every day I'm losing the last fucks I was managing to scrape together.


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5451 on: June 25, 2018, 03:14:53 pm »

20 days left of term. The last 20 days of my Korean teaching career. Every day I'm losing the last fucks I was managing to scrape together.

Congrats!

It must feel incredibly liberating knowing that the end is in sight.  I don't think I'd be able to wipe the grin off my face.

Are you putting any effort into your final classes?  I wouldn't  :laugh:


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4144

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5452 on: June 25, 2018, 04:19:45 pm »
On the Hyundai cars, why when the 'fuel left in kilometres' gauge reaches '50kms left', it goes blank like this '--'?  Surely, that's when you need it most.

It isn't just Hyundai.  They all to that.

They don't count to the bottom because the number us an estimate based on the last (???) km driven. If you drive mostly highway, and you are city-driving those last 50 might be closer to 20!

I read <---> as "you are on your own, buddy!"


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5453 on: June 25, 2018, 06:42:17 pm »
On the Hyundai cars, why when the 'fuel left in kilometres' gauge reaches '50kms left', it goes blank like this '--'?  Surely, that's when you need it most.

It isn't just Hyundai.  They all to that.

They don't count to the bottom because the number us an estimate based on the last (???) km driven. If you drive mostly highway, and you are city-driving those last 50 might be closer to 20!

I read <---> as "you are on your own, buddy!"

Right, I imagine they donít want to be blamed if your car putters out on the highway because you thought you could make it another 10 km to the next pumping station.


  • Pennypie
  • Expert Waygook

    • 862

    • July 26, 2014, 08:16:47 pm
    • Koreaaa
Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5454 on: June 26, 2018, 07:49:05 am »

20 days left of term. The last 20 days of my Korean teaching career. Every day I'm losing the last fucks I was managing to scrape together.

Congrats!

It must feel incredibly liberating knowing that the end is in sight.  I don't think I'd be able to wipe the grin off my face.

Are you putting any effort into your final classes?  I wouldn't  :laugh:

For years I've seen people talk about their last month or so and never quite got it until now. It's weird because I am putting in a little effort because I want the students to have fun and enjoy my time with them, but I've given up all hopes of teaching them English. I just want it to be easy and enjoyable for everyone involved.


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5455 on: June 26, 2018, 07:56:19 am »
On the Hyundai cars, why when the 'fuel left in kilometres' gauge reaches '50kms left', it goes blank like this '--'?  Surely, that's when you need it most.

It isn't just Hyundai.  They all to that.

They don't count to the bottom because the number us an estimate based on the last (???) km driven. If you drive mostly highway, and you are city-driving those last 50 might be closer to 20!

I read <---> as "you are on your own, buddy!"

We have a Kia too, and that will count you down all the way.  This Hyundai and the previous one both did the '--', followed by a Korean voice doing an evil cackle!  Only part of that previous sentence was true.

How often do you find yourself driving with less than an eighth of a tank?! hahaha :laugh:


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5456 on: June 26, 2018, 07:59:17 am »
How often do you find yourself driving with less than an eighth of a tank?! hahaha :laugh:

I did this a lot because I hated stopping off at gas stations, so I'd always tell myself I'd get the next station.

Ended up running out of gas while on my way somewhere three times.


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5457 on: June 26, 2018, 08:46:17 am »
How often do you find yourself driving with less than an eighth of a tank?! hahaha :laugh:

I did this a lot because I hated stopping off at gas stations, so I'd always tell myself I'd get the next station.

Ended up running out of gas while on my way somewhere three times.

Can be bad for your engine, no? Not just running out of gas, but even just driving when it's low...


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5458 on: June 26, 2018, 09:02:25 am »
How often do you find yourself driving with less than an eighth of a tank?! hahaha :laugh:

I did this a lot because I hated stopping off at gas stations, so I'd always tell myself I'd get the next station.

Ended up running out of gas while on my way somewhere three times.

Can be bad for your engine, no? Not just running out of gas, but even just driving when it's low...

It is, but I was in high school at the time.

The car itself was a beat-up old '86 Ford Supra anyway. First car, paid for with money from a part-time job, so it was the sort of thing that most car buyers would only look at for parts to cherry up other cars. Literally ate up oil, so I had to pour in a bottle of oil every week just to make sure it stayed above that little safety mark. Black, leather interior, and a clear sun roof, no working A/C, in Texas -- I overlooked a bag of groceries in there, once, and it had some eggs. When I found them a few hours later, they were cooked.

So I think between being young and stupid, I was just a glutton for punishment. I still miss that piece of shit, though. It had the most powerful engine, literally 0 to 60 with just tapping the pedal.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4144

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5459 on: June 26, 2018, 09:51:17 am »
How often do you find yourself driving with less than an eighth of a tank?! hahaha :laugh:

I did this a lot because I hated stopping off at gas stations, so I'd always tell myself I'd get the next station.

Ended up running out of gas while on my way somewhere three times.

Can be bad for your engine, no? Not just running out of gas, but even just driving when it's low...

Yes.

Dirt in your tank settles to the bottom, so a full tank is providing cleaner fuel.

Also, on cold weather more air space in your tank means more water condensing and further contaminating your fuel.