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Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« on: April 26, 2011, 10:26:59 am »

  Obviously we rant about our co-teachers. We scream, yell, threaten to walk away if we could, or would just like to tell them where - well you get the idea...

  But, if instead, we could write a book, telling our co-teachers, what we wish we could tell them, and what we want them to know? Things about constructive critisim, co-teaching, team teaching, communication, teaching styles, and ways, and culture, what would you tell them?

  Obviously we all have pet peeves, things we don't understand, things we know they don't understand, so for a moment, lets step off our complaining, angry soap boxes.

   What would you like your co-teacher to know and hear about what is like being a teacher here, that you would like them to know? I am sure we all have a list a mile long.

    Just a thought, WE know there are co-teachers on here, so why not offer some constructive, helpful critisim and advice from the NET point of view?

Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 10:42:55 am »
Dear Co-teacher,

  I know you think its rude to correct you in class, and you don't like it. Please do not do the same thing to me in a class. Its just as rude when you walk into my class in the afternoon and do it to me.

    I wish we would take the time to talk about our lessons before we walked in the room. You don't do this no matter how many times I have asked you. You always tell me you don't have time, and then get mad at me for not knowing whats going in class. I can't be an affective teacher if you don't talk to me about your lessons before hand so I know whats going on. This makes me look as clueless as the kids look and feel. I don't like this feeling. It frustrates me that you won't talk to me about your lessons and I don't understand why you keep them "secret" from me. I can't plan my lessons arounds yours if you don't tell me what your teaching.

  I understand your resentful about how much I get paid. I know it seems unfair to you. But I would like to be treated with the same respect you expect me to treat you with. I went to school just as long, I worked just as hard to get my degree. I also left all my friends, and family behind. Being here is not easy, and I don't have the support network of a family here that you do. If you were in a foreign country to teach Korean without anyone that you knew, the same may apply to you. Please treat me with resepct. Do not resent me because I speak English as my native language. Your National school system wanted me here, if they did not, I would not be here.

  I know appear frustrated nearly every day. Its hard to adjust. When people have a problem back home, we don't smile and just nothing. We tell each other, and are very straight forward, I can tell when there's a problem but you don't explain to me what I did, or what went wrong. This is frustrating to me, If you would just meet with me daily to talk about things, a lot of miscommunication that leads to frustration between us would not happen.

  Lastly, nothing is more frustrating to me, then to be asked to make lesson plans, and then we don't use them. I put a lot of work and effort into my planning, and I want to teach. I give them to you, but then you never read them, and most of the time I do not do anything in class but parrot. If you don't want to use my lesson plans, then please don't ask me to plan. Its frustrating to me also to have you look over my plans like a parent inspecting homework and demand why I am doing something, and critize it negatively when you don't like something. I know you need to see them, and  I am happy to explain, but it would be nice to take my feelings and thoughts into consideration when you are looking at them. It may look the same to you, but I am teaching what I think is best for the students. I want to them to succeed. That is why I try so hard to teach what I know in English.

  Thanks for listening to me,
  Perhaps things will work a little better from now.

 (Ok - thats my letter to a co-teacher, without using colorful words, and exclamation points). But - I think if I could tell her this and she would listen to me>? Things would be better - what I have written here, is the main points of what I have TRIED a zillion times to tell my co-teacher.
so - who knows - maybe my co-teacher is on here and will read all the things we want them to know - and thats my thoughts on it.

  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 11:03:59 am »
Dear CTs,

Thanks so much for not making me feel like so many of the PS teachers on waygook and Dave'$! In fact sometimes you and the rest of the staff and administration make me feel like our school is in a parallel universe where totally unnecessary Korean BS isn't the norm.

  • DMZ
  • Super Waygook

    • 407

    • December 16, 2010, 08:34:43 pm
    • Incheon
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 11:07:33 am »
Dear co-teacher

Thank you for getting all of my leave signed by the VP and Principal so that I don't have to run around  trying to find them.

Thank you for the cookies every morning (even though they add to my waistline)

Thank you for never giving me any stress

Thank you for ensuring I teach less than my 22 hours per week

Thank you for letting me know about things literally weeks in advance

Thank you for being my translator for everything

And many more! Absolutely not one complaint about my co teacher!

  • jgroh
  • Veteran

    • 113

    • December 02, 2010, 08:51:36 am
    • Ansan, South Korea
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 11:12:06 am »
Dear Co-teachers and co-workers.

For all the hard work you do, and the masses and masses of bureaucratic paperwork you must do, 조게타... (that's sarcasm).

Thanks for the conversations we get to have. Your English is a lot better than you realize. I can tell you've gained greatly in confidence over the past few months. I really really enjoy trading idioms with you every day. I teach you something in English, usually an idiom because you're English is pretty good. You teach me a basic Korean phrase.  My desk gets loaded with sticky notes, but I'm really happy to spend time talking with you all.

There are things that frustrate me at this school, but then I recognize this isn't my country, nor are they my rules. Nonetheless, I really love being here and I thank you for being so inviting.

  • flasyb
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1901

    • November 30, 2010, 12:10:03 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2011, 11:18:04 am »
Thanks for letting me smoke your cigarettes every day (if I bring my own, I smoke more). I'll give you a few packs one of these days.

Thanks for helping me stay calm.

Thanks for taking me out drinking.

Thanks for playing badminton with me.

Thanks for immediately helping me with every problem I have.

Please do remember that I don't/can't use "cool messenger" so I miss a lot of what is going on in the school. I could do with a little more notice about things.

Small fries in the grand scheme of things. Thanks for everything!
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

We are not "guests" in Korea. Korea didn't invite us over for Pimms in the garden. We are paid employees.

  • minamteacher
  • Expert Waygook

    • 728

    • October 05, 2010, 07:55:14 am
    • Incheon
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2011, 11:32:36 am »
Dear Co-teacher,

Thank you for all of the help you give me even when I don't ask. You rock!


P.S. as for the OP, I am sorry that your co-worker and you cannot communicate. I can understand how frustrating it must be to plan lessons that are criticized then ignored.

Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2011, 11:41:14 am »
Laughs -  Got to love my typos today - 4 hours of sleep my fault - sorry everyone.

   I wish I could tell my co-teacher that I am sorry her principal is such an oppressive person.
The main reason my co-teacher and I have so many problems is that my principal is convinced that 1st graders can have fluent conversations, without learning vocabulary.

  Dear co-teacher,

   I am sorry that the principal puts so much pressure on you at school. Because of that pressure, it trickles down to me, and you have to tell me things that irk and frustrate me, but do not come from you. I know its not your fault.


Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 11:45:39 am »
Dear Co-Teacher 1.

I wish you would realize how good your English is and how amazing it is that you get up every morning at 5:30am, despite having a husband and two children and drive yourself to the English institute for an hours tuition before school. I am younger than you, am not married and have no kids and I can't get my ass out of bed and have so much initiative like you do. Despite this you are still self conscious about your English and it shows such humility and modesty, because you are really so talented at learning languages! Thank you for recognizing without me telling you, that I am sensitive and 'artsy'. Thank you for confiding in me that you are too and understanding me and engaging your female intuition. Thank you for that beautiful book on philosophy you bought me, thinking I'd like it, and I did.

All my love you beautiful woman!

Dear co-teacher 2.

Gay people exist and are normal. Black people and anyone darker than pink are as wonderful, normal, fabulous and important as Koreans and Caucasians. You are a racist and I actually don't like you, but you will never know because I smile at you all day and have chosen to perceive your narrow minded bigotry as naivety. I also don't think it's my place to correct you because I respect that you are older than me and I am trying to observe your cultural norms. I also don't think you'd actually change.  But I will think it, and smile at you.

Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2011, 11:58:17 am »
Dear Co-Teacher 1 and 2 -

You are both amazing women that make my life easier. I love and enjoy your classes. I look forward to actually teaching them.

Dear Co-Teacher 3 -

Stop staring at me like that and stop flirting with me, please. I do not like it. It is awkward at school and even more awkward, because three months later I find out you have a husband.

Dear Co-Teacher 4 - Stop using your galaxy tab 90% of the class period. Try actually doing something. Yelling, "Listen up!" or "Shut up!" once a class does not count.

Dear Co-Teacher 5 - Stop blaming me for something not working, it raining or you having a bad day. Try to smile for once and there is a thing called "humor."

  • SBracken
  • Expert Waygook

    • 579

    • March 07, 2011, 07:41:22 am
    • Pohang, S Korea
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2011, 01:15:00 pm »
Dear CT 1:
I wish we could talk more, but I know you're crazy busy and I hope you realize that I know that as well. I don't expect anything more from you- please understand how much you have done for me already. I don't even mind that you rarely give me notice about changes. The only thing I would ask, beg even, is that you give me a straight answer when I do track you down to ask you a question. Please, please. I would beg. Thank you again, and I wish I could help ease your workload, hang tough!

Dear CT 2:
Please stop expecting me to be your personal English tutor. I like you and all, but it's a bit tiring, and in reality I'm here for the students, not you. I love our little conversations between class, but please stop asking me to take free periods all the time to create yet another brand new teachers' class just for you.
I appreciate that you come to class, but please either discipline, or leave. If you sit in the back and text, I feel like I can't discipline the students my own way. When you do provide the discipline though, a hundred thanks, because it also makes the class flow much more smoothly. Plus, I feel better knowing that you speak Korean and can tell if they're being productively disruptive (ie: asking a friend a question about class) or unproductively distructive (ie: being a brat).
Lastly, I wish you hadn't told the ENTIRE SCHOOL that I was surprised when I saw Korean chicken soup. Now everybody thinks I hate chicken, and tries to make sure I don't get any ever. I love chicken.

Dear CT 3:
You are wonderful! I never expected to have a CT so willing to experiement with new ideas in the classroom! You're so open to taking chances and giving me freedom to really teach these kids topics off the beaten path, and yet you always want to discuss and brainstorm with me as well, not just ditching me with the free reign. Your English is great, and thank you for telling me when I'm breaking Korean taboo, although next time, could you not do it in front of the whole cafeteria? Please?
I know I only see you once a week, but thank you also for making me tea. Every. Single. Week. Until I felt comfortable enough to use the office hot pot. I'm sure it was a pain and you felt like you were taking care of a child.

Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2011, 01:46:33 pm »
Dear CT,
I appreciate you in all the ways possible that a NET can. Thank you for being a wonderful person.
I know how you feel when you drag yourself out of bed at 6, make breakfast for your kids then drive all the way here. ( I do the same.)

I appreciate you getting hang overs and coming to school. You show me that you are human. And that it is ok to do so.

You help me get out of school volleyball matches ( we both hate the sport) You try and wrangle getting us both out of things that are ridiculous and stupid. Most of the time it works, but the other times I don't mind hiking up a mountain. You even do it in heels!

I appreciate the friendship we have, we are able to bitch about our husbands, other people etc and not feel guilty that either of us will tell someone.

I appreciate the fact that you do so much work, and I am more than happy to help you out if you give me things to do.

The only thing I would love more than all the above is a little bit more notice of events or important meetings that I must attend to than an hour or two.

Lots of love
Foreign teacher

Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2011, 04:02:25 pm »
Dear co-teacher,

  I know your trying to be helpful, but could you warn me before an open class day a few days ahead of time? Especially if it is going to involve a private audience with the principal and vice principal?

  Telling me we'll talk about it tomorrow morning when we have straight block classes and all morning makes me wonder WHEN can we possibly talk about it? - Not cool. I would like a little warning, thats all.
   I do appreciate what you do. I know your job isn't easy. I wish we had more time to practice team teaching. I think it would solve a lot of situations in which miscommunication happens. I wish we had more time to meet so I could talk to you about what I am doing.


  • WTEChesser
  • Veteran

    • 109

    • November 19, 2010, 11:55:34 am
    • Teshikaga, Hokkaido, Japan
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2011, 04:46:15 pm »
Dear CT,

I am glad you know how to use the words "your" and "you're" correctly. Could you please teach a few native English teachers how to use contractions?

  • wafflebunny
  • Super Waygook

    • 320

    • October 10, 2010, 02:25:13 pm
    • Daejeon, South Korea
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2011, 04:48:00 pm »
Dear Head KT,

Seek psychiatric help. Please. I know you need it. You hate being a wife and mother. Just say it. Or at least you hate your controlling, arse hole of a husband.

Also, don't teach another child in your life. I know you will go to the US to study more but please don't ever teach again. Your teaching sucks. It's horrible. The children don't deserve it. Gogo the English dinosaur and the Busy Beavers are better teachers alone.

The fact you are the head co-teacher is an insult on the drunk staff at my ghetto school.

Dear other KTs,

You're cool. Thanks for making my life here better.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 04:49:32 pm by wafflebunny »

  • infogoddess
  • Featured Contributor

    • 349

    • March 03, 2010, 10:18:59 am
    • Wuxi, Jiangsu, China
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2011, 06:37:15 pm »
Dear First Grade CT

Thank you for coming to class with your students.  You are a joy and I love how you really get into singing the songs with the kids.  You are the only co-teacher who comes to the English Classroom and I appreciate that because it means we can spend the whole time learning English instead of trying to herd cats.  I do wish you would ask me before you turn on/off the heat/aircon because I really know how I like the classroom to feel.

Dear Second Grade CT
Who are you?  Your children mysteriously appear at my door and we try to have a lesson but sometimes they are just too unruly.  I think you might be the Third Grade teacher from my first year here who spoke no English and only wanted me to parrot in the class when he talked.  You always seem too self-conscious to speak to me but I promise you that I don't bite and I love that pink sparkly tie you often wear to school.  I know you are a fun guy because when we get drunk on the teacher's trips you always make sure that I win a prize in the silly raffle.

Dear Third Grade CT
Who are you?  Are you one of the new teachers at my school? I think you might be the guy that loves to play volleyball and has two charming little girls who joined us on a recent teachers trip, but I'm really not sure.  Your kids are my favorite especially little Greg who is working so hard on learning English and beams every time he gets the answer right. I think if you came to class with the kids you might find out how much fun learning English can be.

Dear Fourth Grade CT
I really like the fact that you always bring your class to me and introduce them. I so enjoy our conversations after school and I know that you are very busy with your new duties this year.  I bet you would really enjoy my classes if you came to them.

Dear Fifth Grade CT
I think you are really interesting because we never have a conversation and never plan classes together but when we have the Monday class in your classroom somehow we effortlessly and seamlessly cover the material.  My only problem is that sometimes you are too ready to translate something instead of letting the kids figure it out. They really are able to do quite a bit and the figuring it out part is one of the best lessons that they can have. Your English is quite good and I know that you are proud of that.  Maybe we could sit down sometime and actually talk about what needs to go in the classroom and both learn from the experience.  I'm sorry that I let a NET at your other school, cloud my initial opinion of you.

Dear Sixth Grade CT
I like they way you torture the sixth grade by expecting them to actually learn vocabulary and grammar.  I know we never plan a lesson together but I appreciate it on Mondays when I come and visit your classroom that you stick around and seem to enjoy the powerpoints, games, handouts and additional material that I provide.  I know that your English is very good so maybe sometime we could actually sit down and talk about your expectations for Sixth Grade English because some days I really don't think I'm using my time effectively with these kids.

To all of my co-teachers - of course I would love to plan out a really solid curriculum with you but as you know I am only at your school two days a week and I teach almost every minute that I am there. Is there some way that we can talk or share information about what should be happening in the English classroom or does any of it really matter? 


fiona teacher

ps - I really love the kids - well, except perhaps those two really mean girls in the 4th grade - and I think you would be surprised at how well they actually do in my class
"The Bhagavad Gita - that ancient Indian Yogic text - says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection. So now I have started living my own life." Elizabeth Gilbert

  • eveliens
  • Super Waygook

    • 352

    • November 05, 2010, 08:49:25 am
    • Seoul, Korea
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2011, 07:53:27 pm »
Things I'd like to tell the staff


Ex-CT #1- You were flat out awesome. You were so kind and generous and helpful despite knowing that we'd only be working together for two months. I'm really glad that you were there to help me out during the rough transition. I also appreciate you welcoming me into your church and teaching me Korean. I enjoyed teaching class with you and the kids now love English because of our partnership.

Ex-CT #2- While I found you pleasant enough, I hope you're having more fun in your new town and with your sweet little baby. Being a mother suits you very well and both of your girls are adorable. Be happy to leave the stress of teaching behind you, even if its only temporary.

Ct #3- Its good that we get to talk but I think it'd be better if we had a solid game plan on how to work with your unruly class full of boys who are extremely naughty. While they are improving its still a task to teach them a measly three sentences. They are going to be in for a very rude awakening next year if we don't get this together. Also, thanks for not freaking out when the kids told you I jabbed a protractor through my wrist: it was obviously just another learning opportunity for the kids to use "be careful" "watch out" and "are you okay?" in a REAL situation. Don't worry, I don't plan to do it again. I know you're super busy, so I'm very grateful for your help with the bank and the doctor and all those silly things I can't seem to do by myself in Korea.

Ct #4: You scared me for the first month of school but now I can see it was just because your class was full of deviants and the VP was probably bearing down on you. I'm really pleased that your new class is so sweet; they're my favorites to teach. Teaching with you is so much nicer now that we're all relaxed. I am hoping you'll eventually start letting me bring in extra material because the songs from the book are terrible and the kids really LOVE singing and doing role-plays. Also, just because the kids improv a bit to ADD MORE lines... don't knock it because it's not perfectly in alignment of the book. More English is GOOD! And lastly, I love when you use phrases from the book is a perfect mimic and tell me good-bye. It really amuses me and touches me that you make the effort to use the little English you know.

CT #5- I know you're new and busy. And its a little awkward because you're a guy. But thank you for letting me run the class and helping me when I need it without pressuring me. Please don't translate everything though. The kids are on the ball and love puzzles. And it makes me to do a better job of getting the point across. You're wife is really nice and your baby is so cute. I hope the town treats you well.

CT #6- I SEE you. I KNOW you exist. You can speak to me when you are not drunk. I'm quite sure the army did not strip your ability to speak English. No, I'm not a guy and no I can't replace the previous NET but I would appreciate a little help in the classroom. Your kids are so apathetic its painful and I'm glad I only have a few of the good ones in my after school classes. I think if you had a better attitude about English they might too. I do have to say I'm flattered that you repeat everything I say in English; I hope its helping you out. But you'd learn a lot more if you spoke to me in a conversation at lunch once and awhile.

CT #7- Our teaching styles and personalities do not match at all. However, I think we're both trying to make the best of it. And its just one day a week. Please try to keep the resentment of coming to my little backwater school up on the mountain out of your demeanor-- the kids can sense it. I think you're a great teacher and I'm love that you branch out from the book. I'd really just think seeing what you're bringing to class in advance would help a lot so I don't sit looking stupid and bored the entire class. Also, please don't cut me off or step in front of me after requesting that I ask the class questions. Thanks.

Vice-principal- You are awesome. The school is much happier that you're here and I love your English/Korean lesson sessions and that fact you always feed me.

Cleaning lady- Thanks for not being afraid of me and greeting me every morning.

Nuna and Admin lady and After school helper- You make my job and life so much easier. Its difficult to be far from home and discipline kids that can pretend not to understand me. I love how a word or two from you or even just your presence makes my after school classes so much easier. I enjoy hearing about your kids and seeing the pictures on the phone and eating the Jeju chocolate you give me. You make staff dinners so much more fun for me when you get drunk and say you love me.

Nurse- I'm really not normally this sickness or accident prone, I promise. But I'm making you earn your paycheck at least. Your driving skills have really improved and I appreciate the escort to lunch every day and the occasional translation of the strange dish we are eating. There are times when I am really dubious of the content. "Vegetable" puts my mind and stomach at ease.

Admin guy- Thanks for being the handy man and paying my bills for me. I made it a little easier on you this month and did them myself. I wish you'd stop giving me the extra change though-- I really don't need anymore!

Lunch ladies- Mushrooms really do make me miserable, so I do notice when you avoid them or take them out or don't scold me for leaving them on my plate. I apologize for not doing a good job at eating the fish. Quite frankly, I think they're disgusting and too much work. Occasionally I just can't stomach the kimchi or those nasty leaves soaked in hot pepper... its not personal. Even if I don't finish my plate everyday, I acknowledge you ladies work very hard to provide a balance, healthy meal for the entire school.

  • woman-king
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1159

    • October 18, 2010, 03:56:29 pm
    • Gyeonggi
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2011, 08:31:00 pm »
Dear Co-Teacher,

Thanks for being one of the coolest women I've ever met in any country.  I'm not sure you're entirely happy here and sometimes I wish I could smuggle you back to my country--I really think you'd love it.  You're truly intelligent, open-minded, keep me informed on what's going, and I suspect you've done your homework on my home culture because I do notice the small but important efforts you make to be accomodating and understanding.

Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2011, 11:44:26 pm »
Dear Mr Kim

Please could you stop with the generalizations about my African heritage. Not all all Africans were blessed with good singing voices and being from Africa does not make me ever ready to dance whenever there's a beat. I think the comment you made about my frizzy hair was downright shallow and distasteful.

Hopefully you will become more informed about my culture through our interactions.

Thats All

  • infogoddess
  • Featured Contributor

    • 349

    • March 03, 2010, 10:18:59 am
    • Wuxi, Jiangsu, China
Re: Thing I wish I could tell my co-teacher
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2011, 05:37:00 am »
Cleaning lady- Thanks for not being afraid of me and greeting me every morning.

I have one like that too - she is always so cheerful and loves running the late-stayers out of the building - she once gave me a ride home when my ride forgot me - sweet lady
"The Bhagavad Gita - that ancient Indian Yogic text - says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection. So now I have started living my own life." Elizabeth Gilbert