Demonstration lessons in the Korean public education system
I like the principle of putting on a demonstration lesson and having teachers watch. In my time teaching, one thing I have been short of is the opportunity to see other teachers teach. And you can always learn from other teachers.
getting rid of the EFL riff-raff
We are talking about setting objective standards to a profession that is long overdue. And by setting these standards, we will be getting rid of a whole lot of really bad people; people that have absolutely no business stepping foot inside a classroom, in Thailand or anywhere else.
What cultural aspects do we need to consider?
Any behavior management system must have a system of rewards and punishment. Even the Grade 1 teacher utilized a rewards and punishment system, though in her case the reward was positive reinforcement and praise.
Text messages and talking dics
It is a problem when students are more technologically advanced than you. They can figure out ways to outsmart teachers on tests. In one particular incident, one of the smarter students text messaged the answers to another student from the hallway. However, I often switch the order of questions on my exams so, unfortunately for them, the answers didn’t match.
Human beings first, English teachers second
Most of the students marched lockstep into the manager's office and demanded another teacher. Fair enough. I stepped aside. Was I ready for the seriousness of this class? Absolutely not. I had absolutely no intention of treating this class, or any writing class, with the seriousness that the students demanded. I am a human being first, an ESL teacher second.
How learners learn
Each learner and each learning experience is unique; yet educators can identify patterns in the learning process. Designing effective learning requirements requires a clear understanding of, and attention to, both commonalities and differences in the learners and the learning.
What every teacher, student and administrator should know
When I hear of students complaining that they're bored, my first response, at least to myself is, "So?" My next response is, "I really don't care." Which is true. I can't see why I should. I can't see why anybody should care. Education is the solution to boredom. Education offers opportunities for the student that staying ignorant doesn't. It's that simple.
Back in Korea again
Korea was the same as when I left it. New swarms of hagwons proliferated like rabbits on viagra and cheap wine. Every street twinkled with the latest corporate offspring – doe-eyed upstarts of whatever educational franchise chain. Small, independent, family owned schools struggled to compete; while saturating the nation themselves oblivious to supply and demand.
ESL ghosts of the past
There's been so many bad experiences, I don't know where to start. Forget the times I was ripped off hundreds of dollars from unscrupulous Korean hagwon owners and Taiwanese recruiters. That might take too long and it's another column entirely. I'm still trying to forget the time when one of the nine million Mr. Kims barged into my class and, in front of the students, told me in Korean what a horrible teacher I was.
Generalisations and stereotypes
Six months of hindsight have brought about a small epiphany on teaching English as a foreign language – it’s the same game wherever you go. The most striking differences in teaching come with a change in age group or class size, not nationality.