I spent this afternoon at a teacher training session at the Ulsan Institute of Foreign Language Education. I can’t say that I was exactly thrilled to be going but it was a day out from school, and it gave me an acceptable excuse for missing the weekly foot-volleyball game. It was also marvellous to see people I hadn’t seen since our original training, way back in August.
Our first session was a basic overview of teaching in Korea. The presenter was very funny and gave people a chance to share stories from their schools and lives in Korea. It made me realize that while my school can be frustrating at times, it could be a lot worse! 🙂
We also discussed various methods of discipline and classroom management. Most of the techniques advocated would get you arrested in Canada. One girl mentioned that she had a student who would repeatedly give everyone the middle finger. Her co-teacher Scotch taped the student’s hands together.
Our presenter also suggested strategies like making the students hold a push-up pose, holding books over their heads for extended periods of time, making the student an object of ridicule by drawing a caricature of them on the board, and marking on them with a marker. All of these are apparently acceptable in Korea but I don’t think I’ll be trying them any time soon….
He also warned us to watch out for the Dong Chim – or Poop Needle. Those of us who have spent time in Japan will be familiar with this not-so-funny manoeuvre – students will try to jam their fingers up your bottom. I have no idea why. It’s very clearly a cultural thing. Koreans find it HILARIOUS. I’ve seen it countless times on Korean TV. It isn’t so funny when you’re the recipient. I will keep my eyes peeled in the future.
On an entirely different note, I was asked to assess my performance in my Open Class.
“But my Open Class was in September,” I replied, confused.
“Yes,” my co-T said, clearly unperturbed. “Here is the form you must use.”
I gave myself all 4s and 5s. 😀
AND I NOW HAVE INTERNET!!!! I thought that deserved capital letters. 😀 The internet gnomes came while I was at training tonight. Had I known all I needed to do to get internet was leave my apartment, I wouldn’t have spent so many nights waiting for the internet man to come! 😀