Today and for the next two days, my school will be hosting a team of inspectors.
“What are they inspecting?” I have asked numerous people.
“Everything, Carrie-teacher! Everything!” is the frantic response I received from my harassed-looking co-workers.
It’s all a bit puzzling. Everyone has been running around like chickens with their heads cut off all week. Was the inspection a surprise?
I assume the inspectors are coming from the school board but what they are inspecting is a mystery. My co-teachers have been printing off reams of paperwork and organizing it all in large colour-coded binders. Information ranging from which pages of the textbook were taught on which days to the number of students present in an English class on any given day is tabulated in charts and graphs. I have to assume that all of these numbers are made up since I’ve never seen anyone take attendance or keep track of what pages we did.
And why would the inspectors want to see that? It’s elementary school. I doubt there is a problem with children playing hookie.
I was told to dress extra nicely on the days the inspectors would be present. I was also told to make all of my lessons “extremely exciting” on those days “just in case the inspector walks by.” I’m not sure how it’s possible to make a lesson entitled “Let’s make a snowman. Can you join us?” any more exciting. 😀
This morning when I arrived at school, the principal himself was outside greeting students. In the lobby, the fancy guest slippers were ready and waiting. Half a dozen Grade 6 boys were on their hands and knees scrubbing the stairs while a Grade 6 homeroom teacher alternated between wiping down the walls and yelling at the boys to scrub harder.
Children scurried everywhere with brooms and mops, and all the classrooms were being scrubbed and tidied. (No cleaning products of any sort though. I have never seen a cleaning product in a Korean school, nor have I ever seen anyone wash the mops or cleaning cloths, so when I say they were cleaning, what I mean is that they were pushing the dirt around.)
I arrived in the staffroom to find this:
These Grade 3 boys hadn’t been cleaning properly and were on the receiving end of a severe tongue-lashing. This type of punishment (they had to stand with their hands above their heads for 10 minutes while being yelled at) is the norm. They knew what they would be risking by fooling around so I didn’t feel too sorry for them. 🙂
I didn’t see any signs of the inspectors today but I had a business trip for most of the afternoon. I can’t imagine they would be particularly interested in me but you never know. I will keep you posted. 😀