Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wow, that sure looks pretty...

Today was more of the same. I went to the teacher training center along with my co-teacher and the other English teachers with SMOE.

And once again, it was a load of crap.

The day began with an hour long speech about lesson planning. It was all in Korean. Very insighful indeed.

Then we had to work with our co-teacher to create a lesson. When it was complete, we had to go to a computer lab and type the thing up.

We were finished in thirty minutes but our group leader said we had to have bold titles and some other formatting nonsense. The template they gave us was screwed up and the formatting was even more messed up. After thrity minutes of trying to satisfy them, I just gave up and told my co-teacher that this was just plain silly.

The lesson will be exactly the same no matter how it looks. The content is what should be important, but here in Korea they are obsessed with presentation. I told the group leader that the template was very user unfriendly and I just couldn't get it to look how she wanted it.

She proceeded to get one of the computer techs to help us and he couldn't fix it either. My co-teacher was quite concerned because she wanted to get it right so I told her to do it herself. The lesson was fine and the way it looked isn't gonna make the kids understand English any better. She just wanted to satisfy the group leader so I decided to play the game.

I told her that most of our lesson was very ineffective and the way she wanted to "check for understanding" at the end of the lesson was totally useless. She disagreed and I went on to explain my point and she soon understood.

So we edited a few parts and this was a major hassle to say the least. Now it was her who was frustrated but at least the frustration made our lesson better. After these changes she wanted to get out of there just as much as I did so she finally conceded to give up on the formatting.

I'm glad we had our first disagreement and I feel like she has a bit more respect for me and will give me more say in the overall decision making. She's a "by the book" person but sometimes the book is wrong.

My only worry is that she's gonna expect me to make every lesson now.

Well, if that happens, at least the kids might learn some English.

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