Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More on teacher evaluations

...this time about public school Korean co-teacher's evaluations of the native English speaking teacher.

Read the article first, and I'll also add my $0.02.  I've never taught in a public school but have had numerous friends who have.  It's a mixed bag.  Just like any job you work at, there are the lazy people, the conscientious people, the incompetent people, the kind and sweet people, the racist people and the plain evil people.

Your co-teacher (s) at a public school may be kind and sweet, but can't speak English.  This could work out okay with only some minor frustrations.  Your co-teacher could be totally competent and speak flawless English, having lived overseas for 5 years, so she even understands your culture and where you're coming from.  This is ideal.  Your co-teacher could be a racist old ajosshi who hates foreigners and doesn't speak English and resents having you in his life and his classroom.  This is the nightmare situation.  You could have the lazy co-teacher who smokes all the time and who you literally never see, even when you're supposed to be "co-teaching."    Your co-teacher could be entirely clueless about communicative, task-based teaching, as perhaps you are as well so perhaps you will have a bad year.

So, the idea that these Korean co-teachers evaluate the native English speakers seems good on paper but in practice, it's kind of ridiculous.

And, kind of as an aside, if you're thinking of coming to Korea, know this: even public schools are a bit of a crapshoot.  While you will get paid on time every month (usually), and not ripped off (usually), depending on your co-teacher, your year here could be a living hell.  Or, if could be delightful and happy.  Who knows.

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