Monday, 17 May 2010

Languagey Barriers-u

So a little while ago i switched from teaching 3rd year middle schoolers to 2nd years - not a huge change really, just fewer lewd remarks (its amazing how gutterised their minds get in such a short space of time). My first class was the usual introductions - my name is Lolly, can anyone guess where i come from?No not Canada, or America, or Australia, or China, or France, or England (at some point i think they just start naming countries just for fun). I actually come from South Africa....and so on and so on.Not a huge amount of lesson preparation needed there.

My next class i planned a lesson on rule-making - what are rules, why do we have them, name some rules for baseball, rules you have at home etc, with the eventual intent of making our own classroom rules. Now i'd made a lovely ppt presentation - from scratch and in order to show it I had to ask my male co-teacher to please bring his laptop to class. Once it was hooked up to the screen in the class i plugged in my flashstick and clicked on my ppt and nothing. It turns out our microsoft versions were incompatible which meant no lesson on rules. I explained this to my co-teacher a number of times, looking very disappointed and so on and he nodded his head and mumbled something that i thought was agreement, or commiseration. I then very successfully played a game with my students which involved them using a fair amount of English.

Later standing in the lunch line, my co-teacher turns to me and tells me he is worried about my teaching. oh dear i think, am i not a good teacher? He continues saying that i need to plan lessons and that it is not the Korean way to show up to class unprepared. I smile and say, no no i did prepare our microsoft versions were just different. He gives me a serious look and says our last teacher was most excellent, he was always prepared. He is very worried about my teaching, its not good. He then turns to the other teachers and says something in Korean, the only part of which i understand is my name. i receive mixed looks of pity and dismay. So feeling dejected i sit and eat my lunch and then return to my office.

In walks my co-teacher again to repeat all my failings, adding that it is unprofessional and unacceptable. I once again attempt to explain that i am not a human failure and i am aware that one does not show up to class unprepared - microsoft, incompatible, not work, did have a lesson all leave my lips once again, all met with a blank stare once again. So i show him my nicely prepared lesson and a look of understanding dawns on his face, he offers a wee apology before hastily departing. I feel distinctly better about myself.

The following day we teach together again, and by then i have downloaded a microsoft converter and my ppt works. The lesson goes well and the students participate, and they understand and the timing is great and so on. As my co-teacher and i leave the classroom he says - oh that was a good lesson, very good... Did your boyfriend do it for you? I calmly told him no that I had in fact rubbed my 2 female brain cells together and achieved this wonder of teaching all on my own, thank you.

Clearly he has not caught on to men and women are equal...perhaps my next lesson will be on gender equality, and if it goes badly i will innocently murmur ' oh, but my boyfriend planned it for me'.

1 comment:

  1. .: hey, just randomly happened across your blog. I teach here in korea too, and man ur co-teacher sounds like a total ass. wtf, u should punch him in the neck next time, haha! j/k j/k that'll get his attn but prolly wouldn't be a good idea. hope ya'lls relationship gets better w/ time. =)