Open Class Catastrophe

South Korea

The title of this post is slightly misleading in some sense-the classes taught actually went really well for me and for every other teacher that I spoke too. However, it was perhaps the craziest and most unorganized (that’s saying somethin’!) day that I’ve yet experienced at ol RT. For those who don’t know, open class is when parents come to school for the day and observe classes in the classroom with the children. It’s a chance for them to see the school in a different light, watch their children interact with others and generally just get a better feel for what’s going on in their children’s lives everyday. It’s a big deal, particularly for our Korean teachers who freak out about their English abilities (arguably, several aren’t really that great at English, but hey, it’s not my job to judge. or to hire teachers who are actually good at English rather than good at making artsy signs for their classroom) and then make elaborate lesson plans to please the Dragon Lady who owns our school. As for today’s Open Class, so much attention had been put on making the classes impeccable and chock0full of English learnin’ goodness that no one bothered to, oh, PLAN THE DAY. It was a complete, dare I say, clusterfuck of silliness. First off, only 4 sessions were planned for the day. 5 and 6 year olds were scheduled from 10:30-11:55, then 7 year olds from 1-2:30. 2 sessions per period. Not too hard really, considering we do more than that every other day. But no one planned where the kids were to go when their parents were in a meeting with our director. Parents being mostly moms, which annoys me to no end. I would LOVE to see more of these dads show up to events such as this, but sadly in Korean hagwon culture, this is generally not the case. Too bad, all the dads that do show up always seem really nurturing and encouraging to their children, whereas the moms are generally split into two groups-caring, educated women who who are truly invested in their child’s education, and bored upper-middle class moms who form cliques, dressed a bit too tartish for their age (ifyaknowwhatimean) and talk badly about the other kids in the school. Not cool, moms. Not cool. Anyway, I digress. The other things that happened today: told AT lunchtime that there would be no lunch until 2:30 (we eat lunch at noon) and instead we needed to babysit the 5/6 years, had to come in early to completely change all seating arrangements in classrooms, children that were supposed to leave at 2:30 were still wandering aimlessly at 4:15, head teacher forgot to make a schedule for the day, made one, then subsequently lost it. I could go on, but I feel as if I’m being complainy enough for one day, plus I need to go to sleep because I have a big day of German-Christmas-Marketing-in-Seoul tomorrow (Eeeee! Kuken! …and thus ends my knowledge of German…).  The point is, open class is good in theory but the organizational skills employed at my school are sorely lacking and thoroughly worthy of making me want to bash my head in.

1 thought on “Open Class Catastrophe”

  1. Thank you for sharing. Far be it from me , as you know me so well , to think I have any right to criticize anyone , however , did I denote a bit of sarcasm in your writings? Perhaps a symphony ? Live the life. je t’aime.

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