Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Expectations from your Korean students

Here's the question:

I just got to Korea last Wednesday and started teaching today [Friday]. I didn't recieve any training and was totally shocked and scared when I was standing in front of a class of nine adults. I'm really freaked out and don't know what to do!!! What do the expect from me? Any advice about how to handle or manage these students would be sooo great!

I have talked about teacher training before and let me add that you are not alone. Everyday dozens of new teachers step off the plane and into a classroom. On top of that, many don't have much experience or any knowledge of what students expect of you. Don't worry about it. Students (or at least older students) know that people are new to the teaching scene and even newer to Korea. Most of the time, they'll give you a little adjustment time for you to get settled. Each class of students is different from the last and your teaching methodology will constantly evolve as you get into your groove.

In the meantime, let me offer you a bit of advice. In my years as a teacher and supervisor, I have discovered that people unfamiliar with Korean culture and its education system go through months of missteps and frustration as they try to adjust to a new job in a new country.

Listen to Part One of my podcast on how to better understand the education culture in Korea. It's a four-part series that covers the culture of education; methods; goals and strategies. The last one should be published within the next day or so.

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