Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I haven't talked about teaching much so I thought I'd give it a quick update. We're coming to the end of the term, which means the students took their level-up tests last week, the tests that decide whether they  will advance to the next level. For some reason, Chung Dahm administers this test during week 10 of the 13-week term. Let's think about this for a second...How would you feel if, in college, you had your final exam three weeks before the end of the term? How much effort do you suppose you'd put into those three weeks, knowing that they essentially count for nothing? Probably not a lot. And these wily Korean students are no exception to that logic. I don't blame them, I wouldn't put in any effort to my classes if I'd already taken the test. Especially when it's not real school, it's just hagwon (an after school class). Especially especially when my teacher isn't very strict with me when it comes to homework. (Guilty as charged).

The level-up (or Achievement) test administration was kind of a mess. Having never done it before I was caught a little off-guard. The first day I forgot to record a couple of the kids' speaking tests (like an oral exam), and then had to ask them to do it again. On the second day I accidentally handed out the test booklets too early. When it came to grading their essays, I have to be honest, I just kind of handed out scores randomly. Hopefully it will be OK.

In better news, I'm getting to know my co-workers a lot better and they seem very nice. We went out to a bar on Friday where they apparently go regularly. It's called Happidus and I guess a lot of the foreign hagwon teachers in Pyeongchon go there. And tomorrow is pay day (woot!) which means pay day dinner (woot woot!) at a Mexican restaurant called Tom Taylor's (authentic-sounding, I know).

Next weekend, the training group is meeting up for a day or two in Seoul and Sunday is Valentine's Day.

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