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Hello Gangseo Workshop!

April 26, 2010

Monday, I had to attend a workshop for middle school teachers in my area which oddly enough was located an hour and a half from my area. And before the workshop, I got some kind of memo saying that Summer Camp wouldn’t be in my school but in a district school…which I was a little peeved about.

However, I’d say the workshop was well worth the trip and the district thing turned out not even to affect me though I am I now wishing it did.

From the two I’ve attended thus far, I’ve noticed that teaching workshops in SK tend to be more about cultural differences and getting used to them rather than actual teaching. It makes sense really, for all the planning and work you can do it doesn’t really matter if your Korean teachers hate you or your kids don’t “get” you. The focus on culture and less so on lesson plans works since just putting a bunch of teachers in the same room generates ideas on its own.

The two hour lunch break makes sense now. All that most tables ended up talking about was students. How to discipline students. How to deal with quiet students. How to address teaching from the textbook. How students can be really clingy or downright creepy sometimes.

Thanks to the workshop, I was able to plan my entire Summer Camp and even find some workbooks for students of different levels. Workbooks that I actually like! Workbooks with correct grammar and relevant reading passages and everything! Had this workshop been with mixed areas, I’m just positive I would have hated it. A lot of schools in my area tend to have larger classes, more disciplinary issues and poorer students than in most of Seoul. Hearing a lecture about how easy it is to manage a class of 20 when you’ve got 42 just would’ve ground my gears.

Bottom line, workshops are good and workshops with gourmet buffets and breakfast pastries are awesome.

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