Its been about a month since I accepted the new job but I still have another two before I can leave my Hagwon. Things here continue to spiral downwards and reinforce my decision to leave as soon as possible. I’ve collected a few anecdotes over the last weeks to illustrate how things have continued to deteriorate. Read Part 1 here!
III. Substitute Teaching
A few weeks later the foreign teachers’ principal (Jane) came into my room around 9:05 and opened with
“I’m sorry. I have to ask you a favor.”
Uh oh. I thought to myself as I said “Sure, what is it?”
“Its Jason teacher, he won’t be here today.” She began while handing me a pink post-it. It read “Mike 10:50-11:20 Math Pelican”
“Okay.” I paused. I already knew what this meant but I wanted to hear her to say it.
Awkwardly her gaze wandered around the classroom. She refused to make eye contact as she said “I need you to cover for him.”
Well, that’s how substitute teachers are found at a hagwon. They take away prep time and pretend its no big deal. Lets not forget that 99% of the teachers don’t have sub plans ready and almost certainly didn’t leave any notes.
Luckily I had a handful of math games I use for my class ready to go. I introduced Pelican class to centers and they had what may have been their favorite math class while practiceing addition & subtraction facts in 3 stations.
IV. Curriculum? What’s that?
Its the the Monday before Christmas. We only have class two days this week. Luckily I’ve got plenty of lessons ready and other activities planned because the school has yet again failed to provide any semblance of a plan or curriculum.
In our weekly Monday meeting Jane asked us to teach “week 1 of January.”
“We don’t have that curriculum?” I responded.
“What do you mean?” Jane retorted.