Monday, August 6, 2012

Sparring with the Master

There are only two notable things that happened today that are worth noting: we got our provincial briefings and I sparred with my TKD master today.

I learned a lot about Jeollanam-do Province where Mokpo is located from some of the past ETAs who did their grant year there. We were given information about transportation websites, events that go on in the region, what there is to do, etc. We also got our own individualized sheets about our specific school placement written by last year's ETA. Here are some of the statistics from my school placement at Yeong-Heung Co-ed Middle School:

-Grade levels taught: Middle 2nd, Middle 3rd
-Hours taught per week (total): 18-20
-Students taught (per semester): 501-700
-Class contacts per week: Once
-Hours at school (per day): 7-8
-Club class: No
-Night or extra class: No
-Non-English teachers' class: No
-Graded students: No
-Own classroom: No
-Taught from Textbook: Never
-Created Original Lessons: Always
-Co-teacher in classroom: Rarely
-Handled own disciple issues: Frequently
-Attended school field trips when invited: Frequently
-Socialized with school staff when invited: Less than once a month
-Taught winter break class: No
-Daily attire: Business casual: polo shirt and khakis
-Level & Lessons: English level is generally low, with a few students in each class whose abilities are at an intermediate (and rarely, high) level...
-Classroom management: Students talk over the teacher, move around, bother other students, ignore the teacher when being addressed...
-Specific Advice for Level & Gender: Teaching co-ed middle school kids was really chaotic. Expect loud, boisterous students...

Let me explain what I was thinking when I read it...
-I'll be teaching a lot of students, which will mean I don't know if I will be able to memorize all of their names.
-I want to get really involved in my school and my students through extracurriculars and club classes but I don't think I will be able to. To be honest, I'm not sure if the past ETA tried or if no students showed up or any other scenario.
-When I have rowdy kids (which I will because the past ETA explained about the classroom management issues later on in the information), I will have to do all the punishment. Not only that, but also the students aren't always receptive to respecting or listening to you.
-I will get a chance to go on field trips with the students. (Yay!)
-The kids are going to be rambunctious and I will have some classroom management issues.
-And then some other thoughts.
I guess I'm not sure what to expect but I have a better sense of the school now. I'm excited to start to be honest. Two weeks. What a crazy idea.

On another note, today was the last day of TKD and it was a sparring day too. There were a lot of people who didn't come on Thursday there so they were first to get a chance to spar. Once they were done though, Master Cho asked if anyone else wanted to spar and Kathy and I decided we were going to spar each other. We raised our hands and he told us to get the gear on but told us BOTH to put on the blue gear... he was going to put on the red gear. We were going to spar him together. That was unexpected. Then Kristen wanted in too so she put on blue gear and the three of us sparred him. He is SO good; but then again, that's expected since he's a fifth degree black belt, I believe. I got a few kicks in here and there but he handed our butts to us haha. It was a lot of fun though.

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