Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Teachers to Teach!

I've only been working in the public school system since December but one of the only complaints I ever hear from Korean teachers is that they wish they didn't have so much paperwork. Teachers are required to do so many administrative tasks that they often have very little time to prepare for their classes--even with staying late, coming in early and taking work home.  

The Korea Times reported today that the government is hiring approximately 3,000 "teacher interns" for the fall semester and 10,000 more by next year (remember, the Korean school year starts in February). There is also a move to reduce  "required administrative documents by 50 percent." My original belief is true! Half of the paper work teachers are forced to do is bullshit! I'm so glad that no one in the upper echelons of the administration is willing to make paperwork in English...all I have to do is work on lesson plans and preparation (which is time consuming!). 

At the end of the article there was a brief mention of the new evaluation system being put into use though specifics were lacking (what a surprise).  It will be difficult to gauge how the evaluation system affects foreign teachers.

I think it's a fabulous idea though I'm willing to bet that the bulk of those will be sent to urban schools and that the schools in more rural and even suburban(esque) environments will miss out, at least in the beginning.  I'm also weary about the lack of training. I mean, the government invested thousands of dollars to get me here...and gave me precisely one week of training.  The same training wasn't given to anyone in my school or my co-teacher and a lot of it was difficult to reiterate.  It also failed to cover the nitty gritty bureaucratic details--probably because they differ widely between schools and districts.

Anyone at a school with one of the new "teacher interns?"

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