Day 5: EPIK orientation (just more classes)

Really, nothing exciting to report on.  Had four more lectures today – covering Korean history, the Korean school system and its English language curriculum, using drama in the classroom, and co-teaching. 

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Here are some interesting factoids, that we learned during orientation, that nobody knew prior to coming here:

  • Co-teachers: We will always have a Korean co-teacher in the class with us, but…we will have multiple co-teachers.  And it won’t be the same teacher for every class.  Some of us may have upwards of 10-15 different co-teachers. (The “fortunate” ones will only have two or three co-teachers).
  • Schools:  Nearly all of us will be teaching at multiple schools – even in the bigger cities.  Again, we don’t know yet what school or age groups we will be teaching.  One day you may be teaching at Middle School A, and then the next day, you will be teaching at Middle School B.  (And they may not necessarily be located close to each other).
  • English education: In the public schools, all of the students attend English classes everyday.  We (the Native English Teachers) only see each class once (maybe twice) a week – and that is purely to help them with their conversational English.  All the grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. – that is handled in by their Korean English teacher, who they see daily.
  • Class sizes:  This may depend on what region you teach in, but most likely for the bigger cities, we will have classes upwards of 35+ students.  Some previous English teachers have had even 50 students in one class.  And we will be teaching roughly 22 classes a week.  That means, in one week…we may see/teach 750+ students.  Whoa.

The good thing is – that this orientation is set up to help us be prepared, set expectations, learn about classroom management and discipline, etc. etc.  We aren’t just thrown into the fire…well, maybe a little bit we are.  🙂

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