Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 SMOE Workshop Day 1 – Unrealistic expectations?

Let me preface this post by saying teaching is one of my passions and that I take improving myself as a teacher seriously. The intent of this post is to make some very needed observations and criticisms about how workshops are designed and how presenters are chosen and presentation materials vetted . . . or, unfortunately, to illuminate the lack of vetting and the lack of supervision . . .
I arrived at Korea University at 8:40am Monday . . .
I signed in, got my name tag, and picked up a workshop booklet. After that I headed into the auditorium and found myself a seat.
Some Koreans were testing the microphones and prepping things for the opening ceremony. The usual items were being prepared . . . national anthem, big Korean flag power point slide, and an overview of the workshop schedule power point slides were readied for the 200 or so native English teachers slowly filling up the auditorium.
As I sat in the audience waiting for the usual hoopla to be finished . . . I thought about how I always find it amusing that foreigners are asked to stand and salute the Korean flag and sing their national anthem. I have no problem paying my respect to the Korean flag, and standing while their national anthem is played–I am after all at work and on their dime–but I still ponder these things from time to time.
National anthem and flag respecting done the supervisor says some opening remarks, and begins introducing the SMOE office co-ordinators . . . and unfortunately can’t remember all their names. I am terrible with names so I feel some sympathy for him because I’d probably have been lucky if I could remember 2 and I think he got through about 4.
The supervisor then goes over our schedule for the two days.
Monday December 21st
8:30 to 8:50am – Registration
9-9:20am – Opening Ceremony
9:30-10:20am – Co-teaching
10:30-10:50am – Reflection Session: Classroom Issues and Professional Development
11:00-12:20 – Reflection Session
12:30-13:20 – Lunch
13:30-14:20 – Reflection Session
14:30-16:00 – Co-teaching Demo Lesson and Q&A
Tuesday December 22nd
9:00-12:50 – Co-teaching Workshop
13:00-15:00 – Lunch Party Buffet
16:00-17:30 – Go to see “Jump” (Show)
I had already seen the schedule because my co-teacher is awesome and when she got the memo she printed out a copy for me, and then when I asked her to she translated some of the info written in Korean. There wasn’t really a lot of info to translate but what there was she did with no hesitation or complaining. My co-teacher rocks, and I’m insanely lucky to be working with her.
After the supervisor finished going over the schedule a coordinator got up and kind of did the same thing, lol, and then pointed out a map we had been given in our schedule booklets. Finishing that we had a ten minute break before the first presentation, “Practical Co-teaching,” began.
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Click on the link below to see pictures and read more at Kimchi Icecream: The Second Serving . . . . I've moved over to and will be blogging there from now on.

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