Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Funny Thing that Happened to Me at Work: Bulletin Boards/Classroom DRAMZ

It's exam week at school, so I've been busy experimenting with my new classroom while all of the real teachers have been proctoring tests.

I've made some bulletin boards that I'm pretty proud of:

Different ways to respond to "How are you?" with Cheezburger cats

Close up. The "sad" one is now my desktop wallpaper on my own computer. IT BREAKS MY HEART but it's soooooo cute. The "I'm sick" one is a cat sticking its head into a toilet bowl. HARDY HAR HAR, get it? LIKE IT'S PUKING OR SOMETHING

Colors + days of the week. I also did numbers and months

I labeled all of the countries where English is the official language with orange. The pink ones are where at least 40% of the population speaks English

THIS IS WHERE THINGS GET CONTROVERSIAL. Prepare yourself:

I rearranged all of the desks in my classroom from lecture-style rows into small groups of four. WITNESS THE MADNESS:

SOOOOOO CRAAAZEEEEEEEE

Seriously, I think all of my co-teachers think I am completely insane now. I was told over and over and over and over in Education Kollege that this type of arrangement is the best for language classes, as it encourages the kids to actually speak to each other (in the 2nd language) during group work ect. But. Apparently things are different here (SHOCKING). I've heard that most Korean teachers are taught Old Skool methodology education-wise, and I know most students in Korea still continue to learn via the wrote lecture/note-taking/testing model of Olde. But. I guess I didn't anticipate dealing with this Old School/New School/Eastern/Western education conflict so early on! UGH.

Although all of my co-teachers expressed some degree of dissatisfaction with the new setup, most of voiced their disdain in the traditionally Korean way, using round-about, backhanded compliments meant to save me face: "Wow! This is creative. But the students talk too much," "But can they see the whiteboard?" and my personal favorite, "This is...how do you say...interesting". One of my co-teachers, however, audibly gasped when he saw the CRAZINESS, and hurriedly attempted to readjust the all of the desks. I was mortified, and as I attempted to explain to him why I did what I did, feeling all of the while like a naughty child apologizing to my father, the students filled in and were made to sit in a half-grouped, half-ungrouped classroom. AWESOME CO-TEACHING FOR THE WIN :__:

I've since changed the desks to something in-between groups/rows, like so:


Which I hope will please everyone? (Crosses fingers)

2 comments:

  1. I wish I had my own classroom. I use to have one last year. I never bothered changing the desks as I knew that was a coteacher deal. However, we did discuss group desks and tried it out for a while.

    I get the hunch that if you are making these decisions without them then the English dept...there isn't much of a team. Don't get me wrong I don't feel like a team here either. As my coteachers have meetings about the English department without us (2 foreigners here). Have you tried discussing it with them beforehand? Maybe if they are still doubtful you can request to test it out for a month. If it truly proves to not work then everyone can see for themselves. I think that is what I would do if I had my own classroom again.

    Anyways bravo on the decorations for the class.

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