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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm teaching WHAT grade?!!

Today was a big day at my school, because the teachers all found out what grade they are going to teach next school year, which starts March 2nd (2 weeks from now)!

In Korea, elementary teachers are not hired to teach a certain grade over and over and over again each year. They are hired, with the ability to teach 1st - 6th grade, and every year it's a NEW GRADE! I'm primarily writing this blog for all my teacher friends, because I'm sure they're interested in how this works in Korea, but hopefully it's slightly interesting to the rest of you. :)

So, here's how it all went down!

The teachers all went down to the teachers lounge and waited, anxiously in their seats, for the long awaited grade assignment to be given! This was top secret information, so NO ONE KNEW ANYTHING about who was teaching what grade!

First, the 3 new teachers were introduced. Stella and I were both sad that they weren't younger, but they do seem quite nice.

Then... within minutes, the Vice Principal passed each teacher a paper with the following information: (Since you probably can't read Korean, I'll tell you that it states each grade, and each teacher assigned to it.) By the way, there is NO ARGUING with the grade level you've been given. In Korea, what the Principal says goes, NO MATTER WHAT!

The teachers all sat, stunned, looking through the grade assignments, checking to see what grade they were assigned. I was more interested in studying their faces to see whether or not they were satisfied with their fate.

Then the Principal read the paper aloud... (as if the teachers couldn't do it themselves. I mean they do have it right infront of them). Sometimes I think they just do things like this to show off their power!

Then the 2 teachers who teach each grade (for example, Stella and the new teacher are both teaching 3rd grade) walk up to the Vice Principal's desk and are handed 2 envelopes. They each take one, and inside are the names of all of their new students!

This was Stella's reaction when she found out Myongee (from my previous blog) is in her class!! She was fanning herself and trying to decide whether to laugh or to cry! Poor thing... She stresses herself out so much!

Then the meeting was over, and everyone went back to their classrooms to start packing for the classroom move. Yep, they all have to MOVE CLASSROOMS EACH YEAR! After encouraging Stella and talking with her for a while, she calmed down and is getting more and more excited about teaching 3rd grade!

So, for all you U.S. teachers... Consider yourself lucky to be a teacher in America, because YOU ARE! Oh and incase you're wondering, I'm assigned to teach English! :)

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