Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I have a new job.  I've been working it about a month now.  It's an after school gig, for students to attend after their classes at public schools.  About 5 years ago the government saw that hagwons (private academies afterschool that teach anything from math to piano) were creating an unfair advantage for the rich.  They cost around $300 a month, and if you aren't attending one you are pretty much left behind.  To combat this, public school started offering supplementary education for a third of the price, allowing most who want to to help there kids.

The job is a mixed bag.  I teach at 4 different schools, each day a different set of students and a different co-teacher.  I thought I'd break down the week day by day here.

Monday and Tuesday

Monday and Tuesday I work at the same school.  It's pretty convenient to get to, about a 40 minute bike ride/bus ride/subway ride depending on what mood I'm in.  It's still very much in the city, but has a nice mountain backdrop near it.

On Monday I teach from 1:10- 4:50.  This is five 40 minute classes, consisting of 2nd year elementary school students up to 7th grade (still elementary here).  The co teacher is pretty good at helping me out, and tries to keep the kids under control.  Lots of nose pickers in here.  I teach from two different books to each class.  Every class there is at least one student who doesn't bring their book, and multiple students who are 10+ minutes late.  They are rarely punished or called out for this.  I leave school on Mondays thinking "what an easy gig!"

Although at the same school, Tuesday is a bit different. The co-teacher is young and basically incompetent, and has no idea how to discipline students.  She seems to feel my teaching is an opportunity to play with her cell phone.  The result is a few zoo-like classes and one later in the day full of indifference and disrespect.  She seems baffled by it all.  I teach from 2:00-5:40.  Today I told a student to move seats and he looked me in the eye and said "No."  Most of my first class was spent trying to get students to actually sit in their seat; ironically I was trying to teach them the phrase "sit down."  I leave school on Tuesdays thinking "that was a very long 4 hours and beer is next on my to do list."

The rest of the week will be detailed one week at a time.

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