Friday, May 22, 2009

This is what I want.

With every new class, I change rooms.  On Wednesday, I change rooms five times, but teach the same material, so I end up writing the same agenda and phrases on the whiteboard five times - and in a rush.  If you knew what my hand writing looked like, you would feel pity for my students.  If I take my time to write something, it becomes legible, but never pleasing.

According to KoreaBeat, some schools will try moving the students from class to class rather than the teachers.  This is for high and middle school students rather than university, but I am pleased with they will experiment with the new plan.

I hope it is clear why teachers would like the idea - and not merely for selfish reason, either.  Our time spent preparing and organizing will decrease, meaning we can spend more time with the students, actually teaching.

I was surprised, but interested, to hear a reason why some teachers and administrators might be against the change.  It is a good reason, just one I hadn’t thought of.  If students stay in one room, they can care for that room, possibly decorate it and keep it clean because they have to spend time in it - they might feel ownership for that room. “I want to keep the room clean, because I don’t want to sit in a pigsty for six hours a day”.

That’s a good reason for high schools and in understanding why it isn’t a good reason at my university teaches me a little about the bigger picture.  Our students are already moving from class to class.  They come to our building (strangely, the engineering building) for English then move to a different building or floor for their next class.  First and second year students are taught one hour by a native speaker and one hour by a Korean English teacher.  Every hour, then, I switch classes and maybe this is reasonable.


One person moves or twenty.  One person packs and unpacks a book, an attendance book, class notes, pens and markers, homework, prepares the whiteboard... or twenty students pack and unpack one or two books and a pen.

Yeah, ergonomically, I should move.  But Koreans should understand my unique and special history. 

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