Today was my first day teaching classes on my own. Kind of crazy since I received no actual training and have no prior experience. I was given a class schedule as well as a list of which books to use for each class. That was pretty much it. I guess this is the way of the hagwon.
The previous teacher did write me a detailed list of each class, told me a bit about the students, and what he usually did for lesson planning. That was really nice of him, although some direction from the management would have been nice. As soon as I sat down at my desk, the head teacher plopped a stack of journals in front of me without so much as a word. The assumption was to grade them, which I did.
Today, I had seven classes and one one hour tutoring session with two students. I’ll have the same schedule again on Thursday. The books are relatively self-explanatory. For my first classes, I also brought some post cards which had pictures of the Jersey Shore to show the kids. I asked them to introduce themselves and tell me something they like to do during the summer. Then, I introduced myself, told them that I love going to the beach, and passed around the post cards. I then told them a little about the Jersey Shore. They really seemed to like the pictures.
I had one class of elementary students that I really, really enjoyed. They were eager to talk, but didn’t get rowdy. They also listened to me. I had them work in pairs and do dialogues. Before I left, one little girl shouted “teacher! teacher!” I turned and she said “this is for you” and handed me a rice bun from her snack bag. It was quite possibly the most adorable thing I’ve ever experienced and it melted my heart. The rice bun was also delicious!
I only had one class that was difficult to deal with. There were four students and two didn’t have the book, so I had to make photo copies. One boy who sat in the front threw my post cards at the other students as well as the board eraser. He refused to listen and participate during the lesson. It was really frustrating.
I finally got home and I’m absolutely exhausted. Bed soon!
Have you ever worked at or are currently working at a hagwon? Share your experiences with me!