Saturday, September 24, 2011

High School Classes in Seoul

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (aka SMOE) placed me at a high school in Korea's capital. The teachers are all very nice and the students are respectful for the most part. I read on others' blogs that slippers are to be worn in the school. I learned that this is mostly true for the elementary schools, but high school teachers wear professional shoes (e.g., heels, fancy flats, etc.). Appearance is a big deal and you need to look your best. My school is also in one of the wealthier areas of Seoul, so... dress to impress. Heck, you will see women hiking in high heels! Dressing up for the workplace is not really different from casual wear here.

The room I teach in is equipped with a SmartBoard. One major difference compared to the States or Canada, is the common use of a microphone in the classroom. It does save your voice, but it is one more thing you need to have in your hands.

SMOE requires its English teachers to have 22 hours of classroom teaching at the elementary level, or 18 hours at the high school level. I teach 13 classes of grade 2 students and 5 afterschool classes (2X creative writing, 2X TOEFL and book club). In Korea, grade 2 in high school is equivalent to grade 11 in North America. Although I work in a coed school, I have all girl and all boy classes. Because many students attend hagwons or private schools in the evening, many students are so student that they fall asleep in class... not just in my class, but in others' classes, too. I walked past one teacher's classroom and saw half the class asleep! Not sure how much learning happens subconsciously...

I've included a picture of my classroom and of the lock on the classroom door (it was rather difficult to figure out the first few times).

High School Classroom in Seoul, Korea

Lock on a Korean Classroom Door

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the post about High School Classes in Seoul .