Sunday, December 6, 2009


I learned a few weeks ago that next week I have to go to an English teacher training seminar. I wouldn't have been so disappointed by this if it were for just a day or so, but it turns out that I have to go to a completely different city, and stay overnight for four days.

When I first took my job at the school where I work now, I nearly threw a tantrum when I learned that our school was planning a special meeting a day or two away, and that it was going to be at a mountain top Jjim Jjil bang resort (large sauna), and that after the meeting we were all expected to spend the night. Luckily I got out of the sleep over aspect of that but still I find it inconvenient to be asked to stay overnight away from my house for work.

Now this case is even worse by the fact that last October I got married, and I now have a wife that I don't like leaving behind.

But I think I'll used this opportunity to look at what the program is offering with some commentary, and then in the future I'll use another post to evaluate what I actually learned at the seminar.

Starting on Sunday, it looks like this will start out with an opening ceremony (Wonderful, I love opening ceremonies where I sit in auditoriums and listen to speeches in Korean by various heads of school boards.)

Then there is an hour and a half lesson that is an introduction to modern Korean history. (Could be interesting)

Effective classroom management. (10 to 1 says that this is some guy in the front of the class saying, So what do you think is effective classroom management)

After a meal is a Korean language class. (We get two of these through out the week, two Korean classes, I bet they will just say, well we're tired so why don't you guys just get some free time. I'm kind of hoping for that situation since it would be completely ridiculous to try and teach Korean in two hour and a half long lesson.

Lastly I'll finish with a discussion about the section in the pamphlet referring to Korea's ironic national past time of hypochondria (Ironic for people who share bowls of soup, and eat a wide variety of raw meats, but of course some old people think that if they eat boiled cat broth, it will help their arthritis because cats' joints are flexible). I'm all for preventing swine flu, as much as the other guy, but during this training program, it seems that I have to take my temperature every morning. It also seems that if I contract swine flu, I have to wear a medical mask. (If I get swine flu and happen to spend an evening vomiting and coughing up blood, I'll just go to the doctor.)

At any rate, as much as I hope that I learn something from this retreat, I would really rather not go. I don't exactly look forward to twelve hour days of tedious teacher training, but I figure that if I get one or two new good ideas for classes, then the trip won't be a total waste of time.

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