Previously, I wrote that speaking tests may be my least favorite duty as a high school Native English Teacher. But test supervision is a close second. Students take four exams every school year - one midterm and one final per semester. In Korea, examination scores weigh heavy on a student’s overall grade. Therefore, the process … Continue reading Test Supervision
After hastily downing some curry and rice during an abbreviated lunch period, we all sat down for three more hours of festivities. First came some entertaining teacher vs. student competitions. Some competed for the most consecutive double rope jumps. Others had to identify mystery objects through touch alone (like slimy squid or squishy tofu). I … Continue reading School Festival 2018 (Part Two)
At the end of December, Namak High School puts on its annual school festival. The festival furnished fond memories last year event and I looked forward to this year’s iteration. This year’s lead-up had a differing flavor compared to last year. Back in December of 2017, Korea was still very new to me. The “new … Continue reading School Festival 2018 (Part One)
One book I really appreciated - a book that combines ancient wisdom with practical application - explores the Japanese concept of kaizen. The author, Robert Maurer, describes kaizen as follows: Kaizen has two definitions: using very small steps to improve a habit, a process, or product using very small moments to inspire new products and … Continue reading Kaizen – Small Changes for Big Effects
I concluded my speaking tests at October's end. For one week I asked nearly 450 students the same questions. “What is this number?” “What is a difficulty you have overcome?” “What if you had 1,000,000 won?” Some students provided pure comedy. Ian: I am in your home. What must I do? Student 1: You must … Continue reading The Challenge of Subjective Grading
One year ago, a torrent of thoughts flooded my mind. “I’m teaching high school? What? I didn’t know these jobs existed!? “I don’t teach from a textbook? Oh my god! What will I teach?” “I can teach whatever I want? No! Give me direction, damn it!” When I arrived at Namak High School, I had … Continue reading The Joys of Lesson Planning
Is willpower a finite resource? Those familiar with Roy Baumeister's research would likely agree. They would advise people to eat breakfast and prioritize difficult tasks in the morning when willpower reserves are high. Others like Jocko Willink would object, positing that spending willpower creates an upward spiral of momentum. In other words, self-control begets more … Continue reading Is Willpower a Finite Resource?