Thursday, April 23, 2009
WESTERN CONFUCIAN IN KOREA
I have been following many of the most popular Catholic English blogs for sometime and some years ago was happy to see that there was one right here in our own Country of Korea. I have gone often to The Western Confucian and have rarely been disappointed. I am surprised to see how he keeps it updated and with many Catholic issues taken from around the world.
Webmaster Joshua Snyder lives in Pohang with his family. He lectures English at a science and technology university. He has a link to this blog for which I am thankful and embarrassed. Since we are a baby in blogland we have no links to other blogs. We haven't earned the right yet to be considered a stable blog. It is not an easy task to keep a blog updated and current with the news that it has selected to share. Hopefully we will be a blog with a future but only time will tell. . The Western Confucian has been around since July, 2006 and may it continue for many years. A blog that is updated daily and is interesting to read and has a message to give is a work of great perseverance and vitality. Joshua's blog is catholic and Catholic. I invite you to go see:
My Experience as English Teacher for Grammar School Children
Up until a few months ago I was teaching English at the neighboring grammar school. It was an “After Class English Program”. I started 3 year ago with two days a week, changed to one day the following year. I found it very difficult but continued because it was seen as a help to the children.
An American teaching English to Koreans always gets a good response for they think that it will be an easy way to pick up English. They are quickly disabused of this after a few months of study. Children in grammar school would probably have greater hopes and bigger disappointments.
I tried to do a good job and took the time with the children as a serious commitment. I started off the first year with close to 20 students, went to 14 and this final year I had 7. The interest did not seem to be there and the time the students spent looking at the clock annoyed me but I also waited for the class to end. The students wanted games and expected to be entertained besides learning English. At my age trying to teach English and do it in an entertaining way was just beyond my ability.
I worked very hard on my last class, at that time not knowing it was to be my last class, to prepare a song for them. To learn and to teach the meaning of the words, I selected the song, "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)".
It took me many hours to prepare the song and I memorized the two verses of the song so that I would have the confidence to teach the words and music since we had no piano or keyboard in the class. I thought that I had a good class prepared. Well it was not to be. The children kept on looking at the clock and I finally lost my patience and told them this class was torture for me and hoped the end would come soon. At the end of class we all left with not much spirit. The following week when I came to the class no one showed up.The students decided that they were going to end the torture and give me a break. I was disappointed that it had to end the way it did but they were telling me that I was not the teacher that they needed. It was also good for me for my efforts were of little use and a retired old man trying to deal with 5th and 6th graders was just too much.
I have a different admiration now for the teachers who can handle the children in their classes. With all the stimulation that the children are getting these days, to keep children interested for 40 minutes is a tremendously difficult task. In Korea as well in the other parts of the world children are children of the 21st century and it takes a teacher of this century to deal with them.