Monday, March 08, 2010

Behind Before We Started

Fabulously, and unsurprisingly, I started the first day of normal classes today with... no textbooks! Thus, it was all random on the fly review of what I think they may have covered last year. On the plus side, I am becoming increasingly familiar with their English levels. On the downside, at some point we are going to have to cram in all these missed pages. The new schedule is fairly okay - it needs some tweaking, as having the six year olds bounce back and forth between Jenny and I for four twenty-minute periods rather than us each having them for forty minutes makes no sense - all those transitions are hideous with kids who barely speak a word of English. It went fast, though, and that's great. It would be handy if the kids knew their English names - getting their attention is a lot of work. And the youngest class, a mixture of five and six year olds (so, since this is Korean age, minus a year off each and, yes, I do teach 4 year olds! Ahhhh!) come to English class last, when they are exhausted and, frankly, so am I. Then I taught the "special class" over the horrid noise of the violin lesson in the next classroom - it's special only in that I have a random selection of eleven kids whose parents are paying for one more class.

At the end of the day, I thought I'd poke through the cabinets, to get a feel for what sort of supplies I might have available for art classes. It turns out that last year, they did a program called Language Arts that came with weekly crafts, nicely bagged per kid. Which, while easier than me having to come up with ideas, would have required that I use this:

I'm guessing from the number of extras in that cupboard that the last teacher was as unenthusiastic about doing this project as I am. While I was told I might be able to use a few of them, I will NOT to be using this one. I figure I can scavenge the pieces from them, but I am not subjecting the kids to this bit of nonsense.


feralgeographer said...

HOLY CRAP!!! I realize that I'm pointing out the obvious but I'm so beside myself that I can't think of what else to say: THOSE "AFRICAN" DOLL KITS ARE SO OFFENSIVE! Where did they come from? What company could create such a thing and actually sell it? To a SCHOOL? Whuh? Huh? *Insert more gibberish here*

Amanda said...

Yep, welcome to "cultural sensitivity" Korean style. I refused to use them, which the school seems fine with. We'll scavenge the materials for something else later. Sadly, it's not the first time I've come across something this offensive made for the ESL market here. Thankfully, schools are increasingly turning to American textbooks, which though it is sometimes frustrating to make relevant to the students, are so much better in their treatment of diversity.