As an April/CDI instructor, I get to work with students from 1st to 9th grade. April classes are 40 - 45 minutes long, and they meet either three times each week,or two times each week. Chungdahm classes are three hours long, and they meet twice each week. Teaching April and Chungdahm can be hectic if there is no organization. The following are a few tasks that I do every day to make the workload easier:
- Cross-check my to-do list,
- Input all assignment and participation grades for the day,
- Check online speaking homework,
- Check a few writing notebooks, and
- Make copies for the next day.
This blog will give you a glimpse into the week of a dual instructor. Let’s dive in!
Day 1: I get to my branch early, so I can check in and grab my student folders. Chungdahm has a learning management system called “merp” which allows teachers to “check-in”, take attendance, input grades, and leave messages for the Korean desk teacher regarding student behaviors or notes. This system also houses class materials like worksheets for specific Chungdahm lessons, or links to online resources for classes.
After I check-in, I make my "to-do" list for the week. Then, I check my students' online speaking homework, and input grades from the last chunk quiz. At my branch, the chunk quiz is a 10-question, “fill-in-the-blank” style, 5-minute quiz that April students take after completing the homework assignment for the next lesson and prior to the next lesson. For example, students will complete Lesson 2 Homework on Monday, then take the chunk quiz on Wednesday in the first five minutes of class. Then, they will learn Lesson 2 with some understanding of the vocabulary and the context.
Next, I go to the April team meeting led by the head instructor of the April program at my branch. We preview the upcoming week and discuss major events. Following the meeting, I grab a snack and coffee at the nearby coffee shop. My students arrive for my first April class of the week. After my first class, I teach five more groups of April students. They have so much energy, and their zest for learning is inspiring to witness and nurture.
Finally, I teach my Chungdahm class. The pace is different from April. We take a break at the end of every hour. This means I have to pace the lesson so that we will have time for the final hour for the class project. I love starting my day with April students. The quick pace is a nice counterbalance to the three-hour long Chungdahm class.
Day 2: On day 2, I attend the weekly Chungdahm meeting led by the head instructor of Chungdahm for my branch. We review deadlines and updates to procedures at this meeting. Next, I prepare my classrooms for the learning activities my students will engage in.
Day 3: On Day 3, I check my to-dos, and I collect any props my students will need for their creative projects. On odd weeks, the students write scripts, stories, or songs. During even weeks, they act out their scripts. Their works are then viewed online and voted up or down for the “Best of the Best!” Students love this project and tend to want to know which team gave the best performance. So, at the end of each class, we watch the recordings and vote on the best group.
Here is a group of my students working on their next Creative Thinking Project scripts.
Here is a group of my students who won the prize for being the Best of the Best Creative Thinking Projects during Spring 2018.
Day 4 mirrors Day 2, except there is no Chungdahm meeting. So, on Day 4, I only teach April classes. Similarly, Day 5 is the same as Day 1, except there is no April meeting to attend. I check my merp dashboard to see if I need to review any assignments prior to starting my Chungdahm class. Once my class session is completed, I log off for the weekend until I prep for the next week.
My week goes by pretty quickly. But, I enjoy being an April/CDI instructor because I can tell that each student has gotten better by the end of the term. It is great to observe students who start off knowing no English grow to being able to have full on conversations in English.
Christine has been living in Seoul for six months. She is currently teaching at the Gangdong campus. She tutored ESL students through a neighborhood program called Centronia in Washington, D.C. while studying English at Howard University. After teaching in Baltimore City, she decided to move to Korea to gain a new perspective on teaching. To engage with Christine, follow her on instagram @livinlavidapoka.