One of the best times and hardest times as working as a teacher/faculty manager is when I have to do teacher evaluations. As a faculty manager, I am responsible for making sure that my teachers are doing their best whenever they are in front of their classes. This is rewarding and challenging at the same time. It is completely easy to give praise when someone is doing well, however for some it can be difficult when you have to give a poor review. In my experience, most teachers would like to know different techniques so that they can improve. I know I do. In this blog I will offer tips to help you excel in the classroom while teaching in Korea for ChungDahm and in return earn a positive evaluation.
For myself, one of the driving factors for me to intensely watch CCTV is when my teachers are being graded by their students. CCTV is closed circuit television that is installed in our rooms to make sure that teachers are doing their job appropriately and to make sure students are not causing problems. CCTV has helped me a lot when I was first starting out as a teacher. Here at ChungDahm, students give grades to their teacher every week 5 and 11. Management uses these grades to help evaluate teacher performance. Each branch does does their teacher review differently, but in my branch, I try to do a one-on-one counseling session at least once a term and for new teachers, it is more than that. If it weren’t for CCTV and my performance reviews, I would not have been able to be promoted as a faculty manager. I listened well to my old head instructor’s advice and that helped me be able to grow professionally.
Although there are only 4 questions on the student survey, these questions are really important in determining what pay raise to give a teacher, how many hours they are allowed to teach, and if we would like to extend a teacher’s contract another year. It is really important that you listen and receive feedback because management wants the team to do well.
Here are the four questions: All questions are ranked from 1-5 (1=Never, 5=Always)
- Student Management #1 - My teacher encourages me to ask questions and to share my thoughts
- Student management #2 - My teacher is enthusiastic about helping me to learn
- Learning management #1 - My teacher explains difficult things clearly
- Learning management #2 - My teacher challenges me to think deeper and to explain my answers with more details
Here are some tips to help you if you are receiving low marks from your students.
- Student Management #1 - In my branch, I require all of my teachers to cold call their students. This will give each student the opportunity to speak English and to share their thoughts with their class. When I’m watching CCTV, I make it a goal to learn every student’s name in the teacher’s class that I’m watching. If I do not know all the student names before I finish my review, then the teacher hasn’t given ample opportunity for the students to speak. I also take advantage of the quiz function on my teaching tablet. This allows you to ask different types of questions to the children, either multiple choice or short-answer questions , so that you can have them different ways to express themselves and their ideas.
- Student Management #2 - My philosophy is your day teaching starts with your energy level. If you are feeling good and excited, your kids will feel it too and will be more prone to learn. I really try not to have my students dictate the way I feel. One of the things that has stuck with me since my ChungDahm Training week was the idea of an “educainer” which is combination of educator and entertainer. Successful teachers have the ability to connect with their kids while still being able to teach them at the same time. The front of the classroom is your stage and you have the opportunity to affect students’ lives.
- Learning Management #1 - This question is usually my team’s lowest score. When you’ve been teaching for as long as I have, you have to adjust your vocabulary, speech, and tone of voice to have it match your students’ English level. Furthermore, I have some teachers who use difficult vocabulary with their youngest learners. By reviewing the material and preparing for class, you should learn what words might give students difficulty understanding. Another thing I do is set up media cards so that my students can visualize what each word means and how to use in context.
- Learning Management #2 - Some students are unable to come up with the right words or expressions to express themselves. They really want to talk but get flustered when doing so. If I ever come into this situation, I remember that patience is key and I think each kid should have a chance to respond to my question in depth. If they give me a short answer, I may ask ‘Why do you believe this?’ or ‘Tell me more.’ Asking them to give more information than the answer they provided will have them expand their reasoning abilities. This especially becomes important when we conduct a debate class where kids have to figure out what their values are.
I hope you my key tips for getting good remarks when students are asked to evaluate their teachers useful. I set a team goal for every category in every class to hit an average of 4.25. Thankfully, my team has consistently been receiving high scores over the past year. I am extremely proud of my Gangdong team and the with the staff and management I work with.
Marc Gonzales has been living in Seoul working at the ChungDahm's Gangdong Branch for 5 years now. During those 5 years, he worked his way up from being a teacher and is now a faculty manager for that location. He majored in Finance and Marketing at the University of Nevada Las Vegas while working as a manager for a national bank. In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking the numerous mountains around Seoul and biking along the massive Han River. To know more about him and his adventures living in Korea, follow Marc on Twitter @geonmakku and on Instagram @geonmakku.