Not long ago, I wrote about my experience teaching online classes. Now, it has been a little over a month that my school began offering offline classes again. So, we started offline classes again in May, but not fully. At that time, the situation was growing increasingly stable, so many parents felt like they could feel comfortable sending their kids back to the classroom. However, not all parents felt this same sentiment. In order to accommodate everyone, my school decided to open a combination of offline and online classes. Thus, currently, my co-workers and I have a mixed class schedule of offline and online classes and I don’t see this changing for the next two months - at the very least.
In regards to the online classes, teachers are now fully comfortable utilizing the zoom platform and gained their own online teaching style that works for them. It is necessary to have online classes offered during this time. As the covid-19 situation fluctuates, parents are free to have their kids taking offline classes, then have them take some lessons in one of our online classes for a day or two when there is a spike in covid-19 cases. Then, they start resending them to their offline class. Ultimately, it helps keep a good, necessary balance.
In order to reopen offline classes and bring the students back into the classroom, the school has placed new procedures in class to ensure the safety of students and staff. This is achieved through two main ways - health monitoring, cleanliness, and distancing.
Desk staff check the temperature of all the staff twice a day - when arriving to work and after our classes end. They keep a record of it. Also, all students have their temperature checked when arriving at school and a record is kept for their temperatures as well.
Teachers must have a mask on when the students are on campus and when interacting with other staff. Also, all students must have a mask and keep it on. It’s pretty cute how mask companies have created kid friendly and themed masks. They are happy to show their friends the designs of their masks.
Classrooms are aired out before classes begin. It’s important to let circulate the air in our classrooms and let fresh air in.
All surfaces, especially desks, are disinfected before students arrive on campus. They are whipped down as necessary while students are on campus as well. We keep a good supply of disinfecting wipes and sprays in stock on campus for everyone to grab from and utilize.
In accordance with the Korean classroom distancing code, all the desks in our classrooms are arranged into three rows. There is a minimum of one meter between each row. When class sizes permit, students are spaced out even more.
It has been great to get the kids back into the classroom. In my opinion, while we have been able to create an effective and comfortable way to teach classes online through Zoom, being in the classroom remains the best way to teach and learn. So, it has been exciting teaching offline again. The combination of a schedule with online and offline classes is good for managing the current situation, when at any moment, we may need to switch back to full online schedules.
Giselle Moreno is from California, USA where she attended the University of California, Riverside. While a student, she always worked with international students and she decided to teach English abroad upon graduating during her third year of university. It was through the experiences of being an English tutor for international students that she felt really fulfilled. She found it particularly easy to get along with Korean students which is why she decided to pursue a teaching opportunity in Korea. She even attended Yonsei University in Seoul for a semester as a study abroad student and fell in love with the city. She is currently working at ChungDahm Learning’s April Daechi branch located in Gangnam, Seoul.