|Posted by Elva Ellen Ortega on March 25, 2011 at 2:13 AM|
I've been teaching Koreans for some months now. The first time I taught Koreans was through a video class, and now I am teaching them through a phone or VOIP system. In video classes, which are sometimes group classes, you will be able to see them and teachers uses presentations to show them the lessons. While in phone classes, you would only hear their voices, what makes is hard is when the student doesn't have their book to read. They have different programs and system, but I used the same method in teaching.
When I resigned to my first job as a computer teacher and secretary in a learning center, my boss warn me that koreans were harder to teach than chinese. They, also, said that koreans usually are disrespectful to their teachers. Well, you will never really know if you haven't tried to teach them. One thing that is true about koreans, physical appearance of their teacher is very important to them. Sometimes they won't cooperate and won't listen if they do not like the teacher, especially their looks. I am not really a pretty person, but somehow, I could make my students follow me and cooperate.
How did I do it? I used my charm, hehehe not of being beautiful, but for being friendly to them. In that way they would feel at ease and relax. Well, maybe that's the kind of teacher all people would like, Koreans or not. Koreans were not really that hard to teach, sometimes, especially if you have their trust and they enjoyed your class. During my video classes, sometimes if we finished the lesson early, I usually prepare for some activities or games that we may play. In that way, they would not feel pressured in studying. Well, they feel so much pressure with the things that they did to study. They need to go to school, then after that, they need to go to their academies and then they still have a private tutor. Can you believe how much effort they have to study, to learn.
I actually admire their eagerness to learn, though we may say that there are really some students who doesn't like what they're doing, but they have no choice. That's what their parents want them to do to have a good future and have a good job someday. As a teacher, I also learn a lot from them. Aside from learning some of their expressions, I learned how to handle different levels of students. I learned how to be patient, or to have a long patience, specially because I was a hot tempered person. I would not say that there was no time that I've got irritated to them, because I do sometimes. I am not a perfect person, you know. However, I tried my best to stay calm as possible. First thing that you should do, if your student irritate you? specially during video class? Just smile. In that way they will see that you are not affected to the things that they were doing to irritate you. If you get affected, that would only result to bigger problem and complain. You might get terminated to your job, too, I could say that patience is one of the most important attitude that a teacher must have, especially if your teaching Koreans or students who were hard to handle.
Why do I admire their eagerness to learn? Well, even filipinos cannot take studying the whole day. They can't even hang out with their friends because they have so many homeworks to do, aside from, they still have tutor at home! I would actually admit that I cannot do that. I may like studying but not the whole day. I still want to have a long rest after school. Even in their vacations, they still need to study. Unlike in the Philippines, students can do whatever they want in their vacations. Maybe that is one reason why I am interested in teaching Koreans.
It was also overwhelming to hear them laugh and say "thank you, teacher." In that way, I know I made some difference in their lives...