For the first time in my life here in Korea, i have decided to swallow my pride, remove the stick up my ass, and put up with one of the programs the government offers to migrant women. Exactly two weeks ago, down here in Gwangju, a similar program happened.
*edited* she asked for her picture to be removed. this blog had stirred **** itself.
Knowing myself, i have become rather judgmental, but i do it with a fair amount of knowledge, and this time, i can honestly say: KOREA'S GONE MAD.
To start off, this program was in the news a couple weeks ago and i remembered being skeptical with the idea. One: there weren't any details. When the news came out, it only stated that it's for the "benefit and the well being of migrant women in the Korean society" crap. I thought they'd be doing some kind of secretarial, or office management, or clerical crash courses. And it stated: To those who had never had a professional job experience. Okay.. i guess that will not qualify me for a spot. And even if i do, i won't. Seriously, whoever said that working in an environment with 95% of the staff cannot understand a word you're saying is NOT stressful, or is LESS stressful than being a stay-at-home momma, i guess it'd be a matter of opinions, but moi? not unless you're job includes bringing folders to every table, or typing something put on top of your desk and you're basically nonexistent... then why not.
APPARENTLY, the "training course" turned out to be an "English teaching training program" that would be covering the basics of teaching up till HIGH SCHOOL. After experiencing massive rejections from the Korean hagwons, and public schools, even though i already have a job, i have decided to go. Just in case it doesn't work out with Global. Anyway, it stated that it's free. Not to mention, it was going to give us (if we're good enough), a 5-hour job everyday that'd pay 600,000 Won (10 spots); and a recommendation from the establishment itself if we don't get hired after the program. If we were recommended by the institute, it's about 75% sure hire. The remaining 25% would be our effort. If all else fails, one of the instructors would recommend those who won't be able to fish even one.
As all "schooling" goes, there's a deal-breaker: cannot be absent, cannot be late. Be late 3 times, it's equivalent to one absence; be absent three times, and you're not bound to get a cert. Knowing us? Being LATE is a part of our culture, (unbelievably embarrassing). And sure enough, 45% of the class were always late, and it was unnoticed. I did because after work (8 AM), husband and i would drive there, look for a place to have breakfast, and at 9:15, I'd be waiting. The program starts at 10. They gave us coffee and tea with some crackers or fruit at the back of the room, which, would be gone as soon as the women arrived. There were 23 participants including me.
I was kinda looking forward to this program. Why? Being a teacher (sometimes), it's good to be a listener once in a while. It's amazing to be just a part of a class, and not be the speaker. Oh, who am i kidding. Two hours after the program started i was immediately labeled as a show off. I have too many questions, too many answers, too many too much, and the women training us was flustered by what i ask or how i answered. The Korean woman training us was from Korea After School Program (i applied there), which, you can just imagine my excitement. I thought it'd be something innovative, or diverse, different from what i do, or something with a fresher uptake.
I couldn't be more disappointed.
But there were more instructors. One from Gwangju Women's University, another from a kindergarten (i was not listening) but she was amazing with story-telling and crafts, from Chonnam University who had the most helpful topic (two hours, sigh), and more. I really wasn't paying attention much as they're all speaking in Korean, and are trying to help, but they were giving me something that i have already known for a while. Including classroom management. I was excited with lesson planning, as Koreans have a different uptake to it. And they do: it's more tedious than the normal lesson planning.
But basically, that's just it. To me, it had very little input, but i am looking forward to the recommendation that this 50-hour program did. Why?
Just because. (^.^)
At the very last day of this program we did demo classes. As there were 23 participants, and 5 hours of class time, not to mention two instructors who wanted two separate demo classes, we were crunched with time. I prepared four very different, and still related topics. However, as agreed, with the Filipina teacher, we were to do a 10-minute each. With the Korean teacher, we were to do 20-25 minutes, and since time was really not enough, we were grouped, and a demo class with group effort would be done. I was not supposed to do the demo for the Korean instructress, but she pulled me aside and asked...
did you prepare for a demo class?HYPERVENTILATING.. HYPERVENTILATING!!! moi? again? i thought i explained to her that i should be giving this chance to someone else? Time and again, when there's supposed to be something that was asked of us to do, like a dummy-demo of how to, the migrant women would clamour for me, and i would (rather sharply) respond that i am not to do it, because they should try it. But sometimes, just for the sake of their improvement, i did. And usually, my style was picked up.
"yes.." (and started to have yet another sneaking suspicion..)
"i know you would. they're all here to watch you."
That woman had been vocal from day one that i was the brightest (?) among the group. She called me once or twice to help her with the class, and to explain a bit further what she was trying to say, not to mention bring up the crucial points that she sometimes missed. She gives me intriguing compliments, or insults. SO i had no choice. I had to do the demo class instead of the other member.
"Charismatic" was what i heard (me smiling ear to ear) from the observers.
"Excellent performance" from the instructress.
... and dagger looks from the other groups. LMAO. so sue me.
So there... it's all done. I know i gave it my thousand percent, with my kids as the collateral damage. They have forgotten about me. Two weeks. The first week was barely anything, as i was only trying to catch up with the missed lessons (students absent most of the time), but second week? Monthly level test was coming, and the infos that i needed was given to me on a sturday, with a deadline on tuesday morning, with three abilities to be tested: written, spoken, and grammar. Level test was Wedensday, test results should be given by thursday, and evaluation by friday. On top of preparing for my four demo classes. I barely had time to sleep or eat, let alone watch my kids.
So after all everything? All the activities and things i have prepeared is now at the hands of my four year old, and he loves everything i made. And this weekend is dedicated for my two kids, and two kids alone.
But this doesn't end here. A part two, is on a brewing session, and it'd deal with the aspiring teachers.