Evaluations in Korea Actually Matter
When you teach English in a South Korea university, you’ll see very quickly that student evaluations really do matter. At my current workplace, the bottom 50% of teachers get the cut at the end of the end of their contract and evaluations serve as the sole basis for this. If there are other factors that universities consider, student evaluations are usually the most important thing, by far.
Not to worry, my readers, help is here! I’m going to tell you how to get high student evaluations when teaching in a Korean university. Good news for you: none of them are rocket science. Ready?
1. Be in class before the students arrive. It’s bad news when a teacher arrives late and wastes the first 5 or 10 minutes getting their PPT all set up. Do this before class.
2. Stay after class for a few minutes. Be available if a student needs to talk to you. Don’t rush out quickly.
3. Maintain your “game face” at all times and never lose your cool. Yelling is a sure way to do badly when it comes to student evaluations.
4. Be careful about what you say- never say anything offensive to an individual or to Koreans in general.
5. Be kind and smile. Koreans like happy, friendly teachers.
6. Be fair and have a transparent grading system. NEVER play favorites, in fact, this is the fastest way to get low evaluations.
7. Prepare a wide variety of games and activities-make class fun!
8. Make students think you are working hard for them. You don’t actually need to, but prepare an impressive PowerPoint every once in a while or a little review handout for them before a test. They’ll appreciate it.
9. Snack time! A few treats and snacks never hurt anyone, ever.
10. Dress professionally. Appearance is important in Korea. Look the part, you know?
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