Okay, so you’re teaching in Korea and are left entirely to your own devices as far as what to actually teach. Is this a good thing, or bad thing? It depends on you, but find out all the details about this reader question here.
Do you Ever See your Boss?
“At my uni I’ve been completely left to my own devices and whichever curriculum I develop is completely up to me. Having no supervision or certain textbook is great in many ways but also a little unsettling in others for a newbie. Do you have any advice as to how to handle this situation?”
Some Thoughts on No Supervision at Work
Thinking back to my own experience of this many years ago, I do indeed remember the kind of unsettling feeling. The, “Oh crap! What do I do now?” There quite literally was nobody in administration who cared what I did in my classes.
I walked into the English office at my first university job, expecting to be handed a textbook with a syllabus. This was certainly not the case at all. Quite the opposite in fact. I pulled something together and it eventually got better and better from then on.
Coworkers are your Best Resource
Everyone likes being the “expert” and I’m sure they won’t mind answering your questions (just like I don’t mind answering reader questions). If you don’t have a shared teacher’s office, and rarely see your coworkers, send out a group email with your questions and I’m sure you’ll at least get a few responses. Or, find (set-up) the Facebook group for English teachers at your university.
Offer to take a couple people out for lunch and pick their brains. It’s going to be your best resource by far.
Relax and Chill Out
Administration at universities in Korea generally have low expectations. Just show up to class every week, give some tests, input attendance and final grades, come to meetings, and don’t sleep with the students. Really.
Now, of course as a professional teacher your own expectations for yourself should be considerably higher but don’t stress about curriculum and stuff. No one else is. Just do your best. Nobody actually expects that much of foreign teachers in Korean universities.
No Supervision at Work? Use the Internet!
Do some searches online for things like, “writing class university Korea syllabus” or “freshman English university Korea.” You’ll find that many teachers post their syllabus online and this can be a valuable resource for you.
Ask questions on the Foreign Teachers in Korean Universities Facebook Group. The people there are really nice and the admin is a cool person (it’s me!)
Check out This Book
You’re usually given a textbook of some kind to follow but that gets pretty boring pretty quickly. If you’re at a bit of a loss as to what activities your students would like to do, check out this book: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults. I think you’ll find it useful as your plan your university lessons.
Have your Say about No Supervision at Work in Korean Universities
Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.