I Do Love Miss Doo

03 Nov 2008
Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

Today begins the first week of real school for me.  Last week I was just going around introducing myself and not really doing a whole lot.  Today I actually had to teach something.  It has so far been quite easy.  The school wants me to teach pretty much directly out of their (somewhat sketchy) textbook.  So last week I learned what page we were on in order to read through the page we covered today.  The only tricky part proved to be that some of the questions are in Korean, which of course means nothing to me.  Ms Park, my co-teacher said, "it's okay you can guess what it means." Of course when I did that and determined the question to be "which statements are true" she informed me that I was wrong.  The question, it turns out, was which statement is false.  

Despite my inability to guess exactly, the lessons today have gone quite smoothly.  Monday and Tuesdays I have first years (seventh grade) with Miss Doo.  Miss Doo is definitely my favorite teacher.  She never leaves me standing awkwardly at the front of the class, she tells me what to do, she lets me leave early to go have a rest.  She just rushed in during lunch to turn the somewhat flimsy pictures I had prepared for class into a real, laminated teaching tool.  So I will feel extra prepared for this afternoon's class.  

The students were surprisingly quiet.  After my experiences last week, I was ready for the worst.  But they were quiet while we, the teachers, were talking and they dutifully repeated after me as I read through the lesson (Our Hopes and Dreams).  When it came time for the group work, some of them were more or less on task, or at least appeared to be when I walked by them (although I expect they had just grabbed the book and started saying the phrase we were working on, "what does your father do," in order to appear like they were busy).  Between Miss Doo and I we did eventually get them all to write down various hopes and dreams.  From my rounds it seems that most student's fathers are businessmen, while their mothers are housekeepers.  The students themselves ranged from wanting to be an astronaut to nothing, including a couple singers, a baseball manager, a fashion designer and an astronomer.  

I have one more class and then a conversation class this afternoon with a few "specially selected" students.  I haven't done this yet, so I'm not sure what to expect.  


Looks like you're a week or two behind me in that book. You should ask why you don't use the CD, it honestly makes things a lot easier for those not blessed with the ability to speak Korean. And I don't understand how you do that third or fourth page that requires listening to a dialogue (which is not written in the book) without the CD.

My favorite moment while teaching that lesson was when I asked a student, "what do you want to be?" and he replied (cleverly using vocabulary I had taught them the week before when we were doing compound words), "I want to be bookworm." My immediate response was, "ah, but you can't be paid for being a bookworm," which upon reflection showcases the whole absurdity of the lesson: the correct answer to the questions, "what do you want to be?" and "what is your dream?" is a job. We really are teaching them to be good little members of society, aren't we?

Ms. Du/Tu does indeed sound great, but represents yet another example of the folly of Romanizing Korean names.

Tell us how your conversation class goes! My first few weeks were reeee-ally awkward since all of the kids assumed that I was secretly there to devour them, but recently we've started getting along quite well and the number of vacant pauses has dropped to almost nothing. Actually I've grown immensely fond and possibly overprotective of the students in my conversation classes; at any rate we all really like each other. Today I had a really hysterical conversation about movies involving three guys and three girls, in which the girls' favorite films were The Matrix, Terminator, and Saw III, and one of the guys said that his favorite movie was The Devil Wears Prada. Something Has Gone Wrong with Korean youth, in the best possible way...

I should stop blogging in the comments of your blog. I'm just naturally attracted towards the superior site, I suppose.

As for the CD, I'll have to

As for the CD, I'll have to enquire about that.  But the dialouges are listed in the back of the book, so I read them.  This really isn't as bad as it sounds, the students in fact often seem interested in watching and listening to a real person speak English.  And I was just handed a photocopy of the teacher's book, so now I have even more notes in Korean to decipher.  
Are you on internet shopping then?  Because that chapter look thrilling.