For months, I was convinced that the new semester would be starting on September 1st. Summer camp only ended last week and I’d been anticipating and eagerly looking forward to two weeks of deskwarming with no work before the new semester kicked off. Sadly, I was informed at the end of last week that the new semester begins today. Furthermore, the vice-principal at my school has insisted that NZ1, NZ2 and I teach an additional four hours per week this semester so that all nine of the foreign teachers at my school teach 20 hours per week.
Apparently some teachers have complained that the three English teachers were only teaching 16 hours per week. What many of them don’t seem to be aware of is that we have weekly marking, regular editing and additional work that the other foreign teachers don’t have. While the Korean English teachers have argued precisely this point, other teachers have insisted that we all teach the same number of hours in addition to all of the work we were already doing. The result is that we will have to attend reading lessons that the Korean teachers usually lead in order to make up the additional four hours. It also means less time for all of the marking and editing that we already do and I can feel the new timetable already kicking my butt despite today being only the first day of the semester.
Another new addition this semester is an American exchange student. She has just graduated from high school in the
and will be at my school for the next year. Unfortunately, she arrives mid-school year for Korean students, which makes it difficult to place her in a class with students her own age. It’ll be interesting to see how she fares and how the school handles this new challenge. US