A Odd KNUE Weekend
I rarely get bored, but at KNUE a weekend easily gets boring. I’ve had to read lots of bland papers by people who really aren’t trying to work on their writing. One student blithely informed me that she doesn’t like writing and so she plagiarized. I asked if she thinks its okay for her students to cheat on their assignments that they don’t like.
On top of that I have to check them all for plagiarism. Several probably plagiarized because the writing is just off. One guy probably handed in his narrative essay from last term. It’s exhausting to figure out so in the end I wind up just giving low points for ideas/creativity and leave it at that.
The school is always dead on the weekend. Now I think winter break has started so it’s even more desolate. I’ve watched several videos and tweaked my facebook page. Last night I went to dinner with a friend. Finding decent food is a struggle in the end we gave up and got some fried pork cutlets and then went to a cafe. Finding good food was never a problem in Jinan.
I went back to the office to use the internet this evening, but the door’s locked. Then I went over to the library forgetting school’s out. It’s closed. So now I’m outside the library with my laptop using the wifi. Weird.
Guess I won’t get much job hunting done tonight.
When I quit my dreadful teacher training job at KNUE in January, the director asked me to write a letter that was more specific than the one below. I complied and will post it soon. For now, here’s how I bid the Intensive Teacher Training Program adieu:
Dear Dr. X,
After a tough 20 weeks, in which I found my colleagues, the curriculum and in some cases the students very disappointing, and after two weeks of normal collaboration editing articles with a colleague and working to build a new English teaching association, KEERA (Korean English Extensive Reading Association), I realize it would be crazy for me to return for more time at KNUE.
Nothing will change because old timers[redacted], tell the new instructors that they don’t want any “troublemakers, with new ideas.” Given what I’ve seen of many of the staff they don’t want any new thoughts or certainly no more work. As you might recall, one instructor, Brian, was so adverse to adding culture courses because he couldn’t or wouldn’t spend time developing *one* idea about culture. I was the only staff member to even attend KOTESOL or present at this conference. This is a height of sloth. It’s normal for professionals to want to discover new trends and exchange new ideas.
So I am resigning from KNUE’s IETTP program.
One more thing you might already have learned. You’ve got problems with a certain instructor who’s had at least two illicit relationships with married trainees [redacted]. If the truth came out to the husbands, I imagine you’d have a huge mess. [Redacted] but it makes working at IETTP unreasonable as a career choice. You do need to make some clear guidelines for these teachers. While adultery is not against the law, it’s certainly not professional or wise.
I thank you for the various help you’ve offered throughout the fall, but the first weeks when I saw that stupid movie script and was told that there was no way the old timers would allow any changes in their cushy jobs, that this was a bad job for me. I like innovation, quality, and excellence. Other people don’t. I’m choosing to find a situation where betterment is seen as desirable.
Jan 9, 2011
Last Tuesday is a good example of the unprofessionalism we endure at Korea National University of Education (KNUE). We taught 7 hours straight and then had a meeting. In 90 minutes the director expects to review some housekeeping issues, e.g. how to fill out our tax forms, and have us plan a new three month course for teacher trainers. Since the Min. of Ed. has okayed this new program to train teacher trainers (which my grouchy, domineering colleague keenly noted requires us to train people to replace us), we should be ready to start this new program in March.
- They have no objectives or curriculum.
- No idea what courses to include.
- No new staff to develop this.
- No partners in the US where the trainees will do co-teaching and take classes starting in mid-March.
Yet since there’s money, they’ll try to start it March 2. There would be two weeks of orientation here for the new group plus new students for the existing program. My guess is that this current staff would have to do double duty, beaucoup d’overtime. It’ll be an 80 hour a week job for chump change.
Quality control is nonexistent. I’m glad my foot’s already been outside the door for some time.