I got a bit of a treat and a bit of a trick today at school. All the students of my school were to go on a field trip. That would normally either mean I could go on the field trip or stay at school to work on lesson plans.
My principal had a different idea – another elementary school was opening up an English Centre, and sent both myself and my main co-teacher to check it out. Rather than just have a generic English class, students at that school have Math taught in English, Science taught in English, Music taught in English, etc. A whole wing of the school was English only, kind of like what happens in English camps. The students still have most of their classes in Korean, though.
Out of the entire morning I was at this other school, I only spent about 15 minutes in the English Centre observing. The rest of the time was filled with speeches and ribbon cutting prior to the doors of this new English Centre being opened for visitors. I know at least some of those people worked hard, but from the perspective of taking away ideas for use in my own school, the benefits were limited. There was not time to ask questions to teachers of the classes. I wanted to know how representative the classes were today, since I guessed they were putting on a show. I have never seen students so well behaved, even for Korea. Not even one troublemaker.
If they are that well-behaved normally, I want to know their secrets. Especially the secrets students use to pay attention with few activity changes. If I were a kid in those classes today, I probably would have caused trouble. I am a bit rambunctious in that way.