Monday, March 2, 2009

New Year, New Classroom

Today was the first day of the new school year, here in Korea, and at 11:00 the 1,400 students and faculty of Young-Il High School gathered in the fifth floor auditorium of the "new building" for opening ceremonies. I can't tell you a word that was said, but I did take a couple of shots with my cell:

Principal Jun at opening ceremony
sea of faces at opening ceremonny
I was, however, in for a major surprise, as the end of the hallway on the floor where my classroom is has been converted into an "English Only Zone." It consists of two classrooms and an office. And a cool hallway with recessed lighting, and big pictures of Australia, London and New York.

English Only Zone hallway
There's still debris from the construction in the hallway, and the computers won't be in for a week or more, but when finished, both classrooms will have large "SmartBoards", a half-dozen student computer stations, and one of them will have digital video equipment. Nice.

My new classroom
My new classroom
I will share an office with Mr Song, and it will also accomodate the English Dept. meeting space, which means a big conference table and chairs. The present desks are, I am told, temporary.

new office
To see pictures of the old classroom, check out this post. Numerous of my other English teacher friends here have told me about how their school was given a grant by SMOE of 50 or 60 million won to create an English classroom, and how they have been waiting ... Well, in my case, I just walked up to where my classroom was, and my jaw hit the floor. It's not finished, but I'm not surprised about that, or even too disappointed that I'll be floating or something for the next two weeks.


Foreigner Joy said...

Oh you SMOE teachers with your fancy digital projectors and white boards.

HMPH! GEPIK is for the classic kids. Chalkboards I tell you. And we have .. wait.. wait.. velcro boards with the Alphabet!

Tuttle said...

Well, I'm not going to argue that technology = better education because it doesn't. For some teachers, and I have worked with many, a computer is an annoyance they have to use to report their grades; however, in the right hands (I think including mine) tools like a digital camera and a smartboard can improve the experience of students.

Actually, it looks like I won't even have a whiteboard, though I would like one. Perhaps that will be taken care of, though. Obviously, I had no input into this remodel job at all.

And the smartboard means I will have to resize every one of my powerpoints!