The in-service training was far worse than we thought it would be. Most of the things we talked about were problems Chris and I had already resolved in the first few weeks. Cursory google searches have educated me far more than 3 days of lectures did.
We did learn a few things that could never be learned online – all bad, of course. They talked about the inner workings of our office of education and how the budget is crashing into a fiery oblivion. Meaning our jobs as middle school instructors are going to be numbered in the next few years if not sooner. This conversation was inappropriately timed since we were getting paid $20 per day per person to commute there, on top of our daily salary and and they were providing snacks and drinks (nice ones, too). “Sorry you won’t have money to spend on the kids for fun Winter/Summer camps….” For all of us taking the class, receiving $20 a day – that’s almost $3000 for 3 days. And you don’t have a budget for our summer/winter camps? Just $20 for each camp would be great but, you know, whatever.
I’m not against learning and professional development but I believe in personal responsibility. I have done an incredible amount of research to be here so I knew most of the things we were talking about it. Hell, some of it was repetition from the orientation we had 5 weeks ago. Worst of all, some of the lecturers were reviewing what the other one had just said.
Each lecturer was supposed to cover almost 3 hours so there was a struggle to fill all that time. Most just took 30-40 minute breaks every once and a while. I think the whole training could’ve been 3 hours of concentrated lectures – remove the team building, snacks, lunch break, etc. Just lecture at us, I swear we can take it – we’ve all been to college.
The one activity we liked, and would use in class, was a drawing one. You draw something, in this case it had to be an animal that had 10 of the provided vocab words (beak, claws, feathers, fur, antlers, horn, etc). You don’t show your partner when you draw it. Then you have to describe it to your partner who has to try to draw exactly what you drew from your oral instructions.
If you look really closely you can see a difference…
Commuting there took almost 2 hours. It’s only supposed to take 45 minutes but with traffic and transfers it ended up taking us over 1.5 hours. So we are very happy about staying in a hotel, even if it was a little expensive.
I guess it was nice to be in proper Daejeon rather than our little northern corner of it. Our corner only has a small department store that can be very expensive. Where we were at had market places, better stores and underground shopping. So we went shopping a lot and ended up taking a taxi back home because we had so much stuff. We got some new house slippers (necessary) and some things to make the house feel more homey.
For Nana and Grammy:
It’s also cherry blossom season. There are plenty of flowers in Techno Valley but many people said to come down to proper Daejeon to see them. I don’t think I ever would’ve gone two hours just to see cherry blossoms (when I could probably go 2 hours by train and be at Seoul) so it worked out that we were already there.
It wasn’t completely horrible but I wish the lectures would’ve been worth more of the time we all had to put into them. I also really missed my school and my co-teachers. I would’ve rather been with them I think. We’re about to start a very exciting project – I’ve connected my middle school to my old middle school in Colorado so we’re going to exchange questions and possibly videos. It had my third graders and co-teachers very enthusiastic before I left, so I’ve been anxious to get started.