Student Work and Other Updates

I’ve decided to share some work from my students this week!  A month ago, I did a lesson with my academic (higher-level) students about crazy inventions.  I showed them some of these good ones:

Cool off your ramyeon :)  Ramen noodles (or ramyeon like they say here) are very popular here!

Cool off your ramyeon 🙂 Ramen noodles (or ramyeon like they say here) are very popular here!

Need a tissue?

Need a tissue?

I also showed them some Snuggies.  Really made me wish I had brought mine with me to show off!

I then put the students into groups to make their own inventions complete with a poster to advertise.  I intended for my students to take the rest of class to brain storm and make a poster, and then present said posters and invention ideas the following week.  Almost immediately after work time began, my co-teacher started rushing the students to finish, which I didn’t agree with.  In the States, most teachers prefer that students take their time (as long as they are actually working) so that the piece of work they complete is done nicely.  Also, if they need more time they would be given more time.  Instead, my co-teacher was constantly hurrying them and changing my timeline for project completion.  My co-teacher wanted them to present them that day.  So she continued pressuring them and clapping her hands to hurry them, counting down the time and then they did a rushed, harried presentation.  Which I guess hardly matters because most students are so shy that the “presentations” I try to get out of them are pretty short.  Just another example of how difficult and frustrating it can be to, number 1, work with someone always having to approve of your lessons (might not be difficult for all of the NETs (Native English Teacher) in Korea as most don’t have teacher training or experience, but for others with teaching experience it can be pretty frustrating) and number 2, have to work with said person being from another culture who sees education and educational processes as totally different from how I see them.  Usually it’s not too bad and easy to deal with but I do miss the independence.

Well, back to my wonderful students’ work!  I had three classes, so each class voted on the best invention of their class (winners got a candy prize of Choco Pie, which is like cookies with marshmallow covered in chocolate) and then the students voted for their favorite out of the three class winners.  The winning group got some nut dessert bread from a local bakery to share along with some hot chocolate from one of the machines we have in school.  (Schools and businesses usually have a machine that gives coffee and sometimes hot chocolate in small cups–think the paper cups you might drink water out of in the bathroom).  Some were more original than others and some seemed to be copies of other weird inventions out there.  Here are the winners from each class:

Eye Pop--a phonecase with a cartoon character on the back. The eyes pop out and turn into ear buds!

Eye Pop–a phonecase with a cartoon character on the back. The eyes pop out and turn into ear buds!

Bag Umbrella--Keeps your backpack or other bags from getting wet in the rain.

Bag Umbrella–Keeps your backpack or other bags from getting wet in the rain.

Face Dye--change the color of your face! To me, just seems like makeup or the same old skin-bleaching cosmetics they have here. Koreans are very concerned with their appearances and prefer to have pale skin.

Face Dye–change the color of your face! To me, just seems like makeup or the same old skin-bleaching cosmetics they have here. Koreans are very concerned with their appearances and prefer to have pale skin.

I was kind of sad that Face Dye won for a class.  It’s not very creative or original and it was only chosen because of how appearance-minded my high school girls are which is a direct reflection of Korean culture.  Some of my students have already had plastic surgery!

In the end, Eye Pop was the winner!  Their class cheered so enthusiastically for their class’s group to have won.  It was pretty exciting!  Also, on the day I presented the winner we watched videos of a skit the students had made, which I recorded and edited (along with a skit on the same topic that I recorded with Josh for their entertainment–he’d kill me if I posted it on here haha) so it was a fun, relaxing day they had been looking forward to for some time.

Here are some of my favorite inventions that didn’t make it to the final round:

Dry Me--This invention dries your hair and body after a shower.  You can choose hot air or cold air!

Dry Me–This invention dries your hair and body after a shower. You can choose hot air or cold air!

Mixing Handle Cup--Detach the handle to mix your coffee, tea, or hot cocoa!

Mixing Handle Cup–Detach the handle to mix your coffee, tea, or hot cocoa!

One of my favorites.  Wake Up! has an audible alarm to wake you up and then pops you up in bed so you are up and at 'em!

One of my favorites. Wake Up! has an audible alarm to wake you up and then pops you up in bed so you are up and at ’em!

Banana Wheel--Multi-purpose shoes.  Version 1 has wheels, Version 2 has a shoe umbrella, and Version 3 lights up for a party.

Banana Wheel–Multi-purpose shoes. Version 1 has wheels, Version 2 has a shoe umbrella, and Version 3 lights up for a party.

I loved giving my students a chance to be creative as they usually don’t get such an opportunity in school.  The longer I’m here, the better my lessons become as I get to know their skill levels and what interests them.  My co-teachers have told me that students often ask them what I have planned next because they’ve enjoyed my lessons so much.  The other day, my third class came in excited for a lesson that they heard from my earlier two classes was fun and interesting.  I even have a group of girls who prepare songs to sing to me and pull me out of my office for small talk every few days.  So despite whatever small frustrations I have from working with others or learning the work culture here, it feels great to hear that my students enjoy having me because I certainly enjoy having fun teaching and learning with them.

I’ll leave you with some cute Halloween pictures drawn during a game by my students:

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

I also wanted to post the following picture sometime but it hasn’t fit with any posts I’ve done.  Josh and I saw this car parked on our way to eat one night and I had to snap this example of Korean driving.  Korean drivers are notorious for parking anywhere and everywhere that they can.  Their actual driving skills are just as crazy and indiscriminate as their parking skills.

In case you can't tell, the sidewalk comes to a street crossing and this car is just pulled completely onto the sidewalk to park.  Could never happen like this at home!

In case you can’t tell, the sidewalk comes to a street crossing and this car is just pulled completely onto the sidewalk to park.

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