Observation Class!

Friday of this week is my big observation class. The POE (Provincial Office of Education) sends some people to observe a class of mine to make sure things are going smoothly and to make any suggestions on ways that I can improve. Apparently, this is a big deal and my co-teachers emphasized many times that it’s a big deal. I had been working on some things before this week to prepare, and the beginning of this week was no different.

I normally teach with a co-teacher for all my classes, but for the observation class, I would be teaching by myself. I would have no one to translate anything or help with any disciplinary problems. So to help me and the students prepare for class without any translating, I practiced teaching a couple lessons by myself. I think it went okay. I think it was definitely a good idea for me and the students to see what it would be like without the help of Eun-mi translating.

One of my 6th grade boys, Kyeonglok, helped me prepare a video for the class. His nickname among the other students is Monkey and he loves it. So to say “Thank you for helping,” I got him a little treat.

A monkey sucker for Monkey!

I would only be having my actual observation class with one 6th grade class. So in order to prepare some more, I taught the lesson to some of the other 6th grade classes. It was extremely helpful, because it helped me realize some little details I didn’t consider before. Overall, the practice classes went very well and I’m very confident… Bring it on!

Friday has arrived… Today is the big observation class! But first, I had to teach the 3rd graders. No surprise that the gestures continued from one of the boys in the 3-1 class. I don’t think this will ever end.

Observation Class

Time for the class. The people that came to observe were a man (I believe he said he works at one of the universities on the island) and two women who are all Korean English teachers. I started off being a little nervous, which I expected. I think it’s always a little nerve wrecking being observed by your peers and when you know you’re being judged. I started off the lesson with a video of me and Kyeonglok having a conversation on the phone in KOREAN! The kids were shocked! They got a few laughs out of it. I didn’t say or pronounce anything wrong, they were laughing because they NEVER hear me speak Korean, so it’s a little weird. For the first activity, we translated the video conversation from Korean to English. Here’s the video…


B: Hello?
K: Hello. May I speak to Brooke?
B: Speaking. Who’s calling, please?
K: This is Kyeonglok. Let’s play Nintendo.
B: OK. What time?
K: How about at 4pm?
B: Alright. Where?
K: Let’s meet at Clock Tower.
B: Sounds good. See you later.
K: Bye.

Then we had a role playing activity, where the students got into pairs and said the dialog in English in front of the class. For our props, we used “banana phones,” which the kids just loved. 🙂

Banana Phones!!

The kids all did GREAT with their dialogs, I was actually surprised how well they did! So proud of them!

Practice Time

After that, I did a quick X/O (wrong/right) game. I would put up phrases and they had to tell me if the second phrase was a correct response to the first phrase. Then because it was soooo hot, I let them use the X/O signs as fans for a little bit until my student helper picked them up. When that was done, I still had a few more minutes left… Ahhhh!! Didn’t plan for this because in all my practice classes, there was no extra time. So I made up a little impromptu review at the end.

It all went soooo well! I was so happy with all the students! Couldn’t have asked for a better Observation Class. Afterwards, the man observing me came up right away and told me that he was very impressed with the class! We had a meeting with the observers afterwards. They all said they really liked my activities and thought the video was a great idea and asked why I did it. I thought it would make the students more comfortable speaking English when they see me speaking Korean because speaking Korean is difficult for me, just like speaking English is difficult for them. I tried to create an atmosphere where they felt comfortable and not worried about making mistakes.