As you may have read, I am currently working at a ‘school’ in South Korea. There is a reason I refer to it as a ‘school’ in quotation marks. Although it looks like a school, acts like a school and has teachers, to call it a school stretches the definition of the word to its limit.
According to Google, a school is ‘an institution for educating children’, unfortunately my ‘school’ does not meet this definition. It is merely an exercise in public relations. The kids fill in book after book, their parents are told that their child is the cleverest in the world, and everyone is happy, apart from the kids, who look utterly miserable.
It’s supposed to be an international academy, but imagine a world run by South Korea. It’s supposed to be an English academy, but Korean is the dominant language, etc. I make this point ad nauseam every fucking week, and it still does not help. That’s the self-pity over with, here is the bullshit of the week.
Usually at this ‘school’ there is one day a week where some kind of bullshit happens. This has included the time when the head teacher said you do not need grammar when speaking, or terrible school trips where they just take pictures of the kids.
Well on Monday the children practised their performance in front of the Director. They are generally nervous around her, so their performance wasn’t as good as it has been, they mumbled and spoke too quickly. This infuriated the director, who had a go at them, and said that a younger class were ‘better’ than them (the constant competition they foster between the kids is despicable).
On Tuesday morning my fiancée was called into the director’s office for a chat. The play has to change she said, my girlfriend asked why. It’s too hard and the kids do not understand it. True, that’s because they have been taught poorly for years (I was the first of their teachers to teach them to read). But they have remembered it now, and they like it.
I should note that the play is about all the kids entering a competition to become the best Freddie Mercury. They argue, but realise they do not want to compete, they would rather sing together. It’s a nice story that was supposed to teach them that working together is better than competing against one another. This is probably why the director did not like it.
To get back to the story. Our director’s next argument was that in Korea Freddie Mercury is not popular because he was… (she could not say the dreaded g word). First of all, this is nonsense. All the older kids I have taught like Queen, and a Korean friends parents like Queen as well, so that is SOME Korean people who like Freddie Mercury. My fiancée gave up arguing at this point, as would most sane people.
So now we have nine days to get the kids to learn a Korean play in English (it’s an international school remember). It’s utter drivel with no point to it, but we do not care anymore, I hope the parents are bored stiff by it. For thirteen months we have had to put up with this nonsense, but not much longer. I’m a nobody, get me out of here!!!