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What's so bad about kindergarten?
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haxah



Joined: 15 Jun 2003
Location: Bundang

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 6:34 am    Post subject: What's so bad about kindergarten? Reply with quote

I am planning to go to Korea this summer to begin teaching... after reading all these postings, I don't know how to tell whom I can trust.

Many ads say, "No Kindergarten." What's so bad about teaching English to kindergarteners?

Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.
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itaewonguy



Joined: 25 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nothing is bad with teaching Kindergartens,
but some people, well many here dont have the patience for it..
I mean grown men 35-40 years old cant really do it.. some can dont get me wrong.. just most would not have to deal with it, teaching Adults is far more stress free for them.. for me I love teaching kindergarten!!
it all depends on you..
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captain kirk



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

who to trust? i'd say don't trust anyone who says there's nothing wrong with teaching kindy.
what's so bad about teaching kindy? nothing. it's just that there's nothing good about teaching kindy (relax, i'm joking).
unless you have some early childhood education kind of experience, and an 'ebullient' personality. a sunny kind of person who radiates caring. nothing wrong with that, but some people are kind of cynical and more conserving of their energy. adulthood kind of does that to folks. these people aren't good at kindy. i wasn't. and i'm not particularly 'adult'. however, the more you give the more you get back. and the more you give away, the more there is to spare. so they say. maybe there is a time in one's life for everyone to be a kindergarten teacher! they live ALL OUT, those tots. hard to be there for them, all out, all the time. and there are so MANY of them. and they are LOUD.
i worked with a guy who was EXCELLENT with the tots. he was a complete showman with a twinkle in his eye and he had them all believing in magic. kindy believe in magic, anyway. maybe he was tapping into that and feeding it back to them. worked for all. HOWEVER, by the end of the year he had dark rings under his eyes, and one year was enough for him in korea, period. knowing he wouldn't be back, he gave it all he had. and the kids LOVED him! (he had other bad habits, too. it wasn't just kindy that did him in temporarily).

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Son Deureo!



Joined: 30 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My biggest problem with teaching kindergarten was the long hours it led to. Kindergarten usually starts at 10:00 in the morning, elementary school and middle school classes generally start at around 3:00 p.m. and end at around 9:00. A truly inconsiderate boss may have you teaching the first kindergarten class in the morning as well as the last class ending at 9 p.m. Even with breaks in between classes, this adds up to a looooong day. I put up with this for longer than I'm proud of.

A more reasonable, and probably more typical, hogwon schedule that includes kindy would be 2 or 3 hours of kindy classes starting at around 10, and 3 or 4 hours of elementary school and older kids ending at around 7:30.

On the other hand, a hogwon schedule without kindy classes will rarely start before 3 p.m., and usually end by 9 at the latest. It's all going to be about the same number of classroom hours, but one is obviously much more pleasant than the other. The best schedules tend to be late afternoon to early evening, kindy-free schedules.

At any rate, when you get your contract, make sure it has a guaranteed "no earlier than" beginning time and "no later than" finishing time that you can live with, kindy or not.

As for actually teaching kindy, it takes a lot of energy to keep the kids entertained, under control, and learning. The constant repetition of songs, chants, and drills to help the kids learn drove me crazy some days. Plus, regardless of what anyone might say about the ability of young children to pick up a language quickly I can't say that I ever saw this in any of my kindy students. Even the brightest and most dedicated kindies seemed to be showing progress less quickly than elementary school students who were spending less time in the classroom. I just didn't find it very rewarding.

I do miss the sincere enthusiasm and love from the kindies at my previous school. Some of those classes really were a lot of fun. But in the end it felt more like babysitting than teaching.

I'll be the first to admit that I probably wasn't the best kindergarten teacher. Maybe if I was better at it, I would have found it more rewarding. Some posters here seem to have a real knack for it. I did the best I could, but I hope I never have to teach kindergarten again.
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The Den



Joined: 26 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talk to Canuck he is a real expert at Kindergarten.
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eamo



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Location: Shepherd's Bush, 1964.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

getting up in the morning.
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rapier



Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kindergarten are my favorite classes- because I have an attentive, motherly Korean assistant. She's just superb, knows how to calm the kids etc. She's a mother herself so that makes a big improvement in her style..so patient.
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Wombat



Joined: 28 May 2003
Location: slutville

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a very motherly person, and I adored my kindy kids last year. They were the sweetest, most affectionate beings I've ever come across. They cuddled me, laughed at my jokes (Smile ) and thought it was a FANTASTIC idea to colour and learn the numbers. They had enthusiasm and no pretences. Of course, there were some nutters, who would rail around the classroom howling and laughing and doing the Zolaman dance, but it wasn't really a problem.

The flipside - those little buggers exhaust you! They're loud, needy, weepy, sensitive. They have the attention span of a gnat. They need constant instruction. And yes, it usually means you have to be at the school early - something that isn't always met with sunshine and an ear to ear smile.

So - take your pick. They're certainly a lot cuter than the afternoon kids.

Wombat
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pros:The best thing about Kindy is how the kids do rely on you a fair bit. That means they will also be more sensitive to when they're starting to make you angry. Especialy if you're with them every day of the week.

Also, the work load for you is almost non-existant. Unless your boss is a total moron, they will allow large amounts of goofing with the kids to happen. They're all pretty much still babies after all.

Elementary kids have all of the stupidity the kinders have without the ability to know when to knock it off.

Cons: Early starts. Possible long hours. Unless they hired someone to do that specifically for you, you'll have to sing stupid songs. Kindy kids seem to be an endless source of mucus.
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Wombat



Joined: 28 May 2003
Location: slutville

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of total moron bosses ~

One school I worked at INSISTED that the kindy kids be TAUGHT. I'm talking about regimented, teach-these-slackers-prepositions kind of teaching. No games, no colouring, no English cartoons. There were nervous breakdowns every day - little five-year old hands holding little five-year old heads, sobbing. Finally, the other teachers and I formed a union where we refused to torture the littlies anymore. Once our point had been made, it was Everland in the classroom - boy, those babies sure perked up. I really feel for Korean kids...

Wombat
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like to teach the kindy kids. I woudn't / couldn't do it all day long but a couple of classes a week is nice. This depends alot on the type of program your hogwan wants you to deliver and the time of day it is delievered.....and also class size. Give me a handful of four year olds for 40 minutes a couple times a week without dragging me out of bed too early and I'll have fun with them.

I think a balance is important though. Ideally, I'd like to teach a class or two at a variety of levels. It keeps things interesting.
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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that Kindy teaching is more exhaustive than teaching a nice 2~8pm schedule. I'm flagging a bit at the moment but it's only 5 weeks to go until they're on a break. That's the great thing about it - I get about a month of free mornings in summer and winter (combined) - easy afternoon schedule of only 3 hours between 2 and 6pm.

I only teach Kindy 4 mornings a week too. Five would be too gruelling and I need time to prepare.

I prefer smaller class sizes when it comes to Kindy (now I have 35 kids per Kindy class Shocked ) and the best thing about teaching Kindy is that you can really see their progress - that's quite rewarding.
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HamuHamu



Joined: 01 May 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the hardest things (for me) is remembering that they are really just BABIES. My 5 year old Koreans are 3 years old. Even the oldest -- 7 year olds -- are really only 5 or 6 Western age. Yet they are expected to sit down and study and read and write for 4 or 5 hours a day. Like you would EVER ask western kids to do that at such a young age! But yet, I find myself getting frustrated some days telling them that they are to sit down and listen to me, and then do their work.....but then I remember that they are young'uns, and have a 3 minute attention span, and life for them should just be about playtime and nap time.

I also find myself comparing them to children the same age at home. Like, my 7 year old class that can barely read, and I am frustrated with them. But, my 6 year old cousins back home, who are extremely smart and doing very well, can only read short 3 and 4 letter words, the same as these Korean kids.

So some of it is just remembering to keep it inperspective, and not try to swing too far one way.

The benefit of Kindie (for me) is seeing the same kids every day, and so you can improvise a bit more - didn't finish the lesson one day, well, there is always tomorrow. But, with elementary, they are usually on a book where Day 1 has to be Lesson 1, etc.

Does anyone remember that old "Everything I needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten" poster? And it had things like "Milk and cookies make the day happier.....stop and pet the soft bunny....nap time is for everyone..." etc etc? It definitely wasn't written about Korean kindergarten.....
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harryh



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: south of Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wombat wrote:
Speaking of total moron bosses ~

One school I worked at INSISTED that the kindy kids be TAUGHT. I'm talking about regimented, teach-these-slackers-prepositions kind of teaching. No games, no colouring, no English cartoons. There were nervous breakdowns every day - little five-year old hands holding little five-year old heads, sobbing. Finally, the other teachers and I formed a union where we refused to torture the littlies anymore. Once our point had been made, it was Everland in the classroom - boy, those babies sure perked up. I really feel for Korean kids...

Wombat


I like the Kindergarden kiddies. They are incredibly sweet, BUT unfortunately my boss is a moron, who insists that the kids 'have to' study two pages a day, be able to say pre-determined sentences by the end of the week (usually sentences they will never use in 'real-life') etc. They would learn so much more if I could speak to them a bit more freely, use my own resources, play games with them etc. My boss is always coming into the classroom or looking through the window checking on the lesson.

I wouldn't mind, but I have taught Kindergarden classes before in the UK, The Czech Republic and Italy. The boss doesn't have any teaching qualifications. Korea is certainly different! Well, the school I'm at, anyway.
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crazylemongirl



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: almost there...

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I teach kindy 5 times a week... they are my best and worst classes. I wouldn't call myself the mothering type, but I think you have to be a big kid at heart/don't mind making a fool of yourself etc. To do it.

What I love about kindy

They are always so pleased to see me.
They can be cute.
They lap up language better then any other age group (however they forget just as fast).
If they throw a temper tantrum (which korean kids will do when they are teenagers) you can just grab them under the arms and take them away from the situation and get them to calm down.

What I hate about kindy

You think adult koreans have no concept of personal space, just watch their kids. I have yet to be ddong-chimed (where the kids make their hands like a gun and ram it up your anus) but the do like to hit me on the arse if I present them with a target, thus important lesson never turn your back on a kindy kid. They make frequent grabs at my chest area and I don't wear skirts as the kids think they are tents. Also your clothes get a lot of stains from the kids.

When they are tired/have a cold etc. and their mother inists on sending them to the hogwon it's hell. The kids want to be at home asleep so they will punish you for their parents mistake in the form of crying/sleeping/giving you their colds.

Big class sizes! Anything over twenty and your life will be hell. Kindy is best enjoyed with about 10 kids.

I'm not allowed to teach sing song, but have to do paperfolding instead. I'm a music geek who can barely write my name legibly. We sing anyway.

CLG
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