I’ve been working at Shinokubo Gogakuin in Shibuya for a little over a month now, just part time on Mondays and the occasional Tuesday. So far, it’s great, and I’m really enjoying the change of pace. Since it’s mainly a Korean school, I’m largely left to my own devices in devising lesson plans. A room full of interested students and the freedom to make my own lessons? Heck, that’s all I want in this world. Well, that and a fiber-optic internet connection.
Not to cast aspersions on schools I’ve worked in before, but it’s amazing what a small change in decor can do. I love that we sit at a conference table with normal chairs on wheels, so I can be in a more equal position with the students. Whenever I teach in a room with those little desk chairs or with rows of desks facing to the front, it always feels more like I’m supposed to stand at the front and dish out knowledge. That just ain’t me, though! I much prefer to be the “guide on the side”, sitting with the students and giving them just that little extra push to get through a tough activity.
The wall-to-wall posters of Korean pop idols? Eh, not so much. But there are also lots of maps, charts of parts of the body, and things like that, and those are super helpful. Granted, they’re in Korean, but they’re still good for reference.