Way back in March, we started the new school year with a fresh batch of 1st year middle school students (12 -13 year olds in Western age) to shape and mould in our own image (I wish). In Korea the school year runs from March to February rather than September to June like in the UK. We both had high hopes for the new school year and wanted to enforce a consistent and straightforward discipline/rewards system to try to instigate better classroom management this time around.
One of the problems with being a native English teacher in a Korean public school is you usually don't have any teaching experience and are just dropped straight into teaching a class of 35-40 kids s soon as you get to your new school. No support, no training, no guidance on what you should be doing and not even a chance to sit in on other teachers' classes to see what they do. At least that is our experience anyway. In fact, I've met teacher's who have had to teach a full day of classes straight off the plane before they've even seen their apartment, let alone had a chance to recover from jet lag or anything. This means, of course, that you end up learning everything as you go, from lesson planning, effective classroom management to how to use the classroom equipment and what the school actually expects you to teach in your lessons. One of the many disadvantages of this is that for many people, including us, the first few months of your new job teaching English in Korea can be confusing, frustrating and stressful. I remember how difficult it was for me to get even the smallest amount of information out of my Korean co-teachers when I first started.