Engaging with the Korean population and culture is never short of an adventure. More often than not, there is not only an adventure to enjoy but said adventure provides much entertainment, laughter and a constant reflection of ‘this would never happen where I’m from.’
One such example can be gleaned from the Harrington’s recent professional development on Wednesday October, 27th 2010. Before the official end of the school day, the Harrington’s alongside their head Korean co-teachers, made their way to Yuesong Spa Hotel for a five hour professional development (or as it is often called by Korean Teachers a ‘business trip’). Upon arrival teachers were encouraged to grab a cup of coffee or tea and a few snacks. Korean co-teachers then helped each wayward Guest English Teacher find the appropriate seat for Elementary School and Secondary School. A little time to chat then the show began, and we do mean show!
The training was aimed at communication with ones co-teacher. The first 30 minutes of the training were dedicated to a few important introductions followed by ice-breakers. Unlike typical ice breakers in the western world that may amount to a small time of stretching to introducing yourself to all who are sitting at the same table, these ice breakers were real show-stoppers! To begin the event a series of magic tricks were performed showing us the importance and beauty of…working together and loving each other. Following the magic trick attendees were taught 7 dance moves, each corresponding to a number 1-7. Together attendees then danced to Mama Mia’s …. Dancing lead to a massage conducted in a similar fashion and was promptly followed by a game of “stand-back-to-back-and-try-to-look-the-same-way-as-your-co-teacher-GO!” And, just in case attendees were not yet in an agreeable mood the ice breaker session ended with a group sing-a-long of ‘You are my Sunshine’ in which the word sunshine was replaced with co-teacher’s names. Ice breakers completed it was time to take a 15 minute break to refuel on the new snacks available and prepare for the first lecture.
The training continued in the usual manner with two presenters presenting on materials relating to the co-teaching relationship in Korea. Between the lecturers, attendees were again offered a break to grab new snacks and use the restroom before continuing through the training. As the training was wrapped up, attendees were separated into the native tongue before heading to the buffet tables were they were offered numerous traditional Korean foods to enjoy with one another.