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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Koreans should understand that a student's progress is not based on test scores alone...hhhmmph!!!

It was a sleepless night. The small argument I had with my boss during my last class last night triggered my insomnia. I was in the middle of the class when he started sending me instant messages on my messenger. That was kinda annoying because I wasn't able to concentrate well in the class. I had to apologize to my student several times because of dead-airs. "Please send me your student's evaluation report," he asked. I promptly said, "Yes, sir. Don't worry but can I send that after my class?" "I need it now, please send it quickly," he demanded. I had no choice but to send it while asking my student online to wait. A few minutes later, he started sending me messages on my messenger again. I think my boss lacks breeding because he knew I was having a class but when I didn't post an immediate reply he kept sending me nudges which of course could be heard by my student on the other end. Upon seeing the report, he enthused, "I don't see any distinction in the student's scores. I don't see any progress. How will I explain that to his mother?" "Sir, a student's progress should not be based on his test scores alone. This should not be an issue in the first place." I was already steaming as my patience reached it's maximum end so I had to finish my class earlier. I know it was unprofessional of me but I burst out and just told my student that I had to end the class earlier because I was arguing with my boss. We promised to make-up for the missed minutes in the class. I just can't understand why Koreans particularly the older generations try to measure the quality of education that their children get through their test scores. It's true that I give them monthly tests. The tests of course vary every month so their scores should also vary. I also told my boss that the students' mood changes all the time and we should not expect them to get better and better scores every month. Indeed scores are easy to manipulate. If they want it that way, then perhaps, I can make my tests easier every month just to satisfy the students' parents that there is a progress going on. But what is the point? Is that learning? I don't think so. Had I not communicated with my boss through chat at that time, I would have raised my voice on the phone. I wanted to tell him how narrow-minded Koreans are. I remember when I was teaching in Baguio, many Korean parents felt happy if their children finished more books. Koreans seem to believe that the more books the students study and finish, the better students they become. They measure the quality of education through the number of textbooks one studies. What if a student indeed finished ten books in two-months and he does not understand and remember anything about the books, is that learning? I don't think so. I just hope my boss got my point.

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