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A teacher’s assistant tackles difficulties in teaching

2023.04.21 18:46:13 Kijoo Park
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[A teacher demonstrating Korean sentences. Photo Credit: Kijoo Park]

For the past few years of being a teacher’s assistant in a Korean school at our local church, I’ve learned how to efficiently discipline and manage multiple children in a class.

In our local church called “New Vision Church,” several rooms are dedicated to teaching students how to speak and write Korean.

Students are divided into each level of classes depending on their ability to speak and write Korean. 

Most enrolled students are Korean children who do not speak Korean as a first language.

I started volunteering last year at a Korean school within our church to try and maximize my advantage of being bilingual in Korean and English.

I used to be worried about how I would be able to handle a class full of little children, but the reality wasn’t as bad as I thought.

During class time, I’ve assisted kids in correcting their grammar, using the right vocabulary, and pronouncing Korean words properly.

Hardships I've met while volunteering in Korean schools took a lot of work to keep children focused, especially while reading the textbook.

Kids have found reading the textbook boring, and it was tough for them to grasp the main points throughout the story.

But still, I tried my best to help the kids by translating some parts of stories or directions into English for a better understanding.

Some kids have also found it difficult to copy down a few Korean sentences, and I assisted them on how to write correctly  by pointing out what letters are miswritten and how to correct them.

Several kids, however, weren't too cooperative to stay on task and listen to the teacher for directions.

Being nice every time wasn’t the best way to help kids stay on task; sometimes, being a bit forceful can do its job. 

In addition, I’ve found many factors as to why kids may not follow the directions given by the teacher.

I realized looking from the child’s perspective may give a better understanding of why a child may behave or act the way they do and give away how to resolve the problem.

It felt best to be gracious to children at all times but to make it clear that they understand what they are doing when going off-task.

I also felt the necessity to encourage children who are passionate and well-focused on their tasks with positive feedback to keep up their good work and motivate them.

Although the vast majority of children only had a basic knowledge of speaking and writing in Korean, I felt pleased to assist them in any way to learn proper Korean.

Overall, it was a meaningful experience to work as a Korean school teacher’s assistant as I learned many skills of how to guide children and teach them how to behave.

I hope the children will find learning Korean to be enjoyable and become proficient as they grow up so they can apply their knowledge of Korean in real life.

Kijoo Park / Grade 11 Session 1
Branham High School