Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The stress of year end at school

As you may have noticed, I have been fairly absent from the blog in the last week to ten days.  I have also been slim on time for email, facebook and instant messenger.  It is one of two times a year that stretches teachers thin. It is end of term reports. This is my first round of reports here at JIKS which means the level of chaos is exponentially higher, though it tends to come thick and fast here anyway.

I started from a spreadsheet designed by an anal retentive, detail oriented guy with high technological capabilities.  He didn't pass on any explanation to my teaching partner, Ben, before he left.  Since I am a mite more saavy on the computer than Ben I've taken the reigns on the reports. The aforementioned spreadsheet is 24 columns by 37 row for four pages, each a different class, for SOSE (Study of Society and Environment) and 37 columns by  36 rows for four pages for English.
A screenshot of one part of the spreadsheet with names removed.  Color coded, and super complicated.  Lucky for me it's in English as many things here aren't. 
 After compiling the "final" scores on this sheet I then had to convert those totals into scores of 10-5 for speaking, writing, listening and participation or 5-1 for reading, social participation and subject knowledge. Those scores will then translate a score out of one hundred and that converts again to H(igh), M(edium) or L(ow) and A,B,C,D or E for overall grades. This all combined with a one sentence comment that was also put on a Word document and given to the homeroom teacher.  This spreadsheet below is only for the English department.
High, Medium or Low and A-E are the third and fourth conversion of the students grades. 
The comments were first sent in a word document to the Korean English teachers for review.  They usually give them back with questions or corrections.  For one class this year they gave the reports back signed but then came in two hours later with corrections.

After that, these are completed and have to be submitted to the department head who usually kicks them back with a few minor corrections, like missing a full stop (period for you in America, the thing at the end of a sentence).

The last stage is the individual report.
Each student takes home an individual report. The left side details are for English and the right side are for SOSE.
Now that you see what I've been wrangling with lately I hope you'll understand why I haven't had the additional energy to blog.  As my mother so poignantly asked "are you reviewing them to advance to grade 5 or to go into the space program?" I don't think even NASA is this complex.  I hope to have the reports done tomorrow but then they'll need to be printed, signed and stamped.  I depart for home (Seattle) on December 22nd, next Wednesday, so I have to be done before then and hope to have a crack at writing the SOSE book for next year as well.   I really don't want to schlep that on the plane.

Don't give up on me, and keep an eye out for at least one more this week.

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