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How to Open and Teach a Leadership Class
[ Issue 113 Page 15 ] Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 15:23:20 Sang Eun Jee eunicejee@hotmail.com

Cultural activity courses for Leadership III are offered every semester to provide new students with opportunities to try something different from the subjects normally taught at KAIST. Senior students who have completed Leadership I and Leadership II courses and are interested in teaching a Leadership III  course can apply to become teaching assistants and establish their own courses. The courses can be about any topic except for physical education or religion. It is open to any students with experience in the area they wish to teach, whether it be club activities or certificates in the subject area. In order to propose a course, you need to submit a brief resumé and course syllabus. In the resumé, you can write about why you want to open the class and detail your experiences. The application period usually starts at the end of each semester and after the course evaluation period, and applicants are notified about the result usually two weeks before the start of the new semester. Once your proposal has been accepted, you will be assigned a place for your class and given leadership mileage and minor funding. The classes are held weekly for two hours at a time for 13 weeks.

Ji Sun Park is a junior majoring in Industrial Design, and she is currently teaching a class on drip brewing coffee this semester. The KAIST Herald met with her to find out how she prepares for her class.

12:30 P.M. - 2:00 P.M. After her morning class, she calls some of her fellow members of the school coffee club, Kaldi, to have lunch with them in Eo-eun dong.

2:00 P.M. -5:00 P.M. After lunch, she drops by a café to buy the ingredients needed for her evening coffee class. She thinks about which type of coffee to buy and tries them at the café. While having coffee, she talks to the owner of the café and asks him for some advice on teaching about coffee. It is here that she gets many ideas on how to teach her students. Later she told me that visiting many cafés and talking to the owners help her review all the knowledge she has on coffee and also learn new things from the experts. At around 5:00 P.M.,  she buys some Antigua coffee beans from Guatemala and Ethiopian coffee beans and heads back to school.

5:00 P.M. She has dinner at the school cafeteria and then goes back to her room to get her laptop computer. She then goes to the Kaldi club room with fellow teaching assistants to pick up all the drip brewing devices.

6:30 P.M. -7:00 P.M. She arrives at Taewulgwan and prepares for the class by setting up the devices with other assistants. Snacks are prepared and music is turned on so that students can enjoy the class in a relaxed atmosphere. Students start coming in and they gather around her to talk about their day or to have a look at the devices and coffee beans they will be using that day. She said that one of the advantages of teaching a leadership class is that she can meet many freshmen students and get to know them better.

7:00 P.M. -9:00 P.M. Before brewing coffee, she briefly explains to the students about the drip brewing process using a Powerpoint presentation that she prepared the day before and also describes the features of the roasted coffee beans they will be using. Then she divides the class into two groups with one assistant in each group. First she demonstrates and then lets everyone try brewing the coffee using the coffee kettle. As the students carefully pour the hot water over ground coffee, the assistants help them and make sure everyone has a go at it. After drip brewing, everyone gets to drink their coffee and talk about them. They discuss about what might have gone wrong in the brewing process and whether the coffee tastes good or bad. For the last thirty minutes of class, students leisurely drink coffee and try each other’s to see how different they taste. Finally, she wraps up the class and dismisses the students. As she clears up the table and the devices, she tells me she is able to meet many freshman students and share what she greatly enjoys through this class. When the class first started, the students did not know anything about drip brewing coffee and their experience in coffee was limited to the instant coffee sticks sold at supermarkets. Now, the students are eager to try many different types of coffee and some of them even joined her club to learn more. As she teaches, she sometimes faces failure and this compels her to evaluate what went wrong and better prepare for future classes. She said that teaching a large group of students is a very different and meaningful experience. Because she is not an expert, she may not be able to teach professional knowledge about coffee, but she is glad to be able to share something she enjoys and encourage students to develop the same hobby.

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