This past month, my time has been spent participating in the 3rd Annual Teacher's Presentation Contest. My co-teacher first informed me of the contest around Halloween. What was a little more disconcerting, was the fact that this was the third competition. I have been here for three and a half years, and this was the first time I had ever been informed about it. Either way, the contest was a two part contest. The first part was the written submission of a master lesson plan, a class lesson plan, an essay, and a 10 minute video showing your class. The point of the contest was to show ways in which you were improving English education in your school. After the submissions process, 14 teachers were selected to present at a training session/contest. The contest involved multiple judges and anywhere between 100-200 native English teachers who were attending it as a training session.
I was the 4th presenter of the day, and was grateful for my position. I would rather get it over with quickly than wait six hours to present. It does my nerves a lot better and I can also relax after and enjoy the rest of the competition. We were given 15 minutes to deliver a speech and then there was a 5 minute question and answer session. I would like to say that my speech went perfectly, but there were some mistakes. There were no debilitating errors and I even managed to have some fun up there. I didn't do horribly, but I didn't do great either. My powerpoint was very basic, and the idea was to rely more on my speaking ability than my powerpoint skills.
After the presentations were finished the judges did their jobs and judged us. Based on what I saw I knew that I would be lucky if managed to place third. The judges awarded 1 first place, 2 second places, and 3 third places. I figured I was in the middle of the pack. I knew there were several presentations which beat me, but I was not in the bottom 1/3 of presenters. As they began announcing the third place winners another person from Seosan placed third. John F. from Haemi had some technical issues in his presentation, but overall I had his presentation ranked ahead of mine. He put a lot of effort into, and his presentation had some very good ideas. I failed to place third and so did my friend John Wermer. At this point both he and I sat back and realized that we weren't winning anything. To our utter surprise, John W. won second place. I was shocked, because while he beat me in terms of powerpoint, I was and am a far better speaker than he is. I guess I should have known something was up at this point. Either way I had resigned myself to winning nothing, and dealing with some gloating out of John because he placed ahead of me. Well, then the damnedest thing happened. They announced first place, and said my name.
I guess I should mention now, that when they announced it the lady said "In first place, from Seosan (there were only 4 presenters from Seosan) Mr. William David Stuch....er, Stuche...m. As normal, nobody can pronounce my last name. Anyways, I corrected the lady on my last name, and then remained seated in the front row. It's not because I wanted her to say my last name correctly, it's because I still wasn't processing the fact that I won. She had to say my name again and then start looking around before I realized she was waiting for me to stand up and to accept my prize. After accepting my prize 300,000\(roughly $290) and certificate I asked the judges as I walked down from the stage if they had made a mistake.
Honestly, I'm still trying to wrap my head around how I managed to win the Teachers Presentation Contest. While I am confident in my speaking ability (even though this was my first time speaking in front of over 100 people and being judged by it), and I am confident in my teaching ability, my presentation was not the best presentation of the day. There were several presentations which beat me not only in terms of material, but presentation as well. When I was talking with the judges afterwards they said that my presentation fit the criteria the best, which is a little shocking considering most of us had never seen the criteria. I am grateful for the win, and rather surprised by it, but other people who presented beat me easily in terms of style, and some substance. I guess I just hit all the right buttons.