The Teacher Evaluations
Black Dog returns with a slightly better episode this time around, one concentrating on the teacher evaluations. While the drama continues to feel very slow paced, it does tackle another interesting subject which helps hide some of this; a nice changing approach after spending the last few episodes mainly on the college applications subject.
We start episode 10 with Jae-Hyun remembering the day before during breakfast while his dad tells him to get in his homeroom teacher’s good books. At the same time, we learn that it’s the student record season and the first round is due just after the summer break. As the break ends, the teachers and students return with a fresh mind and ready to score the teachers for their evaluations. The principal does an announcement on the school speakers and asks everyone to give their teachers the maximum score.
Ha-Neul gets called into the administration office though, along with Hae-won and two other teachers. Jae-Hee shows Ha-Neul that the part she wrote in one student report had to be cut. She then asks the other teachers to make their parts shorter as Ha-Neul’s is more important since she’s in charge of the Icarus class and it would help more with their college applications.
After Ha-Neul receives some presents from three students, we see Hae-Jee teaching Ha-Neul’s senior class. Jae-Hyun gets in trouble when he starts sleeping in the classroom so the teacher takes him to her office and scolds him. Some of the girls visit Ha-Neul and complain about Hae-Jee, explaining that she never actually teaches them anything and forces them to only do presentations.
The teachers find out that the Vice Principal has sent texts to the students’ parents requesting evaluations. An angry Ms Park decides to confront him with other teachers about it, telling him they didn’t do the informational to get good evaluations from the parents. Her confrontation puts the college group in his bad books though as we later see him nitpicking different members.
In the evening, Myung-Soo invites Ha-Neul out for dinner where he talks to her about filling out the student records. She tells him she’s struggling though as there are so many. He explains that she doesn’t have to fill them all in and confesses that some students are only nice to her because she’s the one writing in their report.
The next day, the teachers’ evaluations are up and they find out that they didn’t all give each other 5 stars as someone gave Mr Song 1 star. Hae-Jee gets a low score too and believes it’s Jae-Hyun’s handywork. Suddenly the teachers find out that the study room has been trashed and the words “Die Icarus” have been written on the lockers. As it was Jae-Hyun who was in charge that weekend, Hae-Jee immediately blames him.
Later on, Ms Park overhears the Vice Principal telling the Principal that they should make Mr Do quit his TV lessons as he believes they’re too much for him. Ha-Neul meanwhile comes face to face with Jae-Hyun in a shop on her way home. He tells her that he didn’t come to her office for the student records but just wanted to see her. Before saying goodbye, he also tells her that he and other students have decided to visit her next year after they graduate, which reminds her of Young-Ha.
Back home, Ha-Neul reads all the comments her students left her and gets very emotional as they’re full of compliments. With renewed vigor, she vows to be there next year. The episode then closes with Hae-Won seeing one of the teachers going into a car with the chief of administration, whom she calls Uncle. In an epilogue, we also see that it was Mr Ha who gave Mr Song 1 star.
The pressure continues for the teachers as they have to face evaluations from students, their parents and their peers. All this while still working hard at filling out the student records. While Ha-Neul receives good feedback, we’re left to wonder if Jae-Hyun’s comments were only to get in her good books; an attempt to get a glowing report for his college application.
Hae-Won also witnesses something suspicious when he sees a teacher calling the chief administrator her uncle and with the permanent teacher position being announced soon, the pressure is on. Both Hae-Won and Ha-Neul really deserve the position and it’ll be heartbreaking for the one who doesn’t get it; especially if it’s Hae-Won as he has been a short term teacher for 6 years now and seems to be at breaking point.
Black Dog is not a bad Korean drama, despite the issues it has with pacing. It boasts some very informative story lines and some good performance from the actors involved. It’ll be interesting to see if this drama receives a decent closure to end its narrative but for now, Black Dog bows out this week with plenty of unanswered questions hanging over this one.
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Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!