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Author Topic: Cannot control class  (Read 2650 times)

Offline caroliinaa

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2018, 01:02:37 PM »
Sorry I should have said more. It's the start of my second week but I see my 3rd graders Mon/Wed/Fri. I teach as an after school teacher (TaLK Program) so I have 3rd-6th from 2:00-4:30pm every day. It's not like the whole school is bad and I love teaching, it's why I came here. I just have never in my life had a class like this before.

I really don't know why I have nobody to assist me, at least with my youngest kids. There's too many of them when it's just me and they don't speak much English at all. They even pretend to not know Korean when I speak it to them.

I feel bad to quit all rewards because the girls are angels and draw me pictures before class every time I see them. They participate as best they can given the situation but it's just the boys. I just think I don't have any choice in this situation and need to be tough like you said. I'm afraid to overstep in how firm I'm being with them because I definitely don't want to get fired.

Hey! I'm also a talk scholar and my province demands everyone has a co-teacher for their afterschool classes. If this behavior continues, I say talk to your POE about the situation! They will sort it out.
Also, I also recommend trying to befriend them (as a teacher figure of course) my worst class became my best class after I started to take an interest in my horrible behaving boy's favorite activities. (Lord knows how much I hate watching anime just so I can talk with them lol)

Online Cyanea

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2018, 11:37:09 PM »
Also, I also recommend trying to befriend them (as a teacher figure of course) my worst class became my best class after I started to take an interest in my horrible behaving boy's favorite activities.

Thats an important point. The system no longer allows us to take the traditional role of a teacher (ie someone with real power and authority). In reality we're exotic pets at the whim and mercy of the students. If you're able to drop your idealism about education and just hang out with the students every lesson, chatting and playing games, you will thrive in Korea. Its the people who actually take education seriously that draw all kinds of trouble on themselves.
Catch my drift?

Offline Bingsu

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2018, 10:25:13 AM »
It only works for kids who give a damn and actually want to be in my class though.

I've got 1 troublemaker who just blows me off and responds with 몰라요 or 모르겠어요 to even "Hello!"

He's the kind of kid who just comes over and shoves my hand off the mouse while I'm working the ppt or checking attendance. He just wants attention and goes about it negatively, but I know he understands me. The kids in his class all can understand hello/goodbye and he's said them to me before. He's just decided he can't be bothered coming into class anymore and just constantly yells out "모르겠어요" or "no no NO NO NOOOOOOO" during lessons and games. It doesn't matter what we do.

Trying to talk to him, shake his hand, ask how he's doing etc is a waste of time with him because he doesn't want to be here.

Online Cyanea

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2018, 03:59:18 PM »
It only works for kids who give a damn and actually want to be in my class though.

I've got 1 troublemaker who just blows me off and responds with 몰라요 or 모르겠어요 to even "Hello!"

He's the kind of kid who just comes over and shoves my hand off the mouse while I'm working the ppt or checking attendance. He just wants attention and goes about it negatively, but I know he understands me. The kids in his class all can understand hello/goodbye and he's said them to me before. He's just decided he can't be bothered coming into class anymore and just constantly yells out "모르겠어요" or "no no NO NO NOOOOOOO" during lessons and games. It doesn't matter what we do.

Trying to talk to him, shake his hand, ask how he's doing etc is a waste of time with him because he doesn't want to be here.

Yeah some kids (even some adults) only know how to function in negativity, they can't enjoy positivity. As you say its an attention-grabbing exercise for them.

Its either because they didn't get enough attention at home or they get too much  (ie spoiled and used to being the centre of attention).


Utterly frustrating, the 1% that can disrupt classes at will with impunity. The system used to deal with this type via CP but now they are simply allowed to wreck education for everyone else on an ongoing basis. Don't try to stop them, of course, because one complaint from mommy means you're a bad teacher.
Catch my drift?

Offline SanderB

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2018, 03:53:07 PM »
I feel very sorry for you.

You should first understand the situation:

He is gaining respect and traction among his peers for giving it to a teacher.
Not only that, you are foreign trash who should not be in charge of him.
The worse he can act the more positive gains he receives from it.
The more distress shows on your face the more the entire class falls in line with him.
A student, especially a boy, is never allowed to touch an adult in any which way. The fact he touches your mouse hand means you are lower than him in his eyes. Ergo he treats you like a dog.

Send him out immediately every day don't allow him inside but do not touch him ever.
What happens outside class is not your responsibility but per definition the school's.
You are being a bad teacher for not acting on this, sending a bad student out to protect the hard working students is your primary responsibility. This is something you should be very principled about.

Secondly:
Record each class. Show them to your manager. When parents show up they will be ashamed.

Thirdly:
Do not be afraid of losing your job. I believe there are tons of jobs out there, but other waygooks should weigh in on this.
In fact it is far more costly to find a new teacher (10 mill) then for you to find a new school.
Public school vs Hagwons, well I have taught only in hagwons there but compared to public school now, I really can't tell the difference.

Lastly:
You are extremely valuable. Go find another job while you keep this one and you could even explain the situation at your new employer's. It might shame them into feeling responsible for this Korean failure and wanting to show you there are great Korean schools as well.  ;D
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 04:00:40 PM by SanderB »
-Magister non olet- 
 but some students... :wink:

Offline fishead

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2018, 02:15:38 PM »
Not sure if these are things you do already, but some things that might help a little:

- Line Ss up outside your door before they come in. Quick 1v1 interview before they can enter the class. Don't just let them charge in whenever they want and make noise / cause mayhem from the beginning.

- Have some easy worksheets on the table ready for them as they enter, so no down time for them to muck around in. These worksheets can be 'find the items' kinda worksheets, word searches, colouring, dot-to-dots etc. Easy stuff that requires no English that they generally enjoy. Gives them something to focus on besides mucking around.

- RE: reward systems, try have two: one for the class, one for individuals. At the start of the class, each student gets points, as does the class as a whole. So the idea is that good behavior keeps points they have already earned, rather than earning points. I found this slight change of concept helped when I taught at elem.

- For individual reward systems, try have something tangible that they can feel. So rather than just a mark on the board for behaving well, give them something (a token, a fake dollar bill etc) that they then convert into points at the end of the class. Also means that punishing Ss by taking points means you are physically taking something from them, which is obviously more 'real'.

- Have the individual reward system conclude every 2 weeks or so. A monthly cashing in of prizes / end of semester thing is too far away for young kids. Also, if the badly behaved boys see the girls getting pencils / snacks (whatever prize you decide on) after a short period of good behavior, they might change their tune.

- Maybe you use it / know of it already, but I found Class Dojo worked really well when I taught rowdy 3rd/4th graders. Works well with the 'tangible' rewards I mentioned earlier. I used to give the kids laminated dollar bills (3 each) at the start of the class. During class, they could earn / lose them for good / bad behavior. At the end of the class, I'd line up the kids and do a quick 1v1 interview to recap what was covered in the lesson, then convert their dollar bills into Class Dojo points on the mobile app.

Sorry if this is stuff you do already, but hopefully one or two things might help you out. My final tip would be to try your best not to lose your cool - shouting / screaming at them might work for a while, but it'll mean you'll always have to resort to that to gain control.

These are good however I would add.
Each student gets a clear file. They put all their worksheets in the file. Everytime they do a worksheet well put a stamp on it. The clear file in an insurence policy that (a) Your worksheets will not be turned into paper airplanes. Or you will find them on the floor in the hall on your way home.

Line students up near the end on class. Ask each one questions on the material of the class. For example if you are doing prepositions ask them where something is. Don't let them leave the room until they answer correctly.

Have a boy/ girl/ boy/ girl seating plan posted and don't start teaching until they are all seated.

Make them wear nametags until you know all their names by heart. Randomly call on students to perform.

Only play one or two bomb games per semester. Too many bomb games make students feel entitled.

Start each class with a pop song Karoke video. Keep the same one until they have all memorised the song.

Offline Kolao

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2018, 02:39:03 PM »
Bring a book to class and some noise cancelling headphones. Sit back, feet up, relax and read. 45 minutes later, leave.

Done
When the wicked are confounded, and consigned to flames of woe, call me.

Offline debbiem89

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2018, 07:49:35 AM »
I feel this post SO MUCH.

I have one school where I have two classes like this. I mean they sound pretty similar to yours....rewards don't work, punishments generally don't work, I have no co teacher in one class and in one he's worse than useless (I mean he walks around giving them candy AS I'm trying to discipline them for bad behaviour or starts making them brush up the classroom as soon as I need them to be involved in something 0_0)

I would never give out candy on the regular ever again. I did it with my first school and it was a BIG mistake. They became spoilt brats who wouldn't say a word unless they got candy (didn't help that every time I asked a question my co teacher would yell "Candy! Candy!!!'). My exception this year was a World Cup sweepstake I organised where I gave them candy when their team scored. This was ruined yesterday was one particular troublemaker reached into the bag and grabbed like 15 pieces. The whole class doesn't get candy now for the rest of it and I made sure they all knew it was because of him.

I find if I do dish out punishments it has to be a class wide thing. These just work better for me. I stop games and make them do dictations etc.

Yelling doesn't work. AT. ALL. They think it's hilarious when foreign teachers yell...having said that I've lost my cool so many times on them over the year. It really can't be helped sometimes. I'm actually at the point where I just can't be bothered to yell anymore...I just stand and wait..it's too damn hot.

Punishments that do work...making them all write lines, taking away any chance of watching a movie that semester (Maybe they have to earn a movie day with like a certain amount of well behaved classes).

Honestly in my school all of the teachers have given up on them it's pretty sad. The teacher before me relied heavily on movies from what I've been told so now they feel like they're entitled to movies every other week. Their level is so so low and a lot of them do have serious issues outside of school. I just wish my school cared about them a little bit more, their clearly crying out for some discipline from somewhere.


One thing that did help a little was forming a relationship with the naughty students. In my school they are soo into football. They found out I'm from Liverpool and they love the EPL so they're constantly roasting me about my team. I don't know why this worked but as soon as we had a bit of banter and a laugh they started paying more attention (I incorporated Salah and Kane into a few powerpoints to tease them fore example). My football knowledge is rusty af but I made sure to keep up to date on the scores and teams so I could chat to them about it and laugh at how much korea suck ;)

Good Luck! Just know you're definitely not alone! They'll make you feel like a crap teacher sometimes but don't let them.

Offline rufus947

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2018, 08:10:14 AM »
I can definitely sympathize with debbie's co teacher issues. I have a temporary co teacher at the moment and they're pretty terrible. Low level English and not much teaching experience from what I can tell. For the past four months i've just been trying to ignore her. She never prepares anything for our lessons or even asks what we're doing. I spend weeks preparing an activity and her inability to explain the rules (despite discussing it with her in advance and trying my best to make sure she gets it) or her habit of letting the kids talk over her just ruins it. With song days she walks around chatting to the students in Korean while they're supposed to be listening and writing the missing words. This makes it harder for the other students to listen and reinforces the idea that talking in class is ok. I find it's better to do everything myself, including discipline. The only thing I left her to be in charge of was tests but when I asked if we had to do any tests it turned out we had to do a test on lesson four, lesson six and lesson seven.. which was annoying because we were on lesson seven at this stage. We ended up having three test classes in a row and it took every ounce of professionalism I have to not start every class with 'this is her fault, not mine'. After four months i'm feeling kind of burned out but at least i've learned a lot from the experience.

Offline debbiem89

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2018, 08:52:25 AM »
she walks around chatting to the students in Korean while they're supposed to be listening and writing the missing words.

OMG this is the most annoying thing. They chat to the students so they don't listen and one co teacher used to stand and plait the girls hair while I was teaching. wtf.

Also they translate absolutely everything into Korean instantly. The students have absolutely no need to listen to me when they know it's coming in Korean right after.

Honestly I would insist they all come to class but sometimes they're more of a hindrance than anything else.

Offline rufus947

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2018, 09:22:53 AM »
My co teacher doesn't really translate anything. I think she just doesn't understand which would be fine if she reviewed the material before class and prepared a little. Sometimes she's just standing at the back subtly using her phone which is really the ideal class situation these days. She doesn't seem to follow the lesson or understand what's going on sometimes either. Like the other day I start the lesson by checking the student's all have their nametags. I give one group point if all members at a table have their nametags and then I move onto the lesson and start introducing vocabulary and suddenly my co teacher starts yelling in Korean about giving one point for nametags completely unaware that we finished checking that a few minutes ago. The walking around and chatting in Korean thing is the worst though. It really makes my job a lot harder. My 5th grade and 4th grade co teachers are both fantastic so being stuck with an idiot who spends her afternoons on youtube rather than actually doing work is pretty annoying. I should just suck it up and deal with my last month of working with her but venting just feels too good lol.

Offline debbiem89

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2018, 11:06:43 AM »
Totally hear that about venting!!

Mine all use their phones at the back of class...one of them was actually talking on it the other day. I went over to ask her a question and she had the absolute cheek to get narky about me interrupting.

They've also gotten into a really annoying habit of turning up anywhere from 5-15 minutes late for my classes. This means its manic trying to get my badly behaved classes to sit and actually start the lesson.

She waltzes in while I'm having it out with a particularly unruly student who's giving me crap in Korean (eye rolling, answering back with snarky comments the lot). It's ridiculous and means the lesson starts on a terrible footing.

Sorry OP for turning this into a rant thread....but hopefully it shows you're not alone in your issues!

Offline Foreverparadise

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2018, 03:50:34 AM »
I also teach grade 1 kids but I teach music. You have to realize that kids at that age still have a short attention
span and you need to come up with more practical activities to keep them in greater order. But you also have to understand that some would also have behavioral problems because these kids are not spending enough time
with their families. Korean kids spend the highest amount of hours in education and parents spend millions of wonto send their kids to hagowns. The issue is that these kids are being deprived of their family time which is why
these behavioural problem are there. Kids at that age cannot be tourtured with too much homework from
school and hagwon and are therefore being deprived of their childhoods. So you have to expect these kids to have
more behavioral issues.

I never taught in any hagowns, only in the public schools. But I will tell you this, if you think kids in Korea have
that much behavioral problems, try coming here to the indigenous reserve where I work. (It's particularly worse
with the intermediate kids).

Online Cyanea

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2018, 04:49:12 AM »
Korean kids spend the highest amount of hours in education and parents spend millions of wonto send their kids to hagowns.

The issue is that these kids are being deprived of their family time which is why
these behavioural problem are there.

But I will tell you this, if you think kids in Korea have that much behavioral problems, try coming here to the indigenous reserve where I work. (It's particularly worse with the intermediate kids).


You link bad behaviour to denial of family time and you claim Korean kids spend the longest amount of time away from their families.

So logically your American kids on the reservation should be better behaved, not worse.


Kind of destroys your argument that behavioral problems are a result of lack of family time.

Catch my drift?

Offline hlangford.27

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2018, 08:51:55 AM »
I have problems with some of my middle-schoolers but honestly I think it's just them being kids. I also always lead by example. They can't always understand what I say but they will be able to see what I do: I show up to class before the final bell with everything prepped and ppt on the screen. I also show my students that I am willing to learn about their language and culture so they should be equally willing to learn about mine. Of course there are exceptions to all of these but I find that the students respect me if I am willing to lead by example.

I also have a few classroom management tricks.
- I have the phrase "no stamp no go" which is if they do not have a stamp on their work for the lesson then they are not allowed to leave the classroom when the bell rings. If they still do not want to do it in during the break then I keep them until the second bell which makes them late for the next class so then that teacher reprimands them in Korean.
- I never yell at them but rather just look stern and usually the anticipation of yelling is actually more frightening than a yell (my CTs always yell and the students just don't care anymore).
- I always go down to the students' level / kneel down or sit beside them when I want them to do their work. I don't want to tower over them or they might be too nervous. I want to show them I am willing to go down to their level and work quietly if they have troubles. I can also hear them better this way and point to the words.

Hopefully that helps a little.