March 22, 2019, 02:02:55 AM


Author Topic: Attitude towards foreign teachers  (Read 6416 times)

Offline APH

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #100 on: December 11, 2018, 10:12:03 PM »
Not sure how this thread got so sidetracked on names.

Today was probably my toughest day since i arrived, so many kids were seriously testing my patience. I donít have a co-teacher but I had a moment today where my manager was walking by my class as i was dealing with a badly behaved kid and she came in to the classroom to tell him off (in Korean). I find it embarrassing when a Korean teacher has to step in and tell the kids off for me, I also find it extremely frustrating how differently the students act when theyíre around Korean teachers.

Is what Iím experiencing normal then? Do other foreign teachers get the same level of disrespect we get at our school? Iím not a Ďsoftí teacher by any means and have no problems raising my voice and telling the kids off, itís just exhausting. I also stress a lot if I feel Iím not doing a good job and after a difficult class Iíll beat myself up about it afterwards trying to work out what Iím doing wrong. But like I said in the initial post, itís almost like theyíre used to treating foreign teachers this way??

Offline fishead

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #101 on: December 12, 2018, 06:56:03 AM »
 If it makes you feel any better I've seen Korean public school kids treat contract temporary teacher pretty badly.

Offline Piggydee

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #102 on: December 12, 2018, 07:35:16 AM »
Not sure how this thread got so sidetracked on names.

Today was probably my toughest day since i arrived, so many kids were seriously testing my patience. I don’t have a co-teacher but I had a moment today where my manager was walking by my class as i was dealing with a badly behaved kid and she came in to the classroom to tell him off (in Korean). I find it embarrassing when a Korean teacher has to step in and tell the kids off for me, I also find it extremely frustrating how differently the students act when they’re around Korean teachers.

Is what I’m experiencing normal then? Do other foreign teachers get the same level of disrespect we get at our school? I’m not a ‘soft’ teacher by any means and have no problems raising my voice and telling the kids off, it’s just exhausting. I also stress a lot if I feel I’m not doing a good job and after a difficult class I’ll beat myself up about it afterwards trying to work out what I’m doing wrong. But like I said in the initial post, it’s almost like they’re used to treating foreign teachers this way??

Yes most Korean kids treat the foreigner like garbage because 1.) You don't speak their language fluently (or maybe you do but in most cases no) 2.) It could be prejudices too.  3.) Most have been raised by their parents to always get what they want and never be reprimanded for bad behavior. 

And please, don't find it embarrassing that a Korean steps in and takes command.  Be thankful!  It's always nice when I see my Korean co-teachers give a nice healthy ear full to a little brat who was being absolutely terrible to me. 

Basically we are looked at as Infotainment.  It's something that is well known among us in the English teacher community. 
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 12:29:31 PM by Piggydee »

Offline SeoulAlone

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #103 on: December 12, 2018, 07:48:15 AM »
Not sure how this thread got so sidetracked on names.

Today was probably my toughest day since i arrived, so many kids were seriously testing my patience. I donít have a co-teacher but I had a moment today where my manager was walking by my class as i was dealing with a badly behaved kid and she came in to the classroom to tell him off (in Korean). I find it embarrassing when a Korean teacher has to step in and tell the kids off for me, I also find it extremely frustrating how differently the students act when theyíre around Korean teachers.

Is what Iím experiencing normal then? Do other foreign teachers get the same level of disrespect we get at our school? Iím not a Ďsoftí teacher by any means and have no problems raising my voice and telling the kids off, itís just exhausting. I also stress a lot if I feel Iím not doing a good job and after a difficult class Iíll beat myself up about it afterwards trying to work out what Iím doing wrong. But like I said in the initial post, itís almost like theyíre used to treating foreign teachers this way??

You're just lucky that your manager came in and lent you a hand.  I've read (mostly here) how awful some students can be and how NETs have zero help from their CT's.  Yesterday was also a sh*t show with my 5-1 class.  Two boys got into a fist fight and my one special needs students was picking on the other special needs girl making her scream and cry.  You're going to have days like these, there's no way around it.  And no, not all NETs are treated with disrespect.  Don't beat yourself up over it.  They're kids, and NO, I'm not making excuses for their behavior.  Don't take personally.  It'll just stress you out.  You have to establish who is going to "rule the coop" from day one.  The minute you show any sign of weakness, your students will use it to their advantage and do everything they can to peck at you. 

Offline Datasapien

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #104 on: December 12, 2018, 10:28:55 AM »
Not sure how this thread got so sidetracked on names.

Today was probably my toughest day since i arrived, so many kids were seriously testing my patience. I donít have a co-teacher but I had a moment today where my manager was walking by my class as i was dealing with a badly behaved kid and she came in to the classroom to tell him off (in Korean). I find it embarrassing when a Korean teacher has to step in and tell the kids off for me, I also find it extremely frustrating how differently the students act when theyíre around Korean teachers.

Is what Iím experiencing normal then? Do other foreign teachers get the same level of disrespect we get at our school? Iím not a Ďsoftí teacher by any means and have no problems raising my voice and telling the kids off, itís just exhausting. I also stress a lot if I feel Iím not doing a good job and after a difficult class Iíll beat myself up about it afterwards trying to work out what Iím doing wrong. But like I said in the initial post, itís almost like theyíre used to treating foreign teachers this way??

I think a lack of respect for NETs is a widespread problem that anyone who has taught in Korea has had to deal with, so don't feel bad about it. The fact that you worry about it is good as it means you want to improve, and so you will!

In my opinion, there are a few reasons for this.

1) NETs are generally inexperienced (generally!) when they arrive, and therefore don't have the required experience / knowledge / skills for effective classroom management. So students have years of being exposed to foreign teachers who can't control them, and carry these expectations into the classroom when they have a new NET.

2) We generally teach with KETs (generally!) and rely on them for classroom management. When the students see the KET doing all of the discipline in a lesson, it emphasises how powerless we appear.

3) NETs generally can't speak Korean (generally!) and have to use English for classroom management, which for younger kids at least, I think isn't anywhere near as effective. Students need simple instructions that can be understood easily, and have to have clear consequences for bad behaviour explained to them. Trying to calm down a class of rowdy kids by asking them nicely in English, or shouting at them in any language, isn't likely to get them to respect you imho.

4) We are newcomers to Korean school culture, and so we get thrown to the wolves with no instruction on what disciplinary tools we have at our disposal. They don't typically do detentions here, or sending of students to the head teacher / principal etc, so the punishments we remember from our own school days aren't available to us, and no KET (at least in my experience) has ever sat down and explained to me what systems are used here (if there are any!).

I think all of these factors combined make it a real uphill struggle to control classes here. But if its any consolation, the Korean teachers can't always cope either, and they have a lot more going for them than we do. My main advice to anyone struggling with it would be to study Korean and learn some general phrases for classroom management, and to try not to shout if you can help it.

I will be moving to some new schools in March and classroom management at one of my schools has been a real challenge, so I found some youtube videos that I highly recommend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u086rr7SRso He makes a lot of sense, and whilst not all of his tips are applicable to all of us, I think he has a lot of useful insights into how we can slowly try squeeze some respect out of our little devils cherubs  :angel:
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 12:33:05 PM by Datasapien »
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Offline Piggydee

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #105 on: December 12, 2018, 10:57:54 AM »
I couldn't agree with you more Datasapien!



1) NETs are generally inexperienced (generally!) when they arrive:  This point exactly.  OP if you perhaps maybe replaced the previous NET, where all they did was play games and watch youtube the whole time, then it would be hard for the students to take you seriously if the person you replaced was a joke. 

2) Point number two I sort of agree with.  If you have a weak co-teacher who just shrugs their shoulders and says "Meh What can we do?"  then that will make teaching in the classroom difficult.  When you have a strong co-teacher who emphasizes manners and respecting the hierarchy chain (which is a big thing here in Korea) then you will have students fall in line.  It's one thing for a NET to say "be nice" but it's another thing with a Korean teacher really drives home the emphasis on culture and respect. 

3) NETs generally can't speak Korean (generally!) : Yeah OP!  Brush up on your Korean.  Otherwise you're just going to be ignored like the Charlie Brown teacher ( youtube Charlie Brown teacher if you are too young to understand the reference.)  Saying 'sit down, pay attention' will just be received by Korean kids as "Womp womp womp womp womp!!"

4) I agree wholeheartedly with this point the most.  When we aren't allowed to ask students to stand in a corner for a "time out" or much less not allowed to yell at them, then pretty much manners and common courtesy is off the table with some of these kids.   

But hey you are here asking for tips and tricks, which is great!  Just keep trying your best!  We've all been there!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 11:00:18 AM by Piggydee »

Offline Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #106 on: December 12, 2018, 11:34:25 AM »
Yeah, for those of you who think that Korean kids NEVER act this way to Korean teachers, there are plenty of youtube videos of Korean students gone wild and I've known a couple Korean teachers who had zero control over their classroom. One of them even complained about me when I disciplined them and either the head teacher or VP basically told her "Why aren't you doing what he did?" or something along those lines. I'm not sure exactly, because I never heard about it until a few weeks after the whole disciplining, so evidently the school was on my side.

I do admit, that it must be harder these days because some of the techniques I used when I first arrived to establish my reputation at the school would probably be seriously verboten nowadays. Guess you just have to get creative. Or drink. At a certain point, it is fine to wave the white flag and let it turn into animal house as you enjoy your Irish Coffee.

Offline fishead

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #107 on: December 12, 2018, 01:35:09 PM »
Yeah, for those of you who think that Korean kids NEVER act this way to Korean teachers, there are plenty of youtube videos of Korean students gone wild and I've known a couple Korean teachers who had zero control over their classroom. One of them even complained about me when I disciplined them and either the head teacher or VP basically told her "Why aren't you doing what he did?" or something along those lines. I'm not sure exactly, because I never heard about it until a few weeks after the whole disciplining, so evidently the school was on my side.

I do admit, that it must be harder these days because some of the techniques I used when I first arrived to establish my reputation at the school would probably be seriously verboten nowadays. Guess you just have to get creative. Or drink. At a certain point, it is fine to wave the white flag and let it turn into animal house as you enjoy your Irish Coffee.

 Yes,. they do. when they do it is usually because of the one of the following reasons.
The said Korean teacher is a contract intern. He/ she hasn't officially been hired by the school or Board of Education.
Not only are the students disrespectful towards them Korean regular teachers are pretty nasty to them.
The Korean teacher is older and burnt out. Maybe just a few years short of retirement.
The Korean teacher is newly hired and they don't know what they are doing.
The Korean teacher is a home room teacher in charge of the worst behaved home room class and they are burnt out and bitter and the whole staff and students know it.

Offline sh9wntm

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #108 on: December 13, 2018, 07:48:40 AM »
I think someone touched on this briefly in this thread, but has anyone else experienced an expectation for English favors (like teaching teachers, doing their work, or helping their friends?). At my 2 middle schools, I've been asked to edit tests and edit the school newspaper. I didn't fight those because they're job related. But then recently one co-teacher has tried to coerce me to give a free English lesson to teachers and another wanted me to edit her friend's letter of intent for an English University. All with the expectation that I have nothing better to do and will do it for free. It definitely rubbed me the wrong way that they wouldn't at least offer something in return out of respect for my time and abilities.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 07:51:54 AM by sh9wntm »

Offline alexisalex

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #109 on: December 13, 2018, 08:26:38 AM »
I think someone touched on this briefly in this thread, but has anyone else experienced an expectation for English favors (like teaching teachers, doing their work, or helping their friends?). At my 2 middle schools, I've been asked to edit tests and edit the school newspaper. I didn't fight those because they're job related. But then recently one co-teacher has tried to coerce me to give a free English lesson to teachers and another wanted me to edit her friend's letter of intent for an English University. All with the expectation that I have nothing better to do and will do it for free. It definitely rubbed me the wrong way that they wouldn't at least offer something in return out of respect for my time and abilities.

I think it's written in the contract that "teaching teachers" is part of the job in which case it would count towards your 22 lessons per week.

The other stuff would just be favours so it would be up to you.  But I definitely agree with you; that sort of thing rubs me the wrong way as well considering I get little to no help from my coteachers in regards to my work/classes.

Offline Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #110 on: December 13, 2018, 08:33:09 AM »
I think someone touched on this briefly in this thread, but has anyone else experienced an expectation for English favors (like teaching teachers, doing their work, or helping their friends?). At my 2 middle schools, I've been asked to edit tests and edit the school newspaper. I didn't fight those because they're job related. But then recently one co-teacher has tried to coerce me to give a free English lesson to teachers and another wanted me to edit her friend's letter of intent for an English University. All with the expectation that I have nothing better to do and will do it for free. It definitely rubbed me the wrong way that they wouldn't at least offer something in return out of respect for my time and abilities.

I think it's written in the contract that "teaching teachers" is part of the job in which case it would count towards your 22 lessons per week.

The other stuff would just be favours so it would be up to you.  But I definitely agree with you; that sort of thing rubs me the wrong way as well considering I get little to no help from my coteachers in regards to my work/classes.

Other than all those times you need someones help with Korean. Or going to the bank. Or using a washing machine. Or dealing with a neighbor.

Favors are like currency. Invest and save. Don't give them away but don't avoid earning either.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 08:35:06 AM by Mr.DeMartino »

Offline alexisalex

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #111 on: December 13, 2018, 08:40:15 AM »
I think someone touched on this briefly in this thread, but has anyone else experienced an expectation for English favors (like teaching teachers, doing their work, or helping their friends?). At my 2 middle schools, I've been asked to edit tests and edit the school newspaper. I didn't fight those because they're job related. But then recently one co-teacher has tried to coerce me to give a free English lesson to teachers and another wanted me to edit her friend's letter of intent for an English University. All with the expectation that I have nothing better to do and will do it for free. It definitely rubbed me the wrong way that they wouldn't at least offer something in return out of respect for my time and abilities.

I think it's written in the contract that "teaching teachers" is part of the job in which case it would count towards your 22 lessons per week.

The other stuff would just be favours so it would be up to you.  But I definitely agree with you; that sort of thing rubs me the wrong way as well considering I get little to no help from my coteachers in regards to my work/classes.

Other than all those times you need someones help with Korean. Or going to the bank. Or using a washing machine. Or dealing with a neighbor.

Favors are like currency. Invest and save. Don't give them away but don't avoid earning either.

Well yeah, obviously.  I have coteachers who have helped me with things like that and I've had no problem returning the favour.

But I've also had coteachers who've refused to help me with things ("sorry but that's not my job") so I'd be a lot less likely to do them a favour if the time came.

Offline sh9wntm

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #112 on: December 13, 2018, 09:00:17 AM »
I think someone touched on this briefly in this thread, but has anyone else experienced an expectation for English favors (like teaching teachers, doing their work, or helping their friends?). At my 2 middle schools, I've been asked to edit tests and edit the school newspaper. I didn't fight those because they're job related. But then recently one co-teacher has tried to coerce me to give a free English lesson to teachers and another wanted me to edit her friend's letter of intent for an English University. All with the expectation that I have nothing better to do and will do it for free. It definitely rubbed me the wrong way that they wouldn't at least offer something in return out of respect for my time and abilities.

I think it's written in the contract that "teaching teachers" is part of the job in which case it would count towards your 22 lessons per week.

The other stuff would just be favours so it would be up to you.  But I definitely agree with you; that sort of thing rubs me the wrong way as well considering I get little to no help from my coteachers in regards to my work/classes.

Other than all those times you need someones help with Korean. Or going to the bank. Or using a washing machine. Or dealing with a neighbor.

Favors are like currency. Invest and save. Don't give them away but don't avoid earning either.

Except my co-teachers haven't helped me with any of that and avoided going to the bank with me when I asked  ;D Maybe that's why it doesn't feel mutual.

Offline Kayos

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #113 on: December 13, 2018, 09:21:36 AM »
I think someone touched on this briefly in this thread, but has anyone else experienced an expectation for English favors (like teaching teachers, doing their work, or helping their friends?). At my 2 middle schools, I've been asked to edit tests and edit the school newspaper. I didn't fight those because they're job related. But then recently one co-teacher has tried to coerce me to give a free English lesson to teachers and another wanted me to edit her friend's letter of intent for an English University. All with the expectation that I have nothing better to do and will do it for free. It definitely rubbed me the wrong way that they wouldn't at least offer something in return out of respect for my time and abilities.

I think it's written in the contract that "teaching teachers" is part of the job in which case it would count towards your 22 lessons per week.

The other stuff would just be favours so it would be up to you.  But I definitely agree with you; that sort of thing rubs me the wrong way as well considering I get little to no help from my coteachers in regards to my work/classes.

Other than all those times you need someones help with Korean. Or going to the bank. Or using a washing machine. Or dealing with a neighbor.

Favors are like currency. Invest and save. Don't give them away but don't avoid earning either.

Also, your co-T is (usually) paid extra to kinda help you with that kinda stuff; However, knowing that, usually I get my co-T a small gift as thanks near the end / start of the year, for all the help she gives me. And I help her when she asks me for help too (which has been pretty rare).

Online Chinguetti

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #114 on: December 13, 2018, 09:23:25 AM »
Except my co-teachers haven't helped me with any of that and avoided going to the bank with me when I asked  ;D Maybe that's why it doesn't feel mutual.

Exactly. I've even had KTs tell me it wasn't their jobs to tell me things that were actually job related and that I had no way of learning on my own. Communicating with coworkers about their jobs isn't a favor, and it's more than just a professional courtesy, too. That sort of thing isn't written into contracts because it's common sense and a standard duty in a professional setting. But not to some people, apparently.

I don't play those kinds of stupid games with people like that, and if I get even a whiff of someone trying to take advantage, I'll have all sorts of excuses that equates to a resounding "no."

For me, whether or not I do a person a favor will depend on that person's attitude towards me throughout the entire year, AND how they approach me about the favor. If they act entitled and treat it like it's my obligation, they can go to hell. If they ask me politely and were respectful towards me throughout our work relationship, and it doesn't violate any terms of my contract, then sure.

Not everyone is benevolent, and people need to be able to stick up for themselves and to protect their own interests sometimes.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 07:23:15 AM by Chinguetti »

Offline alexisalex

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #115 on: December 13, 2018, 10:34:30 AM »
I've found that to be a HUGE cultural difference. 

When I worked in the UK I found that people generally helped one another regardless of what their role was and asking for help "intra" or "inter" team/department was common.  No harm done and if you can help then you help.

It's the total opposite in my school.  If something falls even a hair outside of their job description then the person won't help.  I've actually had people tell me not to ask certain people for help (even when it was a one minute task or something).

I actually did guess that because our CTs get extra money to help us (not sure if ever confirmed), other teachers see helping us as "extra" work that they're not receiving any money for.  Brilliant.

This whole topic irks me so much because I know I go well above and beyond in my job but I could very easily play the same game and say, a la Pecan, "Oh sorry, I'm just an assistant teacher, you lead the class and I'll assist".

Urgh, just ranted, sorry  :laugh:  Oh and also agree with Chinguetti above 100%.

Offline oglop

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #116 on: December 13, 2018, 01:27:00 PM »
^ the same happens in everyday life though. no one says sorry when they bump you, no one holds doors open, no one moves out of the way if you need to get past.

Offline sh9wntm

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #117 on: December 13, 2018, 02:43:19 PM »
^ the same happens in everyday life though. no one says sorry when they bump you, no one holds doors open, no one moves out of the way if you need to get past.

Kinda surprising coming from a nation with more self-proclaimed social cohesion than the waygooks.

Offline Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #118 on: December 13, 2018, 02:48:31 PM »
I've found that to be a HUGE cultural difference. 

When I worked in the UK I found that people generally helped one another regardless of what their role was and asking for help "intra" or "inter" team/department was common.  No harm done and if you can help then you help.

It's the total opposite in my school.  If something falls even a hair outside of their job description then the person won't help.  I've actually had people tell me not to ask certain people for help (even when it was a one minute task or something).

I actually did guess that because our CTs get extra money to help us (not sure if ever confirmed), other teachers see helping us as "extra" work that they're not receiving any money for.  Brilliant.

This whole topic irks me so much because I know I go well above and beyond in my job but I could very easily play the same game and say, a la Pecan, "Oh sorry, I'm just an assistant teacher, you lead the class and I'll assist".

Urgh, just ranted, sorry  :laugh:  Oh and also agree with Chinguetti above 100%.

It depends where you work. Some Korean schools or businesses, you'll have good cooperation. Others, everyone will be on guard and distant. Same with back home. Heck, it can happen in the same business with a simple change in management.

Everyone thinks the other teachers are being dicks. Then they get moved to a work situation and have to deal with some FNG asking 50 questions and needing help with everything and them getting stuck with them while everyone else gets their work done. Some are saints and have no problem. Most people if not, agreeing with a mercenary attitude, at least start to see the other side of things.

Point is, it's a two-way street. You have to establish some kind of credit. First small favor your CT does for you, send a gift. If you ever receive a significant favor from another CT, gift. Now, don't gift for every small thing, but do show it.

There's a basic scale-
Anything under 15 minutes- gratis
15-45 minutes- coffee
45-hr.- small lunch
1-2 hours- good dinner
2 hours plus+ Box of something and coffee and a meal.

Put it this way, how much do you think you should get paid an hour? Start doing the math. In most of these cases, for the amount of help you're getting and the time involved, you're getting a discount on one hour of another human being's life.

Help is to be appreciated, not expected.

Offline Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Attitude towards foreign teachers
« Reply #119 on: December 13, 2018, 02:49:20 PM »
^ the same happens in everyday life though. no one says sorry when they bump you, no one holds doors open, no one moves out of the way if you need to get past.

Kinda surprising coming from a nation with more self-proclaimed social cohesion than the waygooks.
Then again, no one takes someone's head off FOR bumping into them.

Koreans need to bump less, waygooks need to chill the eff out about getting bumped.