December 14, 2018, 06:48:39 PM


Author Topic: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)  (Read 17681 times)

Offline TheWB18

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 634
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2012, 09:57:48 AM »
Quit.  This is not a hard job, but you have to have some level of enthusiasm to get the job done.  If you don't, you are effectively depriving kids of an education.  It's not about you, it's about them.  If you leave, then hopefully a more enthusiastic person will take your place.



Yup, kids who don't pay attention, never do homework, always say they hate English, never bring a notebook, book or pencil,etc... YOU really are depriving them of an  education. I am not saying to be a mime and lazy when teaching nothing will be that helpful unless they are actually wanting to learn.


It's part of our jobs to control this behavior.  If you have these problems, you shouldn't be blaming it on the students.  I've seen the worst of the worst classes totally turned around by an enthusiastic and involved teacher.  You know...the ones that don't do it for the pay check.

True, but when half of the students come into class disrespecting you based on being foreign, or not speaking Korean, or because your language is that of "others", it becomes entirely different.  If your kids don't like English the same way they don't like math, fine, you need to motivate them.  But if theyd on't like English because of political reasons, that's a different story.  This also compounds discipline...keeping 40 kids who don't feel they should respect you in order is a gargantuan task, and if you can truly say you've accomplished it, props to you.  But that doesn't mean it's a realistic job expectation.

Offline flasyb

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1901
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2012, 10:38:32 AM »
Quit.  This is not a hard job, but you have to have some level of enthusiasm to get the job done.  If you don't, you are effectively depriving kids of an education.  It's not about you, it's about them.  If you leave, then hopefully a more enthusiastic person will take your place.



Yup, kids who don't pay attention, never do homework, always say they hate English, never bring a notebook, book or pencil,etc... YOU really are depriving them of an  education. I am not saying to be a mime and lazy when teaching nothing will be that helpful unless they are actually wanting to learn.


It's part of our jobs to control this behavior.  If you have these problems, you shouldn't be blaming it on the students.  I've seen the worst of the worst classes totally turned around by an enthusiastic and involved teacher.  You know...the ones that don't do it for the pay check.

I don't believe you have. I could be wrong but until you've taught at a particularly bad technical high school, you haven't seen the worst classes.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

We are not "guests" in Korea. Korea didn't invite us over for Pimms in the garden. We are paid employees.

Offline Wintermute

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
  • Gender: Male
  • High School - Speech
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2012, 11:01:12 AM »
I'd like to chime in as well. I read most of the post, but honestly not all, so sorry if I'm repeating.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the NET program, but something wrong with the NETs. Most NETs have the wrong idea of what this class really is.

Our class is seen the same as an Art class, P.E. class, or Music class. It's not graded or tested, it's just for..."fun". I'm sorry.

But heres the thing y'all forget. Students learn in Art class, students learn in P.E. class, students learn in Music class Students can, if you enable it, learn in your English class.

Students need a break from such strict learning. They have far more important and serious things to worry about than our fun class.

Which leads me to my last point. I think most NETs way over estimate how important learning English is here.

Offline ToulouseLautrec

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 100
  • Gender: Female
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2012, 12:06:46 PM »
I'd like to chime in as well. I read most of the post, but honestly not all, so sorry if I'm repeating.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the NET program, but something wrong with the NETs. Most NETs have the wrong idea of what this class really is.

Our class is seen the same as an Art class, P.E. class, or Music class. It's not graded or tested, it's just for..."fun". I'm sorry.

But heres the thing y'all forget. Students learn in Art class, students learn in P.E. class, students learn in Music class Students can, if you enable it, learn in your English class.

Students need a break from such strict learning. They have far more important and serious things to worry about than our fun class.

Which leads me to my last point. I think most NETs way over estimate how important learning English is here.


There are too many conflicting messages on the importance of English in Korea. On the one hand, like you said, it's unimportant enough to be the fun class that's not graded. On the other hand, English tests in the future will determine most of the students' fates. Its also important enough to warrant hiring thousands of English speakers from around the world. It just doesn't make sense. How about explaining that? We will continue having a difficult time here until Korea gets over its disgust vs. need for English conflict and decides what it's going to be.

Offline gtrain83

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1756
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2012, 12:16:10 PM »
Quit.  This is not a hard job, but you have to have some level of enthusiasm to get the job done.  If you don't, you are effectively depriving kids of an education.  It's not about you, it's about them.  If you leave, then hopefully a more enthusiastic person will take your place.



Yup, kids who don't pay attention, never do homework, always say they hate English, never bring a notebook, book or pencil,etc... YOU really are depriving them of an  education. I am not saying to be a mime and lazy when teaching nothing will be that helpful unless they are actually wanting to learn.


It's part of our jobs to control this behavior.  If you have these problems, you shouldn't be blaming it on the students.  I've seen the worst of the worst classes totally turned around by an enthusiastic and involved teacher.  You know...the ones that don't do it for the pay check.

I try to be enthusiastic and involved both in and out of school. I try to make the lesson as fun as possible without using a bomb game or some other bs. Reward programs are in place as well. I dole out punishments when needed, too.

I see my kids outside of school ALL the time, as I live literally a 30 second walk from school. I talk to them all the time when I see them. Ask them how they are, what they are doing, say hello to their parents, etc. etc. I try to get them excited for talking English with me by sitting with them at a small food stand, etc.

When you constantly try and beg and plead to just bring a book and try and they don't...how is that any ones fault but their own? And when you are here in month six and students in your class still refer to you as "waygookin" and not 삼, 산생님, teacher, your name, etc.... how is that my fault? Sorry but MANY of them do not give two f's if your class is fun or not. They simply don't care about the clown waygook teacher or the clown's class.


hilarity ensues

  • Guest
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2012, 12:29:06 PM »
English is still very important (or treated as such anyways)-- which is actually one of the reasons why it can be hated, because a lot of Koreans don't like the fact that everything else seems to be taking a back seat, and in some cases they see it as an extension of the American occupation.   

If you are working at a public school, then they DO get a grade in English, just not in your class. Your class is a supplement... which means it can be fun and games or it can be something else... it all depends on you, the school, the kids, the principal, etc.

Nobody can claim to be any kind of authority on what we're supposed to be doing... but claiming it's supposed to be all fun and games or all hard work is just speculation. I try for a mix of the two just because I like my dignity but I don't have any delusions that my class isn't super important to them... still, they should be learning and the tone should still be education first, fun second... though you should definitely also have fun and be creative. A lot of Korean kids LIKE studying, improving, being creative, expressing themselves... at least in my middle school they do.

The bottom line is that we provide an 'authentic' experience with a native speaker... basically, we're the next best thing for kids who can't spend heaps of time abroad in a genuine immersion experience. The trouble is that with some students you really can't get there right away because they don't have a foundation.

Offline abarkl

  • Waygookin
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2012, 12:43:27 PM »
Just because you're not cut out to be an ESL teacher, or don't have a desire to, isn't really a solid reason to throw into question the whole idea of English teachers in Korea. Sure, you may find limits to the system in which you're working. And true, you may not agree with what's taught, but it's your job to use the resources the students have and make it worth their time. It's the same process a teacher in any subject is supposed to go through. A bunch of kids sitting in front of books isn't going to teach them anything. It's your job to do that. If you're not happy doing it, find another job. Nobody's keeping you here.

Offline abarkl

  • Waygookin
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2012, 12:48:36 PM »
Just because you're not cut out to be an ESL teacher, or don't have a desire to, isn't really a solid reason to throw into question the whole idea of English teachers in Korea. Sure, you may find limits to the system in which you're working. And true, you may not agree with what's taught, but it's your job to use the resources the students have and make it worth their time. It's the same process a teacher in any subject is supposed to go through. A bunch of kids sitting in front of books isn't going to teach them anything. It's your job to do that. If you're not happy doing it, find another job. Nobody's keeping you here.

Offline Cereal

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1239
  • Gender: Male
  • Awwww man!
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2012, 12:53:25 PM »
Quit.  This is not a hard job, but you have to have some level of enthusiasm to get the job done.  If you don't, you are effectively depriving kids of an education.  It's not about you, it's about them.  If you leave, then hopefully a more enthusiastic person will take your place.



Yup, kids who don't pay attention, never do homework, always say they hate English, never bring a notebook, book or pencil,etc... YOU really are depriving them of an  education. I am not saying to be a mime and lazy when teaching nothing will be that helpful unless they are actually wanting to learn.


It's part of our jobs to control this behavior.  If you have these problems, you shouldn't be blaming it on the students.  I've seen the worst of the worst classes totally turned around by an enthusiastic and involved teacher.  You know...the ones that don't do it for the pay check.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with "working for a paycheck." To say or believe that a person who is working for a paycheck, and thus does a less than inspiring job, is insulting.

I've seen "To Sir With Love", it was a movie.

I'm here for the paycheck. I like Saturdays and Sundays and I love the 25th of every month. I was asked to sign a second contract halfway through my first and my CT asked me if I was interested in staying a third year this past week, the third week of my second contract.

Clearly I'm pleasing someone, and it's all because of my paycheck!

As long as I like the tune they're playing, I'll keep dancing, and dancing well.
"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge."
Bakunin

Offline jurassic82

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 242
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2012, 01:14:00 PM »
I'd like to chime in as well. I read most of the post, but honestly not all, so sorry if I'm repeating.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the NET program, but something wrong with the NETs. Most NETs have the wrong idea of what this class really is.

Our class is seen the same as an Art class, P.E. class, or Music class. It's not graded or tested, it's just for..."fun". I'm sorry.

But heres the thing y'all forget. Students learn in Art class, students learn in P.E. class, students learn in Music class Students can, if you enable it, learn in your English class.

Students need a break from such strict learning. They have far more important and serious things to worry about than our fun class.

Which leads me to my last point. I think most NETs way over estimate how important learning English is here.

Right on. I don't get it when teachers come on here and complain how their school and students don't take learning English more seriously and academically. If you want to teach in a more academic siutation get a Masters in TESOL and try a university or if you are a certified teacher go for an international school or some of the private high schools here. As for public schools in Korea we are here as more or less guest. We are intended to make the classes fun. How do you expect the students to get interested in studying English if we just stand in class and expect students to listen to us lecture all class period. They are going to be bored to death. I hate to say it but we are here to get the students excited about studying English and that requires making the lessons fun. The korean teachers are the real teachers in the eyes of adminstration. I know this sucks to hear but we are here to assist them. That is fine for myself and most of the other teachers here I know. If that is a problem then please leave or try one of the other academic institutions I recommended. Anyways, better luck to whatever you decide to pursue in the future. ;D

Offline cowboy7

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 282
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2012, 02:27:47 PM »

I've seen the worst of the worst classes totally turned around by an enthusiastic and involved teacher.

I have too, in Stand and Deliver and also Dangerous Minds.  Someone before mentioned To Sir with Love.  I'm not saying that kids who are tough to teach can't be turned around. I think those movies were based on true stories.  But at the same time you have to admit, it can be asking a lot.  That's part of why the OP is ranting.  I hope he can find a better fit.

And enthusiasm specifically is not the answer to "turning around" every class.  I think a lot of very enthusiastic people come here and get crushed by the circumstances. 

Offline JahRhythm

  • Fanatical Supporter!
  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • ***
  • Posts: 1122
  • Gender: Male
  • University E2 Visa
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2012, 02:55:35 PM »
I'd like to chime in as well. I read most of the post, but honestly not all, so sorry if I'm repeating.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the NET program, but something wrong with the NETs. Most NETs have the wrong idea of what this class really is.

Our class is seen the same as an Art class, P.E. class, or Music class. It's not graded or tested, it's just for..."fun". I'm sorry.

But heres the thing y'all forget. Students learn in Art class, students learn in P.E. class, students learn in Music class Students can, if you enable it, learn in your English class.

Students need a break from such strict learning. They have far more important and serious things to worry about than our fun class.

Which leads me to my last point. I think most NETs way over estimate how important learning English is here.

Oh boy. How about a standard national curriculum? You know, where the public schools would have objectives and benchmarks by grade so that teachers would know what their students "should" know and how to assess their progress along with professionally produced textbooks and materials for accomplishing those goals.
Or just allow a bunch of hack waygs who don't know their ass from their elbow creating useless powerpoint after useless powerpoint about God knows what without any sense of how that fits into the bigger picture.
We teach EFL not ESL. Hagwon and "Private School" are not synonymous. Not everyone works in either a hagwon or public school. Immigration Question? Call 1345.

Offline Yu_Bumsuk

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 2341
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2012, 03:04:32 PM »
I'd like to chime in as well. I read most of the post, but honestly not all, so sorry if I'm repeating.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the NET program, but something wrong with the NETs. Most NETs have the wrong idea of what this class really is.

Our class is seen the same as an Art class, P.E. class, or Music class. It's not graded or tested, it's just for..."fun". I'm sorry.

But heres the thing y'all forget. Students learn in Art class, students learn in P.E. class, students learn in Music class Students can, if you enable it, learn in your English class.

Students need a break from such strict learning. They have far more important and serious things to worry about than our fun class.

Which leads me to my last point. I think most NETs way over estimate how important learning English is here.

Right on. I don't get it when teachers come on here and complain how their school and students don't take learning English more seriously and academically. If you want to teach in a more academic siutation get a Masters in TESOL and try a university or if you are a certified teacher go for an international school or some of the private high schools here. As for public schools in Korea we are here as more or less guest. We are intended to make the classes fun. How do you expect the students to get interested in studying English if we just stand in class and expect students to listen to us lecture all class period. They are going to be bored to death. I hate to say it but we are here to get the students excited about studying English and that requires making the lessons fun. The korean teachers are the real teachers in the eyes of adminstration. I know this sucks to hear but we are here to assist them. That is fine for myself and most of the other teachers here I know. If that is a problem then please leave or try one of the other academic institutions I recommended. Anyways, better luck to whatever you decide to pursue in the future. ;D

I really wish that people would emphasise 'interesting' over 'fun'. If lessons or parts of lessons are fun or funny that's great, but it's no recipe for long-term improvement and motivation.



Offline Jrong

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 2381
  • Gender: Male
  • i love food
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2012, 03:09:53 PM »
Let's be nice to the hack waygs like me. If the "people at the top" designed a better curriculum (as you said) and also communicated the "big picture" down the ladder of servanthood (which they don't and knowing Korean culture, they won't) then I do think the ESL program would be vastly different. It's not our fault that we have no idea how what we're teaching fits into the big picture.

Also probably a good idea to let students know what "the big picture" is b/c not knowing the big picture and just having stuff thrown at me was the reason I tuned out throughout school.
"When in doubt...ask Troglodyte" ~0mnslnd

Offline Cereal

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1239
  • Gender: Male
  • Awwww man!
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2012, 03:12:13 PM »

I've seen the worst of the worst classes totally turned around by an enthusiastic and involved teacher.

I have too, in Stand and Deliver and also Dangerous Minds.  Someone before mentioned To Sir with Love.  I'm not saying that kids who are tough to teach can't be turned around. I think those movies were based on true stories.  But at the same time you have to admit, it can be asking a lot.  That's part of why the OP is ranting.  I hope he can find a better fit.

And enthusiasm specifically is not the answer to "turning around" every class.  I think a lot of very enthusiastic people come here and get crushed by the circumstances.

Well put.
"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge."
Bakunin

Offline w4z

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 205
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2012, 06:36:11 PM »
Quit.  This is not a hard job, but you have to have some level of enthusiasm to get the job done.  If you don't, you are effectively depriving kids of an education.  It's not about you, it's about them.  If you leave, then hopefully a more enthusiastic person will take your place.



Yup, kids who don't pay attention, never do homework, always say they hate English, never bring a notebook, book or pencil,etc... YOU really are depriving them of an  education. I am not saying to be a mime and lazy when teaching nothing will be that helpful unless they are actually wanting to learn.


It's part of our jobs to control this behavior.  If you have these problems, you shouldn't be blaming it on the students.  I've seen the worst of the worst classes totally turned around by an enthusiastic and involved teacher.  You know...the ones that don't do it for the pay check.

I don't believe you have. I could be wrong but until you've taught at a particularly bad technical high school, you haven't seen the worst classes.

I was a TA for a particularly bad technical college.  Does that count? The professor did quite a good job turning the students around.  He was fairly new to teaching, but he was an 80 year old professional in his field.  He loved it, and in turn, the students respected his passion and enthusiasm.  The year prior to his hiring, most kids dropped the course.

Offline w4z

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 205
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2012, 06:48:08 PM »

I've seen the worst of the worst classes totally turned around by an enthusiastic and involved teacher.
And enthusiasm specifically is not the answer to "turning around" every class.  I think a lot of very enthusiastic people come here and get crushed by the circumstances.

Enthusiasm is crushed by a lack of confidence.  Keeping a positive mindset is critical in most of these situations.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 06:52:51 PM by w4z »

Offline Yu_Bumsuk

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 2341
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2012, 01:31:22 PM »

I've seen the worst of the worst classes totally turned around by an enthusiastic and involved teacher.
And enthusiasm specifically is not the answer to "turning around" every class.  I think a lot of very enthusiastic people come here and get crushed by the circumstances.

Enthusiasm is crushed by a lack of confidence.  Keeping a positive mindset is critical in most of these situations.

I'd say 'a few', not most. Sometimes telling them to forget it, and you'll try to find a place that wants a real (or at least realish) teacher is not only the only professional thing to do, but the only thing to stop oneself from being constantly embittered.

Offline RomeoK

  • Waygookin
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Gender: Male
  • Oh yea~ Macho Man Randy Savage
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2012, 01:05:15 PM »
Your expectations aren't wrong, it's the situation that needs to be adjusted to meet those expectations. For example if you really love exercising but have problem a, b or c that place limits on your ability. That kind of scenario is a unique test. It's equivalent in teaching is the same thing. Some classes are great, others are not etc etc.

Not everyone is cut out to be a champion, and by the way most of the teachers here lack life skills... mediocre at best. I've met some really cool people. Others are here just to get by. I've had other professions before, and it's really tough to transition into any job, let alone a foreign country.

Use your talents to better yourself. This is about you and not the students or teachers. It's always a hit or miss if it's your environment and all you can do is be prepared to face the challenge.

Offline Wintermute

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
  • Gender: Male
  • High School - Speech
Re: Bad Teacher Rant (A loss of faith in teaching ESL)
« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2012, 05:50:36 PM »
@RomeoK

"This is about you and not the students"

Wrong, so so so wrong.