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Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2017, 01:33:22 pm »
I keeps it 100 at all times my homies.  The only thing fake about me is my haters.

I actually faked it one time in the past.  It was late.  I was tired of her and it was near the end of our relationship.  She was a terrible person.  I have grown a lot since then


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5195

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2017, 02:03:44 pm »
The only thing fake about me is my haters.
Sooo... a kernel of truth in a sea of lies?  :wink:

    I don't know if I'd call it faking it, but it's more like putting on teacher voice. I mean most people change their behaviour around different people.
    Yeah, this. Everybody wears masks, and some people have a lot more of them than others. Sometimes one wears a mask for so long that it's hard to remember that it is a mask, and sometimes that mask becomes reality.

    How does that old axiom go? If you -- a thoroughly evil sumbitch -- pretend to be a good person for your entire life, does that make you an actual good person?


  • Dhazaras
  • Veteran

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    • November 05, 2015, 08:16:05 am
    • jinju
Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2017, 02:14:12 pm »
Realest with my highschool and middle school. Fake as f*** with my elementary. How people muster the energy for that is beyond me. After six elementary classes, I could vegetate for an hour or more not thinking about anything. Elementary expends wayyyy more energy than the higher levels. I do like most the kids, but some of them are real a$$holes


  • yirj17
  • The Legend

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    • September 16, 2015, 02:23:16 am
    • Korealand
Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2017, 02:55:13 pm »
Realest with my highschool and middle school. Fake as f*** with my elementary. How people muster the energy for that is beyond me. After six elementary classes, I could vegetate for an hour or more not thinking about anything. Elementary expends wayyyy more energy than the higher levels. I do like most the kids, but some of them are real a$$holes

Right.  I think teaching in middle/high school you are usually trusted to plan and teach by yourself and it actually helps you to be natural.  When I taught elementary with my stupid as **** co-teacher few years back, I was knackered by Friday.  Teaching mind-numbing simple phrases with an idiot gets boring after the first week, no matter how much you get paid.  I think the more responsibility and autonomy of lesson planning and teaching goes a long way to allowing you to be natural.


It's easier for me to feel much more natural in middle school-- I've basically full autonomy with planning lessons and conducting/leading.  My coTs are like helpful sidekicks. 

In elementary school, though I fully plan lessons/activities, my coT will sporadically decide to jump in or translate which really jams my flow.  At times she'll stop me and use me like a tape recorder.  It feels much more stilted and awkward.  These days I have a better time guessing when she's going to jump in but sometimes she's busy on her phone or on the computer or off in lalaland and doesn't chime in when she did previously for the other class. 

I know that when she jumps in she's generally trying to be helpful, but sometimes it feels like she's just trying to wrest control of the lesson. 


  • Imogen1991
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1109

    • March 18, 2015, 12:26:47 am
    • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2017, 06:49:16 pm »
Totally agree with the comments about teaching middle/high as opposed to elementary. It's one of the main reasons I had to quit elementary here in Vietnam. Teaching 50 6 year olds is absolutely draining, requires way too much energy. With my secondary aged kids I could be much more myself, and they respected that. Obviously I had to keep them motivated but I could be way more honest and real with them. It's a much better gig, in my opinion.


  • Littobubbo
  • Waygookin

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    • July 10, 2015, 09:22:42 am
    • San Francisco, CA
Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2017, 06:59:01 pm »
I wouldnt exactly say I fake it. I fake it when I get no reaction from the class so I have nothing to feed off of. If the kids are enthusiastic I get even more enthusiastic.
I'm probably one of the most introverted hermits out here... but i conserve all my thoughts and energy for when I go to work. When I go home I shut my mouth and remain quiet until the next morning. I don't even remember the last time i went outside with people. It's okay if you do fake it, whatever it takes to get the kids to learn!


Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2017, 07:28:32 pm »
Totally agree with the comments about teaching middle/high as opposed to elementary. It's one of the main reasons I had to quit elementary here in Vietnam. Teaching 50 6 year olds is absolutely draining, requires way too much energy. With my secondary aged kids I could be much more myself, and they respected that. Obviously I had to keep them motivated but I could be way more honest and real with them. It's a much better gig, in my opinion.

I taught middle school for most of my time here, but for the past year and for one year back in 2011, I taught elementary and I hate it. I'm at an after school program and the 1st and 2nd graders sometimes have me questioning my reality and how I ended up in that classroom dealing with little Tom who thinks it's funny to take his shoe off and have everyone smell it.



  • Imogen1991
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1109

    • March 18, 2015, 12:26:47 am
    • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2017, 08:21:46 pm »
Totally agree with the comments about teaching middle/high as opposed to elementary. It's one of the main reasons I had to quit elementary here in Vietnam. Teaching 50 6 year olds is absolutely draining, requires way too much energy. With my secondary aged kids I could be much more myself, and they respected that. Obviously I had to keep them motivated but I could be way more honest and real with them. It's a much better gig, in my opinion.

I taught middle school for most of my time here, but for the past year and for one year back in 2011, I taught elementary and I hate it. I'm at an after school program and the 1st and 2nd graders sometimes have me questioning my reality and how I ended up in that classroom dealing with little Tom who thinks it's funny to take his shoe off and have everyone smell it.

Literally teaching elementary just makes me stand at the front and despair. It turns me all 'what the hell am I doing with my life?'
I'm starting a new job soon and I'm back in elementary which I'm not happy about but the class sizes are tiny and the pay is really good so I'm hoping I can cope  :laugh:


  • antoniusk
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    • December 10, 2012, 05:35:49 pm
    • Sunchang, Jeollabuk-do
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Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2017, 09:17:11 pm »
Yeah, I'm usually the quiet and stoic type. But in front of my students, I'm a total goofball -- and super serious when a few cheeky ones piss me off. I'm not outgoing, not popular and not super happy about everything. I guess I learned a few tricks for the job, hm?
Gyopo Status


  • Mr C
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1694

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2017, 12:21:52 am »
A number of the comments here seem to me to have missed the point.  On one hand, the issue is about the teacher's classroom "persona" for want of a better word.  Talking about "masks" or "100" energy or even being a goofball is along these lines.  It isn't really "acting" or "faking it", it's a matter of developing this classroom "character" or "persona" for yourself.  And it simply must be authentic.  It must be imbued with who you are at some essential level.

So.  What is the most essential element of this persona you create? This comes back to--as all teaching must--the people you are teaching (for they are not just kids, but actual people).  If you can't find some way to like them, to enjoy interacting with them, your persona, or your crazy high energy English clown, or whatever, will fail in the long run. 

Liking them just isn't something you can fake for very long.  Korean, American, Polish or whatever, kids are pretty good at sussing out fakers.  They'll get your number.  If you find you just don't like kids, finish out your contract then go do something else.  There's no shame in it, it just wasn't what you're cracked up for.

Over the period of thirty years or so I've been teaching, I have created my classroom persona, well-honed, unflappable (unless I want to be), unbelieving/surprised by misbehavior, delighted by any legitimate contribution a student makes to the class.  I can't possibly tell you what yours should be. 

A couple other thoughts: 1) You won't like every student.  2) Not all your students will like English, despite all your efforts.  3) 1 and 2 may overlap.  But maybe not.  I just started at a new school, and every time I've asked the sixth graders "How are you?" there is a girl who willingly raises her hand and says she's sad or unhappy.  I ask why and she says "I don't like English!" I mug, and she laughs.  I'm going to continue calling on her, in the hope that someday she'll have a different answer. Which brings me to 4) Be positive. 

"Do your best" has become my mantra/classroom rule over the last few years. Say a student does slovenly work on a worksheet--"Is this your best?" you ask, almost like you're confused.  Kids are doing a "listen and repeat" and some are being exceptionally loud and drowning out the others--"Are you doing your best?", asked somberly and a bit taken aback.  A team activity requiring students to listen to the teacher results in me having to repeatedly wait for silence before continuing--"Is that your best?" I might ask, reprovingly.

Why not?  I do my best.  It's only reasonable to ask them to theirs.



Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2017, 07:27:45 am »
This has been bugging me for a while now and I'm interested to see what it's like for other people.

I'm generally a very quiet person; shy, softly spoken, sometimes come across as quite down because of those things and my natural resting face.

But as soon as I'm in the classroom I'm the opposite.  Ball of energy, laughing, joking, enthusiastic.  So I'm faking it.  I act like that because I want the students to feel enthusiastic about learning English.

My gripe is that most of my CTs don't even bother doing that.  When they're in the classroom with me, they look, sound and act as if their dog has just died.  Trying to get the students motivated is SO difficult when the person they're looking to for support looks like they want to kill themselves.

My question is, if you're an introvert, do you fake it or not bother?  How about your CTs?  Do you think it's important to come across as enthusiastic and energetic?

I haven't read the whole thread, but I don't think you're "faking" it. It's naturally what happens when you're teaching, I think. Even back in America, when I was teaching, I was always more energetic and outgoing because you feed off the kids and the kids off you. It's a feedback loop of sorts.

I'm not very extroverted, I like my time alone, and I don't think anyone would call me bubbly. But I'm always trying to show the kids I give a crap about them, and part of that involves energy. That 40 to 45 minutes of class I'm up and active...the ten minutes between I'm ready to take a nap.

Anyway, my point is, it's not "faking" anything. It's teaching. It's what the job is. If you aren't that way in the classroom, then teaching isn't your thing. It's okay. Just know who you are.

As far as Korean teachers go, that's a whole 'nother ball of wax. They aren't taught to be teachers here like we're taught to be teachers in America. So my advice would be not to compare yourself to them, just do what you think works, as best you can, and get the kids to not be scared of you or English. If you're energetic during class, great! The kids will notice that, and appreciate it...at least most of mine do (even those middle schoolers that hate school still try to speak English with me in the hallways. Heaven forbid they pay attention in class).


Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2017, 01:00:41 pm »
I fake everything. The truth is that after 3 years I don't like this country, this job, or these kids. Every time someone bothers me to ask where I'm from or if I can eat spicy food I want to rip their heads off but instead I fake a smile and pretend I can't understand them. Every time one of these kids says hello to me I smile and say hi back all while thinking, "Who are you? I can't stand any of you." The second class ends I walk to the office for 7 to 9 minutes away from the kids and once my last class ends I want the kids out so I can clean in silence. I can't wait until my contract ends.


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 3858

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2017, 01:33:54 pm »
This has been bugging me for a while now and I'm interested to see what it's like for other people.

I'm generally a very quiet person; shy, softly spoken, sometimes come across as quite down because of those things and my natural resting face.

But as soon as I'm in the classroom I'm the opposite.  Ball of energy, laughing, joking, enthusiastic.  So I'm faking it.  I act like that because I want the students to feel enthusiastic about learning English.

My gripe is that most of my CTs don't even bother doing that.  When they're in the classroom with me, they look, sound and act as if their dog has just died.  Trying to get the students motivated is SO difficult when the person they're looking to for support looks like they want to kill themselves.

My question is, if you're an introvert, do you fake it or not bother?  How about your CTs?  Do you think it's important to come across as enthusiastic and energetic?

Doesn't sound like you're faking it. You'll only be faking it IF you don't enjoy that part of your teaching life.

I'm pretty much as you described above as well...mostly quiet in the office, but it's just because I don't have much to say, and nobody feels the need to always talk to the poor foreigner who might feel lonely (thank goodness!)

Every now and then, we do have convos in Korean and English where I'm just as involved as everyone, but ultimately my classroom persona is different from my staffroom pereona.

You have to remember that being a teacher is partially being a performer of sorts, you have to set the tone and atmosphere so the students (children, teens, adults) can feed off the enthusiasm you display, which would make for a much more engaging and interactive session - rather than the monotonous, expressionless style of many teachers here, not to mention classes where 90% of the time is devoted to the teacher speaking.


  • The Arm
  • Expert Waygook

    • 682

    • March 09, 2015, 09:15:02 am
Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2017, 03:43:08 pm »
So many interesting ideas from everyone!  Thanks for the replies  ;D

Yea after reading everything I think "faking it" probably is the wrong way to think about it.  Pecan said this back on the first page and I completely agree:

Perhaps this is just semantics, but I don't refer to/think of it as "faking it", it is simply caring enough to be professional and positive.

Everyone agrees that we behave how we behave in the classroom because that matches our idea of what a teacher should be like I suppose.  Positive, enthusiastic, energetic.

Then it suddenly struck me that when the kids are half asleep and can't be bothered, it absolutely doesn't phase the Korean teachers like it phases us.  Right?  That's when I expect my CT to jump in and help to add a bit of energy to the room but most of the time they're even worse than the students so I feel the burden on my shoulders entirely.  Kind of outnumbered by the room  :laugh:

The "wow, tough crowd" (students and CT) situation happens a lot and it gets to me after a while.


Re: Do you fake it?
« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2017, 07:20:16 am »

Then it suddenly struck me that when the kids are half asleep and can't be bothered, it absolutely doesn't phase the Korean teachers like it phases us.  Right?  That's when I expect my CT to jump in and help to add a bit of energy to the room but most of the time they're even worse than the students so I feel the burden on my shoulders entirely.  Kind of outnumbered by the room  :laugh:

The "wow, tough crowd" (students and CT) situation happens a lot and it gets to me after a while.

I think we can all relate to this. Most of the time I have a sense of humor when I'm bombing (usually with classes first thing in the morning) but then there are the rare moments where you are being glared at by nearly everyone in the room and your CT's face seems to say, "You did this to yourself."