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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #60 on: February 23, 2019, 05:16:26 pm »
sanderb has this thread sewn up and is so right not to rise to demartian's whataboutery with phones.

an us and them battle is not how you teach children properly.  firstly,  show empathy and understanding and with a bit of hard work, it will give you positive results.  go into a classroom on your first day thinking bad things will happen, and 9/10 times you'll not remember names or what the students say and your time is wasted from then on.  showing dominance is not the name of the day.  empathy and understanding.


  • NorthStar
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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #61 on: February 23, 2019, 06:01:00 pm »
They are kids, even the upper forms (age 18) are. They do not want a master but someone who cares about them.

When I started teaching in Europe, I started out teaching like I had been at hakwons in Korea. Showing 'dominance' by prancing about, gesticulating angrily like those female co-teachers and shouting, bellowing even and of course punishing kids daily, hourly even. Even punishing entire classes for the chaotic mayhem that was caused by a few boys. But it is always 'a few kids' and as long as you get stuck into that type of thinking, you will never realise that the chaos comes from you within. Martino says that some students are just beyond our help. I disagree vehemently. I have seen many, many delinquent youths thought to be beyond help, but in the end they all just want to do well. The question is not 'They don't give a F. so how to control them? but rather how do you create an environment in which they can feel respected and even 'loved.' But that word is heavily laden in Europe so I use the word 'liked' now. Again, I use Confucian principles (philosophy, NOT a religion) like reciprocity and respect and I explain it to them as well that way. Is it stressful to work at such inner city (low IQ) schools? Of course, but you can always connect to students and the fact is that the less you punish, the less bad behaviour you will see. I still remember this unbelievable moment when a colleague was hours late to class and his students just continued to study on their own, even without a teacher. All it read on the board was: Mr. X is late. Study pages 100-110. That was the class (28 boys aged 16) that I was punishing daily for extremely bad behaviour. ( Throwing books, screaming, kicking tables over, punching each other, fighting even.) I used to think it was racism, them acting out against my foreign looks, but it was not. I was just teaching completely wrongly. 

Years later, the situation was reversed. I was now the teacher trainer and there was a sub teaching economics and it was a chaos. Windows breaking even. I remember walking into that room and it was a warzone, she was standing at the back of the class reading aloud from the book and all the kids were yelling and laughing and throwing stuff at her and the tables were everywhere. Everyone was dead silent as soon as they saw me. I asked: "Are you okay? Do you need any help?" And the teacher said: "No, I'm fine, please leave." As soon as I closed the door, the shouting continued... I had a chat with management later and all they said was 'she just doesn't want any help from us and we cannot find another sub.' That situation continued for some time. The sad thing about this was not the teacher, but the fact that she will propagate the myth or idea that some kids are so horrible that they cannot be taught or changed. In this case, she will tell anyone willing to listen how 1 specific group in our country are monsters and should all be locked up or expelled, because we, the college graduates are so much better than them.

Martino is right in saying that I have never seen a gun pulled on me and we do not have systematic racism built into our culture so it could be possible that the black community some disadvantaged 'groups' in the US could be so angry that they do not want to listen to any authority from that system. However, we do have our fair share of PTSD immigrant students and other violent young people who carry large knives to school. But we intentionally do not have any reactionary methods such as metal detectors or gated school communities patrolled by police. Instead, we start at the source and that is always us, you and me, the teachers.



So, where did the poster in question refer to "not caring" equatable to being dominant?


Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #62 on: February 24, 2019, 09:13:16 am »
Martino is right in saying that I have never seen a gun pulled on me and we do not have systematic racism built into our culture
Oh spare me your European horseshit about how tolerant you are. What country is this? The UK? Netherlands? Germany? Finland? Give me a break. You lot have just as much an issue with latent prejudice as the rest of us. At least we don't throw bananas at black players during sporting events or attack visiting fans of other nationalities.

Also, you take your "we're not racist" crap and shove it. Between the lumping together of everyone in Korea under the "Confucianism" explanation, which is the lazy explanation of bigots, and your views on African-Americans, I think you have no standing to point fingers.

Anyways, way to dodge the role-play with 3 paragraphs of word salad. You seriously think we're that dumb that we can't recognize what you're doing- Hiding behind the fact that you have no idea how to deal with that situation by just spewing a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. People here aren't stupid. They can recognize when someone is hoodwinking them and is all a bunch of talk.

sanderb has this thread sewn up and is so right not to rise to demartian's whataboutery with phones.

an us and them battle is not how you teach children properly.  firstly,  show empathy and understanding and with a bit of hard work, it will give you positive results.  go into a classroom on your first day thinking bad things will happen, and 9/10 times you'll not remember names or what the students say and your time is wasted from then on.  showing dominance is not the name of the day.  empathy and understanding.

Errr..most people. Looks like one person fell for it. Word of advice- If someone doesn't have at least some kind of explanation as to what to do, and covers it up with 3 paragraphs of empty blather, it's a dead giveaway they're full of it.

Also, if you read what I said carefully, you'd realize that I agree with this approach in most cases. Most classes don't require the dumb drill sergeant routine or any issues of dominance. But if you think that applies to ALL classes, then you're an idiot. You may be lucky and have taught in schools or environments where you don't have to face it, but there are schools and students out there WHO DO NOT GIVE A CRAP.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 12:26:37 am by Mr.DeMartino »


  • NorthStar
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #63 on: February 24, 2019, 09:40:55 am »
showing dominance is not the name of the day. empathy and understanding.

YES, Thank you!

To others: I think this thread has run its course maybe 2 pages ago and I might be to blame. IF you truly have questions about this because your current classes are difficult then please create another thread where we could do intervision, although doing IV over the Internet is quite... challenging.

Good parents show empathy.  Good teachers show empathy, while still remaining the dominate int he student-teacher dynamic (YL's).

So....what else?


  • SanderB
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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #64 on: February 25, 2019, 05:45:12 am »
If you enjoy teaching in Korea then I encourage you to do a M.ed. and teach in Europe.
You can also work while you study, quite often your school will pay for the tuition.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 05:49:54 am by SanderB »
Fiat voluntas tua- What you want is allowed


  • NorthStar
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Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #65 on: February 25, 2019, 08:33:11 pm »
Public school after school classes. We're just now starting "Hello, my name is" and "It's nice to meet you."

Honestly I'm at the point of giving up with these kids.

Today I had two boys get into a fistfight, one boy tackled another and really hurt the poor kid's leg, and for some unknown reason one of my boys pulled out a tub of gochujang, opened it, and just....tipped it over the side. I honestly cannot make this up. I actually took a picture of them secretly with the container after I had to clean up the mess.

I ended up crying 3 times in an hour because I was so overwhelmed and frustrated and lost.

I have a HUGE issue with them having their phones out in class and it was a massive battle to get them to put them on the desk near mine, only 4/16 actually did it. Could really use that CoT instead of more worksheets since all but a few of them ended up on the floor. I can't even get them to sit down for more than 5 seconds or write their names on the top of the paper, any activity we do is a fiery nosedive into chaos.


If I were you I'd start looking for another job or think about quitting, because the situation is basically impossible.


I was in exactly the same situation as you: public A/S gig, classes OK except for one terrible class. Things were fine for the first 3 months, then two or three boys started to escalate their bad behaviour. The CoT and the company did not help. The worst boys mother believed the lies he told her about me. The company just backed down and pandered to her because she was a customer and very vocal at the parents meeting. I thought there was light at the end of the tunnel, that things would improve if only i tried this or did that. No. Once the hard core of troublemakers realizes that you have no real power, and that even the CoT will undermine you... it is over. You cannot bring that class back. And they will spread their nonsense to other classes. You might be doing great with most students, but it only takes two or three unruly students to destroy your job, because everyone from the CoT to the principal to your company is too afraid to punish them.

Without proper discipline the kids will get more and more out of control until there is a real risk of serious accident. What if some student jumps off a desk and breaks their leg? It will suddenly be your problem.  You have no voice. The CoT handles all communications with the parents and will say whatever it takes to make herself look good and keep her job. A student could throw a rock at your head and they would cover it up or contrive it to be your fault. One teacher I knew got punched in the face by one of the middle school boys. The school blamed him for "making the boy angry". There is no protection for the foreign teacher, zero. Its all chinese whispers and face-saving.

I wanted to quit (and in hindsight i should have!) but I hung on because I was over half way through the contract and I knew they would not give me a letter of release, but actually my morale was very low -these jobs are quite isolating.  I was the third FT at that school in a year, the turnover was that high.

A/S jobs may look attractive because of the pay and hours, but they are the worst of the worst in the Korean ESL scene because they are based on a totally dysfunctional system. So if i were you I'd get out while you're ahead. Even Hogwons are better than A/S gigs.

Right on.


Re: Cannot control class
« Reply #66 on: May 10, 2022, 12:37:47 am »
If you enjoy teaching in Korea then I encourage you to do a M.ed. and teach in Europe.
You can also work while you study, quite often your school will pay for the tuition.
Quite outdated, but how would you get a school in Europe to pay for the tuition? Because that sounds pretty amazing