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  • MoneyMike
  • Super Waygook

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    • November 22, 2009, 03:45:15 pm
    • Gwangju, South Korea
Elementary schools need discipline systems
« on: November 13, 2019, 02:50:03 pm »
I got here in 2009, the year before corporal punishment was first banned in Seoul, soon to follow in the rest of the country. I thought this was a good change, as I don't think corporal punishments are necessary, especially in elementary schools.

When the banning first happened I didn't notice much difference in the behavior. All of the kids I was teaching had spent at least 4 or 5 years as a student when corporal punishment was still a thing, so they (mostly) seemed to have some sense that their actions had consequences, and displayed some amount of respect for teachers. Since then, things have seemed to go downhill, little by little.

At this point, nearly a decade later, those of us working in elementary schools are teaching kids who have (for the most part) never been disciplined in any way at school, besides a stern talking to. A decade without corporal punishment, and rather than adapt and come up with new methods of disciplining, the Korean education system has instead seemingly decided to just go without any discipline systems at all. No detentions, (after school or during lunch time) no being called to the principal / vice principals office, nothing. While the majority of my kids are still pretty good, the number who give zero fucks and have zero respect for anyone has gone up dramatically. And why wouldn't it? These kids have it figured out, nothing will happen to them no matter how much they disrupt all their classes.

Individual Korean teachers seem oblivious to the fact that they may need to figure out their own methods of discipline, and largely seem scared of blowback from students parents. With no direction or backing from the educational authorities, they're left to try some light punishments on their own (and instantly drop them at the first parent complaint) or (what seems most common) not discipline at all, and hope to god at the start of each year that they somehow dodge the worst students.

And all of the teachers know exactly who these students are. They largely seem to just accept that these kids will continue to learn nothing, disrupt other students learning, and still be pushed through regardless.

This is such an absurd abdication of responsibility that it's sort of hard for me to wrap my head around it. Kids are being pushed through an educational system into a relatively high skill economy, and some portion of them have been abandoned for the entire ride. They have never been held back a year because as a grade six student they still can't spell hello, they just get pushed through. Then they spend the next six years sitting in English classes where they literally understand nothing, which probably crushes any idea at all that they may be capable of learning. They go their entire childhood without learning that their actions have consequences, then get blindsided later in life when everything is more important. It blows my mind.

There is plenty of blame to go around, but I think this is mostly on the MoE's, who appear entirely content to bury their heads in the sand and never give any sort of guidance on how teachers should be disciplining their students. It should be the higher ups who issue guidelines then stand between teachers and parents. (assuming the punishments are reasonable of course) Instead everyone is playing go along to get along, leading to a decent chunk of their students getting through twelve years of education without even learning the bare minimum to get a passing grade. And I'm not sure how you could even quantify the damage this does to other students, both in class time lost to disruptive behavior as well as shittier attitudes being passed around through osmosis. Jeez, Jinu never does any work and just laughs and throws things all class, why don't I relax a bit?

WTF Korea. It's been almost a decade. Get your shit together.


  • Cohort 2019
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Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2019, 03:33:03 pm »
I really think that 'violence begets violence' and I'm inclined to say 'only in Korea' here. Most, if not all of the classes that I have taught were with students who really wanted to study well and the odd one disruptive student, only ever needed some support/understanding with completely  unrelated private life issues.
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  • leaponover
  • Expert Waygook

    • 555

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2019, 04:39:03 pm »
I got here in 2009, the year before corporal punishment was first banned in Seoul, soon to follow in the rest of the country. I thought this was a good change, as I don't think corporal punishments are necessary, especially in elementary schools.

When the banning first happened I didn't notice much difference in the behavior. All of the kids I was teaching had spent at least 4 or 5 years as a student when corporal punishment was still a thing, so they (mostly) seemed to have some sense that their actions had consequences, and displayed some amount of respect for teachers. Since then, things have seemed to go downhill, little by little.

At this point, nearly a decade later, those of us working in elementary schools are teaching kids who have (for the most part) never been disciplined in any way at school, besides a stern talking to. A decade without corporal punishment, and rather than adapt and come up with new methods of disciplining, the Korean education system has instead seemingly decided to just go without any discipline systems at all. No detentions, (after school or during lunch time) no being called to the principal / vice principals office, nothing. While the majority of my kids are still pretty good, the number who give zero fucks and have zero respect for anyone has gone up dramatically. And why wouldn't it? These kids have it figured out, nothing will happen to them no matter how much they disrupt all their classes.

Individual Korean teachers seem oblivious to the fact that they may need to figure out their own methods of discipline, and largely seem scared of blowback from students parents. With no direction or backing from the educational authorities, they're left to try some light punishments on their own (and instantly drop them at the first parent complaint) or (what seems most common) not discipline at all, and hope to god at the start of each year that they somehow dodge the worst students.

And all of the teachers know exactly who these students are. They largely seem to just accept that these kids will continue to learn nothing, disrupt other students learning, and still be pushed through regardless.

This is such an absurd abdication of responsibility that it's sort of hard for me to wrap my head around it. Kids are being pushed through an educational system into a relatively high skill economy, and some portion of them have been abandoned for the entire ride. They have never been held back a year because as a grade six student they still can't spell hello, they just get pushed through. Then they spend the next six years sitting in English classes where they literally understand nothing, which probably crushes any idea at all that they may be capable of learning. They go their entire childhood without learning that their actions have consequences, then get blindsided later in life when everything is more important. It blows my mind.

There is plenty of blame to go around, but I think this is mostly on the MoE's, who appear entirely content to bury their heads in the sand and never give any sort of guidance on how teachers should be disciplining their students. It should be the higher ups who issue guidelines then stand between teachers and parents. (assuming the punishments are reasonable of course) Instead everyone is playing go along to get along, leading to a decent chunk of their students getting through twelve years of education without even learning the bare minimum to get a passing grade. And I'm not sure how you could even quantify the damage this does to other students, both in class time lost to disruptive behavior as well as shittier attitudes being passed around through osmosis. Jeez, Jinu never does any work and just laughs and throws things all class, why don't I relax a bit?

WTF Korea. It's been almost a decade. Get your shit together.

Your bang on with most of this.  I'd say the kids don't even suffer the consequences as adults.  They live with mom and dad because they don't have to move out if they don't get married, and since they don't want to get married....they are set for life.  Then, they borrow mom and dads money, that they've been saving for their precious darling forever,  to open the fifth PC Bang in one building and when it fails they open the third coffee shop or beer hof place in a building.  They never really suffer any consequences either until maybe their 40's or 50's.


Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2019, 10:09:46 pm »
Your bang on with most of this.  I'd say the kids don't even suffer the consequences as adults.  They live with mom and dad because they don't have to move out if they don't get married, and since they don't want to get married....they are set for life.  Then, they borrow mom and dads money, that they've been saving for their precious darling forever,  to open the fifth PC Bang in one building and when it fails they open the third coffee shop or beer hof place in a building.  They never really suffer any consequences either until maybe their 40's or 50's.
I'm may be going out on a limb here, but I'm thinking that living with mom and dad might not be the cakewalk you think it is and the number of kids who have FU money to burn through is a lot less than you think it is. Not that there aren't kids that fit this description, just that you might be overestimating their number and the ease of their lifestyle.


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2019, 12:40:43 am »
'violence begets violence'

That is true, but there is a difference between discipline and violence.

Why can't you guys ever set out a viewpoint that does not involve conflating terms, emotionalizing the topic or misapplying language?

  They never really suffer any consequences either until maybe their 40's or 50's.

Its not the perpetrators that suffer, its all the other students around them whose classtime is constantly wasted by disruptive miscreants. Its the teachers who have to spend 90% of their time doing crowd control rather than teaching. its the teachers who are expected to take all kinds of abuse and blame from parents, students and their administration who never actually tackle the problem. It is the parents who waste their money sending their kids to utterly ineffective institutions that have allowed themselves to be run by their worst students and be reduced to the lowest common denominator.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 12:42:18 am by Cyanea »
Catch my drift?


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Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2019, 07:14:18 am »
The video https://youtu.be/Bv_d6laoxzM?t=197 that I linked of the news reports on cp. weren't examples of excessiveness, it was the widely accepted standard back then and many primary school teachers routinely beat toddlers often out of spiteful malice because of tiny transgressions and created an atmosphere in which random acts of sudden violence was promoted, both by teachers and among students. I still remember this beefed up Korean teacher who beat his students for each spelling mistake they made. The mothers carried him on their hands and he absolutely loved receiving all that praise, but not as much as he loved copping a feel first before beating his students. Opp-turyo is weird enough for a boy, imagine the scene at a girls' school. Come middle school, these kids had become so well-trained that they had assumed the roles of either prisoner or prison guard as in the Stanford experiment which to me explains a lot of the many current problems at Korean schools. You can't first create unsafe environments and then point at the negative behaviours which result from it and then limit those behaviours with beatings and expect to receive any form of respect from your students. The worst I have seen were the female teachers who did not hit their students but instead humiliated them in front of the entire class.

You must first create a safe learning environment and then change unwanted behaviour, that's what pedagogy literally means: behavioural change.

(I've just noticed that the term pedagogue has a stronger connotation with teaching than affecting behavioural change in English. But an agogue is a person that changes behaviour, for instance ped-,andro- or geragogue, as in professionals trained in behavioural science helping a specific age group.)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 07:32:02 am by Cohort 2019 »
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  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

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    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2019, 08:38:35 am »

That is true, but there is a difference between discipline and violence.


The moment you strike someone, that is violence.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5386

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2019, 09:00:32 am »

That is true, but there is a difference between discipline and violence.


The moment you strike someone, that is violence.
I'm not a proponent of CP, but what you said isn't necessarily true. Intent has a lot to do with it.
If you smack somebody to kill a mosquito that was biting them, would that be violence?
If you cause harm to prevent much greater harm (like most people in the medical profession do), is that violence?

Careful with posting absolutes: black and white don't exist: the world is a muddle of greys.  :undecided:


  • stoat
  • Super Waygook

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    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2019, 09:07:00 am »
True, smacking a toddler who's about to put their fingers in an electric socket can be an effective way to stop that kid doing stupid things, just as proponents of CP would say about using CP.


  • Datasapien
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Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2019, 09:41:08 am »
Great post OP, enjoyed the read and agree with a lot of what you wrote.

Change needs to come from the top - senior management needs to be more involved with behaviour management and principals / Offices of Education need to support teaching staff and stand up to parents. There has to be school-wide policy related to what behaviour is appropriate and ALL members of staff have to work together to implement it. Kids running amok in the corridors won't stop until all teachers stop hiding in staff rooms during break times and have clear instructions on how to deal with said behaviour and methods to escalate punishment if necessary. It's for the good of the kids, tough love works, even if the students don't realise it at the time.

Genuinely interested in what the consensus is amongst Korean teachers - surely they can't be happy with the current state of affairs either?
"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man." - Jebediah Springfield.


Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2019, 10:35:02 am »
it was the widely accepted standard back then and many primary school teachers routinely beat toddlers
????????

I think you might want to revise this.


Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2019, 11:29:27 am »
I got here in 2009, the year before corporal punishment was first banned in Seoul, soon to follow in the rest of the country. I thought this was a good change, as I don't think corporal punishments are necessary, especially in elementary schools.

When the banning first happened I didn't notice much difference in the behavior. All of the kids I was teaching had spent at least 4 or 5 years as a student when corporal punishment was still a thing, so they (mostly) seemed to have some sense that their actions had consequences, and displayed some amount of respect for teachers. Since then, things have seemed to go downhill, little by little.

[...]

Pretty much this. The lack of discipline many of us witness in a lot of schools here isn't because of a difference between Eastern and Western ideologies. Discipline was very strict over a decade ago, and actual physical abuse of students at teachers' hands was common. What we're seeing is the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction, and people using distorted versions of certain ideologies in order to take advantage of the swing.

When they decided to end CP, they failed to create an effective disciplinary structure to replace it with, and when you're a society built on hierarchy and Confucian ideals, a lack of leadership and responsibility leads to pleasing the ones who yell the loudest -- the parents. And these people have no idea how schools are supposed to function, and they don't really care. All they care about is that THEIR kids have an advantage.

Of course it's a lot more complicated than that because there are other variables in play here. But as far as I'm concerned, this is at the heart of it all.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 01:14:31 pm by Chinguetti »


Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2019, 01:34:16 pm »
I teach at two rural schools: my main school, which is small but still has a lot of resources, and my second school, which is tiny and poor and so in the middle of nowhere that the nearest convenience store is 2km away.

My main school has some students that don't want to do their work and are quick to say no, but if you give them the right look or just stand over their desk waiting, they'll do what they need to. Other than that though, the kids are great and want to learn. Then last semester we got a kid who is, as far as I know, living in a foster home and is a menace. We're his third school in one year. The principal's rule is "don't worry about teaching him, just let him do what he wants so he doesn't disrupt others." And for the most part that's been working; sometimes he becomes interested and wants to participate, sometimes he sits in the back playing games, and then sometimes, like today, he just wants to cause as much trouble as possible. My cot had to keep grabbing him to keep him from climbing on desks, he threw his books to the ground, bothered other students, etc. Someone is in my classroom right now installing a lock on the door so the kid can't run away when we take our eyes off of him.

Then my coteacher asked me today, what do you do in America to deal with students like that? I told him about some discipline practices in America (also that it has to do a lot with the parents, as what made me be a good student most of the time was fear of punishment from my parents more than anything else). And my coteacher said exactly what many of us are thinking: Korea needs a new disciplinary system for the students, because since cp ended, we're not allowed to punish students in any way, shape, or form. He even asked me to look up discipline practices in American schools and make a list of suggestions to give to the principal so new rules can be made. I'm willing to try but I can't help wondering... would that help? Could anything be done? In America if we got in trouble, we'd be sent to the principal or the dean, we'd lose recess time or have to stay for detention, we'd get in school or out of school suspension, our parents would be called in.
But as of right now, Korean schools have no disciplinary actions set up, and it doesn't seem like they have the will to change that. Kids aren't sent to the principal here, and there's no disciplinary office or dean. Suspension only happens in the most extreme cases (for instance, it took this kid breaking car windows in the parking lot last semester to be suspended, despite the many issues he caused before). Calling parents only works if they actually discipline their kids, or in this kid's case, if his guardians will punish him, which it sounds like they won't. The most that could be done is maybe keep kids inside after lunch, or create detention, but I'm not sure if one school is allowed to do that if the province doesn't have the same rules, and who knows how parents would react. Then there's the fact that that would mean the teachers would also have to lose their lunch hour or after school time watching the kids, and something tells me most of these teachers wouldn't be down for that.

I'm happy at least that I have a coteacher that sees the flaws in Korea's school system and wants to help change it, rather than just sitting back and allowing the kids to run rampant. But it kind of feels like fighting an uphill battle. I feel bad for this kid and try to show him as much as I can that I want to help him, but he doesn't have an easy life and it's obviously manifesting into these extreme behavioral issues. But how much can we help him in a system designed to let him continue to cause problems with no repercussions, or without learning that his actions have consequences? There's absolutely no incentive for this kid to not do what he wants. And even if punishment isn't an option, most teachers here won't go out of their way to help students like this, and instead reduce them down to the "trouble student". I notice that when I give this kid positive attention (when he's not acting out) like talking to him about things he likes, or calling on him in class and praising him when he gets a question right, he acts 50x better than usual. But if I'm the only teacher doing that because the other teachers either just ignore or yell, it doesn't seem like it'll help much.

And then at my second school, they let the kids do as they please. Some of the kids have disabilities, but those kids usually just zone out or just don't do their work without causing disruptions. The rest of them are just straight up disrespectful, and the other teachers don't do anything about it. One of my coteachers accused me of "not liking" certain students, just because I expect them to pay attention and won't let them do as they please when I'm teaching. I've gotten to a point there where it's obvious that the other teachers don't care, so it's difficult for me to care either, and I'm tired of losing my voice because I have to yell over students.


  • CO2
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Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2019, 02:01:25 pm »
There's also this idea that school should be fun and interesting and that's not necessarily true.

Obviously, we don't want monotone teachers droning on for 20 minute segments, but who honestly thinks that math should be fun all the time. IT'S MATH. Learn the multiplication tables. Teachers prority should be clarity of message and retention in the student, not fun. School can be fun, it shouldn't always be fun.

Teacher, I'm bored.

Yup! Sometimes in life we doing boring shit. When I'm waiting at he doctor's office, I'm bored. What I don't do is yell at the wall, or climb on the reception desk. Sometimes life is boring. Sometimes we do things we don't want to do.

No one wants to do laundry. No one wants to do dishes. But we do them. Sometimes you have to shut your mouth and write a paragraph about your summer vacation. Sometimes we watch a movie.

Kids have to learn that life is slow sometimes and that they'll have to do things they won't want to do. Everyone does. The sooner they learn that life isn't fun all the time, the better,

Any Canadian student will know what this is.................... You fermed your bouche and conjugee la passe simple.

The joys of fauxtherhood


Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2019, 02:10:56 pm »
I think apathy is a big issue too.  Like I said the other day, good, solid work in terms of teaching doesn't seem to be rewarded here (maybe it is, does anyone have any examples?) and on the flipside, poor work isn't punished.  The result of that is that teachers don't care.  Why would they?

Also if teachers move every four years then they probably think "well I got a bad school this year, hopefully I'll get a better one next time (with well behaved students).  I'll just grin and bear it until I'm out the door".


Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2019, 02:17:44 pm »
To solve it you need to address these things-
1) The scars of the past, namely the effects 40 years of authoritarian rule had on the people and how they now regard the police and certain authority structures, namely that they are extremely suspicious of them.
2) Litigiousness. The teachers and schools can't do anything if it immediately results in lawsuits and them getting sued into oblivion and drowning in legal fees.
3) Political will. Without the support of lawmakers, who are answerable to voters, nothing can change.

In other words, you need this to become a major societal and political issue that leads to it becoming an issue on the campaign trail, whereupon parents will vote in someone with a mandate to change the system and enact new laws, giving the schools the legal and political backing to enact a new system.

That's before you get to any question of what methods are the best.

I think apathy is a big issue too.  Like I said the other day, good, solid work in terms of teaching doesn't seem to be rewarded here (maybe it is, does anyone have any examples?) and on the flipside, poor work isn't punished. 
That describes something like 95% of union-employed government work around the developed world.


  • annataleen
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    • Incheon
Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2019, 02:18:56 pm »
What everyone is saying is true. They didn't create any sort of discipline system to release what they were doing before. I have also had teachers ask me how schools handle discipline in the U.S. (my own country), and others already know because they studied in the U.S. and visited schools while they were there. The problem is, the roles of the principal, vice principal, head teachers, etc., are different here than they are where we are from. A vice principal and a principal are positions you have just before you retire. They are more concerned with the admin side of things and running the school than they are with students; though I have seen them intervene with students in come extreme cases.

That leaves discipline down to the head teachers, homeroom teachers, and subject teachers. I have seen the head teachers discipline before, but I don't deal much with them, so I don't know what the outcome was. My co-teachers tend to pass the discipline off the the homeroom teachers, but that also depends. I notice that the teachers that are qualified to teach (we are at elementary, so they went to school to be a teacher and passed the test, and could or have been a homeroom teacher) tend to be more confident when it comes to discipline, whereas the contract teachers tend to let things slide. I think they don't want to come off to the homeroom teachers that they can't handle the class. (They also are reluctant to let the students go a little bit early if we finish early, whereas the qualified teachers are ok to let them go if we finish early!)

I completely agree that the standards need to come from the top. Teachers are always telling me that they are losing their power to the parents. If the BOE set some standards and the schools followed them, they could take some of the power back from the parents.  I am not sure what it would look like though because the role of the principal and vice principal being different. Maybe the burden would fall on head teachers to discipline, but the vice principal and principal would offer support when needed (like if the parents are involved ... though I think something like this happens at my school now).

Some things will probably never change though. I think students being moved to the next grade won't change because age is important here. Even if a student doesn't pass their classes, it seems to be more important for them to stay with their peers than to properly learn the material. I used to teach in public and private school in Japan and it was the same there (though age isn't as important in Japan!).  It will eventually catch up with them though. Today was the big high school test. It is kind of sad that some students may not reach their potentional because they slipped through the cracks and no one took the time to help them. On the other hand, we have extra classes at our school for students who are getting bad grades. All the students who need help are asked to join, but many say no! I needed extra help in elementary school and refusing wasn't an option! I think they even took out of that subject's regular class and had me work alone with an assistant teacher until I caught up. That doesn't happen here.

That leads me to my final point, there isn't enough support staff to help the teachers. I agree that teachers shouldn't have to be in the hallways during breaks telling students not to run in the halls, etc. There needs to be additional staff for some of these tasks.

There is so much that needs to be done!


  • Kayos
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Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2019, 02:27:23 pm »
There's also this idea that school should be fun and interesting and that's not necessarily true.

Obviously, we don't want monotone teachers droning on for 20 minute segments, but who honestly thinks that math should be fun all the time. IT'S MATH. Learn the multiplication tables. Teachers prority should be clarity of message and retention in the student, not fun. School can be fun, it shouldn't always be fun.

Teacher, I'm bored.

Yup! Sometimes in life we doing boring shit. When I'm waiting at he doctor's office, I'm bored. What I don't do is yell at the wall, or climb on the reception desk. Sometimes life is boring. Sometimes we do things we don't want to do.

No one wants to do laundry. No one wants to do dishes. But we do them. Sometimes you have to shut your mouth and write a paragraph about your summer vacation. Sometimes we watch a movie.

Kids have to learn that life is slow sometimes and that they'll have to do things they won't want to do. Everyone does. The sooner they learn that life isn't fun all the time, the better,

Any Canadian student will know what this is.................... You fermed your bouche and conjugee la passe simple.



To be honest, I don't mind doing laundry. It's not something that requires a lot of attention. I just chuck stuff into the machine, add powder, run it, then hang things up to dry. :p
Some nights I don't mind doing dishes either.


Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2019, 02:32:19 pm »
Teacher, I'm bored.
I remember when I made the mistake of saying I was bored at work. My boss overheard that and promptly handed me a brush and some oven cleaner and told me to get cracking.

There's a lot worse than idle boredom.


  • CO2
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Re: Elementary schools need discipline systems
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2019, 02:36:33 pm »
To be honest, I don't mind doing laundry. It's not something that requires a lot of attention. I just chuck stuff into the machine, add powder, run it, then hang things up to dry. :p
Some nights I don't mind doing dishes either.
I know, but you don't dream about doing that when you're at work, I imagine. You do it because it's worth doing.

Education is worth doing.  It's not a party, it's not a night out with your mates. It's learning and should be done for its own sake. Students who don't get that should get lower marks and, if they disrupt others, should be punished. 

I remember when I made the mistake of saying I was bored at work. My boss overheard that and promptly handed me a brush and some oven cleaner and told me to get cracking.

There's a lot worse than idle boredom.

Totally. If you've finished your work at work, take the free ride. Relax a bit and appear to be busy. Same with the students, if they just gave the student next to them a quick whisper once in a while I wouldn't give a shit. It's the

지훈아아아아아아아아

Like, have some pride in getting away with things.
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