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Extremely quiet classes
« on: June 22, 2020, 11:03:07 am »
Ever since returning to in-person classes, the students have been deathly quiet and low-energy (elementary).

This is the one time I'm complaining about quiet students lol. Last year, I would have done anything to lower the energy of some of the kids. But now, with all the students separated, wearing the masks, the desk borders and the lack of group activities, my students don't respond to anything. Asking a simple, "How are you?" last year and I would have had a huge flow of kids talking. Now they just stare! It's a black and white difference from last year. Even some of the kids who were really engaged last year don't even say a word.

Anyone else dealing with this change of attitude in their schools? Tips or suggestions from people who are dealing with this? Or maybe I'm the only one haha
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 11:40:43 am by Edelweiss »


Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2020, 11:29:54 am »
I noticed a big change too. I am in middle school so I expect to see it in year 2 students, especially 2nd semester....but even my new students are quiet when they are usually so curious and talking a lot. My students who are quite talkative haven't been and yeah like you said even getting them to say hello back is like pulling teeth


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1851

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2020, 12:19:43 pm »
At 2/3 schools my students are normal. At my 3rd school, grade 1 is really good at speaking, grade 2 will speak, but their level is very low, and my grade 3s are quiet in every single class - including with Korean teachers.
I have no idea how to get them to speak (had them since grade 1 too) however, they will do writing when asked, they just won't ever speak.

I'd be keen to see the advice here too.


  • 303lmc
  • Veteran

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    • March 05, 2019, 05:23:12 pm
    • Gwangju
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2020, 12:32:58 pm »
Yes, I'm witnessing it too. but can you blame them?? they can't play with friends at school, they can't touch or hug. I don't even know if they can talk to each other anymore. They never get to leave the classroom and let off steam. let alone how many are complaining about the masks. 
to be honest, I don't think you CAN do anything about it.  I guess they just need to get used to the "new normal" everyone is so excited about.


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1851

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2020, 12:38:42 pm »
Yes, I'm witnessing it too. but can you blame them?? they can't play with friends at school, they can't touch or hug. I don't even know if they can talk to each other anymore. They never get to leave the classroom and let off steam. let alone how many are complaining about the masks. 
to be honest, I don't think you CAN do anything about it.  I guess they just need to get used to the "new normal" everyone is so excited about.

You should see my Wednesday school, even the teachers there aren't really giving a toss about the corona prevention stuff.
Students aren't wearing masks, they are still sitting on each other, running around, etc. like the corona virus was never a thing. :o
A teacher there had something contagious, not corona virus, and didn't wear a mask at all, and still came to work. :O


  • Stefaneekaye
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    • August 31, 2018, 11:14:30 am
    • Dangjin, South Korea
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Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2020, 12:43:45 pm »
I am dealing with this at my large school. I requested a few homeroom teachers communicate that it was okay for the students to respond to and repeat after me. Most are still super trepidatious though. The most success is beginning a lesson with a funny video or gif/putting into warmups so it gets them laughing. Once they laugh out loud, they seem to be a little less hesitant to speak.


  • 303lmc
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    • March 05, 2019, 05:23:12 pm
    • Gwangju
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2020, 02:34:43 pm »
You should see my Wednesday school, even the teachers there aren't really giving a toss about the corona prevention stuff.

Everyone at my schools takes is very serious. but the big school has the AC on windows and doors shut, thank GAWD. my smaller school is not budging on the AC. I am hoping they reconsider or they will be pretty pissed and freaked out when i get heat stroke and pass out and get sick all over.


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2020, 02:37:26 pm »
Everyone at my schools takes is very serious. but the big school has the AC on windows and doors shut, thank GAWD. my smaller school is not budging on the AC. I am hoping they reconsider or they will be pretty pissed and freaked out when i get heat stroke and pass out and get sick all over.

My schools are like that with the AC stuff too. However, I have some minor health issues that come with hot weather, so we've had to settle for some happy mediums.
And 2 / 3 of my schools take it reasonably serious too, but my Wednesday school - started taking it seriously, and then gave up within 1 working week.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1891

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2020, 02:52:49 pm »
You should see my Wednesday school, even the teachers there aren't really giving a toss about the corona prevention stuff.
Students aren't wearing masks, they are still sitting on each other, running around, etc. like the corona virus was never a thing. :o
A teacher there had something contagious, not corona virus, and didn't wear a mask at all, and still came to work. :O
Interesting. At both my schools they're pretty strict about the situation, staggered lunches, no hanging out in the hallways. There is even some teacher that walks the halls to make sure the students are following the guidelines during the lunch break.

It has made my classes mostly pleasant compared to most years. My main school is an all-boys middle school btw.


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
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Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2020, 03:01:29 pm »
Interesting. At both my schools they're pretty strict about the situation, staggered lunches, no hanging out in the hallways. There is even some teacher that walks the halls to make sure the students are following the guidelines during the lunch break.

It has made my classes mostly pleasant compared to most years. My main school is an all-boys middle school btw.

My Wednesday school is a sports school. The students there don't care about anything except playing soccer.
They are so unruly and don't listen to any of the staff there. The teachers there, while really nice and friendly, most have just given up on trying with them.
They are a private school and only accepted the students to stay a private school, instead of converting back into a public one. And they knew about all the behavioral issues before accepting them as students too.
I'm only at this school for 3 - 3.5 hours per week, and only teach 3 classes, but that alone has been enough to drive my blood pressure up very high..


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1891

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2020, 03:11:56 pm »
My Wednesday school is a sports school. The students there don't care about anything except playing soccer.
They are so unruly and don't listen to any of the staff there. The teachers there, while really nice and friendly, most have just given up on trying with them.
They are a private school and only accepted the students to stay a private school, instead of converting back into a public one. And they knew about all the behavioral issues before accepting them as students too.
I'm only at this school for 3 - 3.5 hours per week, and only teach 3 classes, but that alone has been enough to drive my blood pressure up very high..
That explains it.

Although it sounds more like they tried to stave off out-right closure due to lack of students. Private schools are essentially just like public school here. Main difference is how they're administered. I believe legally they can't outright take over a private school. But they easily control it through funding, audits, and probably many other methods. And the government does have final say in funding, curriculum, and teacher staffing.


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2020, 03:15:25 pm »
That explains it.

Although it sounds more like they tried to stave off out-right closure due to lack of students. Private schools are essentially just like public school here. Main difference is how they're administered. I believe legally they can't outright take over a private school. But they easily control it through funding, audits, and probably many other methods. And the government does have final say in funding, curriculum, and teacher staffing.

There's enough funding for them to stay open without the sports students, the teachers there just didn't want to be part of the public school system (like don't want to rotate every 4 years and all that).


Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2020, 10:50:51 pm »
I have a couple classes that are super quiet. They were quiet before the whole pandemic, but I felt like I was making headway on getting them to open up and try in class. After the students came back after my hagwon shutdown for several weeks back in March, those students have barely said a word. My boss is really strict on following all the guidelines, we can't do any group activities, and I'm just supposed to do my best to get them to talk, but for some of the lower level kids it's just not working. It's only a few classes, but it's still frustrating.

Actually, the worst thing is getting some of the kids, especially the elementary aged students, to keep their masks on. I have one girl who just refuses to keep her mask on, spends the whole class biting her fingers, and refuses to cover her nose and mouth when she sneezes. She's in sixth grade; she should know better or at least be able to understand the basics of the situation, but she just seems not to care. I've also had kids come in sick and they all say, "It's not Corona, so it's ok," but it's like "Even if you were tested, how do you know for sure?" It's the parents' fault of course, we can't send the kids home, but it's just ridiculous that these parents are willing to risk people's health so their 11-year-old kid can get an extra day of English study as if that would make or break their future 수능 score.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 10:58:51 pm by Chillsberg »


Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2020, 11:07:24 am »
I have 1, 3rd grade class, this year, which is silent as the tomb. Students looking down, not answering any questions. The only time they'll say anything is when parroting back.

I spoke with my CT and in the nicest way possible, she told me that the new HR teacher (a short, bald, old guy) is extremely strict and believes that any degree of noise (even if it's from a bunch of freakin' 9yr olds) is a sign of disrespect. Over time, we'll see how things go.


  • hangook77
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    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2020, 07:44:01 am »
Everyone at my schools takes is very serious. but the big school has the AC on windows and doors shut, thank GAWD. my smaller school is not budging on the AC. I am hoping they reconsider or they will be pretty pissed and freaked out when i get heat stroke and pass out and get sick all over.

Tell them that and not us.  I am usually pretty quick to ask for it on. 


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2001

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2020, 07:45:29 am »
My Wednesday school is a sports school. The students there don't care about anything except playing soccer.
They are so unruly and don't listen to any of the staff there. The teachers there, while really nice and friendly, most have just given up on trying with them.
They are a private school and only accepted the students to stay a private school, instead of converting back into a public one. And they knew about all the behavioral issues before accepting them as students too.
I'm only at this school for 3 - 3.5 hours per week, and only teach 3 classes, but that alone has been enough to drive my blood pressure up very high..

Private schools are strange here in that they still get public money and are considered part of the public system. 


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1851

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2020, 07:48:24 am »
Private schools are strange here in that they still get public money and are considered part of the public system. 

Yeah, but the teachers don't have to rotate every 4 years, they can stay at the same school for as long as they want.


  • CO2
  • Waygook Lord

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    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Uiwang
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2020, 07:55:09 am »
Yeah, but the teachers don't have to rotate every 4 years, they can stay at the same school for as long as they want.

As it should be.
The first thing to say is that this is definitely not pyramid selling, OK?


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2020, 07:56:34 am »
Yeah, but the teachers don't have to rotate every 4 years, they can stay at the same school for as long as they want.
True... However, often private schools are part of some umbrella group that Koreans hear like calling a 'foundation' that often own multiple schools. And depending on their own particular rules, they may move teachers around to other private schools in their 'foundation'.

Anyways, if a middle school, and a high school, are on the same campus, good chance it's a private school.


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1851

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Extremely quiet classes
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2020, 08:14:16 am »
True... However, often private schools are part of some umbrella group that Koreans hear like calling a 'foundation' that often own multiple schools. And depending on their own particular rules, they may move teachers around to other private schools in their 'foundation'.

Anyways, if a middle school, and a high school, are on the same campus, good chance it's a private school.

I think my Wednesday school isn't like that. It's just a middle school on its own.
Teachers haven't moved in my almost 3 years there. Though, 1 - 2 teachers left at the end of last year, and haven't been able to be replaced yet haha.