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How do you deal with noise?
« on: July 29, 2020, 02:01:55 pm »
My Wednesdays, not much teaching but incredibly stressful:

Period 1-3 - Teach with my CT. I lead and any unnecessary noise gets dealt with. (no more teaching after that)

Period 4-5 - Sit at the back of the English class, while my CT teaches her class. It's incredibly chaotic, her and students shouting at the same time throughout the lesson. There's also a special needs boy in one of the classes who makes the lesson pretty much unteachable, most of the time. He constantly slams his desk and chair on the floor, tips them over and screams to himself. It's her class, so I'm not going to undermine her by interfering.

After Lunch - Afterschool teacher teaches in conjoined English room (separated by a sliding door) from the room I'm in, my desk is right next to the sliding door so I can hear everything happening in her class. Her lessons are even more chaotic than my CTs, a class of students all shouting different conversations to one another while she shouts instructions to them... it's like an opera from hell. This doesn't stop till about 3pm. What makes it worse is that she drills them with pure Konglish and hearing my students internalize this just adds to the frustration.

Today I snapped and stormed into her class after a couple of boys got into a shouting match, exchanging "shut ups" and "hey, f*ck you's". I told them to bloody can it and watch their mouths (this was more a reprimand against the afterschool teacher for letting this zoo run rampant). Predictably, she made excuses that they said other words.

My CT claimed she didn't hear it (she's on the other side of the class) as she's been too focused on her work to pay attention. Now, this could be the truth or simply her way of telling me to calm down, ignore it, and focus on my work. Thing is, I just can't. I have a finite capacity to tolerate screaming and noise; I'm not talking about regular school noises, I'm talking about the noise of classes that are completely out of control. I think 4hrs of listening to out of control classes is a pretty high threshold.

I'm questioning whether it's the end of a long semester and I'm on a short fuse or whether things really are that bad to warrant such a reaction, on my part.

My CT is probably one of the most Zen people I know, she rarely gets angry, despite being surrounded by absolute chaos and yes, I do think others take advantage of her non-confrontational nature. However, I can't help admiring that resilience... or maybe she's a ticking time bomb.


Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 02:08:53 pm »
It's probably a combination of all of the things you've mentioned. Last year, towards the last month of class, I found myself almost snapping at students who were on my nerves (I didn't) and after break I was able to relax and calm down some, but I think it still gets to me after having been here for 5 years when the students refuse to do any work. I usually never say anything but when I have said something to a student I feel bad afterward.  Other stuff doesn't bother me so much. Noise is stressful though.

I do my best work early in the morning if I get to school when no teachers are here and tend to listen to music all day. I also go hide in the bathroom for a 10-15 minute break at least once a day, if I can, because it helps me to refocus and get away from the noise.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 02:24:59 pm by nightninja »


Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 02:10:18 pm »
Man, I bought noise cancelling headphones last week.

No headaches or migraines during/after work. They're a game changer. Obviously you can't wear them during classes, but for all the space in between it does wonders. A worthy investment.


  • Datasapien
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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 02:17:31 pm »
I hear you loud and clear - I consider myself a rather chill guy most of the time too but some schools are just so noisy and chaotic. My tried-and-tested tactic is to put in earplugs, then headphones, and play loud zen music (think Tibetan singing bowls / rain / relaxing piano). That's just about enough to drown out the shouting, door slamming, running, screaming, laughing and swearing that fills the corridors in a typical middle school. Kudos to you for lasting so long, jeez.
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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 02:30:46 pm »
Dude there is a 2nd grade couple that having shouting and throwing stuff tantrums every single day at my school and I watch them in the corridor screaming at each other while not 1 but multiple Korean teachers walk past them and just let them get on with destroying shit, hitting each other and making an ungodly amount of noise.

I often wonder how this allowed to happen and why none of the Korean teachers stop them or reprimand them. No one cares. I guess it's not worth the hassle. This has been going on for months. The boy kicked hand sanitizer from outside his classroom all the way to the other end of the corridor and if had hit one of the teachers in the head they would have just pretended like nothing happened.

Anyway, I caught these two love birds having one of these shouting drama episodes outside my classroom door last Friday and this bottle of hand sanitizer comes whizzing off the window and lands outside my door just as I'm opening it to tell em to stop there clarting on. I picked up the hand sanitizer and I stuck out my arm to the boy and said here you go, and he sticks his arm out to take it and just as he's about to grasp it RKO out of nowhere! Straight thru the desk. The kid is on the ground dazed and confused, i see the girl come rushing across and her mouth starts opening to let out a scre....SWEET CHIN MUSIC. She goes flying through the classroom wall, must be plasterboard, not my fault they don't make em out of bricks and cement any more. You're probably thinking i'd be in a spot of bother here with the school or the parents but it's alright cos when I came back from my last vacation I bought an emergency bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue label for a rainy day like today. I go straight back into my classroom while the bodies on the ground are being cleared up by the remaining students, I grab the Whisky and head straight to the principal's office. Half an hour later we are in this Norae bang doing Jello shots out of some North Korean asylum seekers belly button with a box of fried chicken on the table. The parents were taken care of with a couple of SPAM gift boxes and a thousand Lotte Mart points.

Quite quiet around here now.
Soggy undergarments