Read 8539 times

  • Bump
  • Veteran

    • 194

    • April 26, 2011, 12:07:27 pm
    • Seoul
Anyone despise some of their classes?
« on: August 22, 2011, 08:50:35 am »
So I've tried to make myself believe that everything is ok when teaching some of my terrible classes, but I'm at the point now where I can't sugarcoat anything anymore...I pretty much despise having to teach certain classes.  It's the kind of thing whereby it's almost impossible not to frown when walking into the classroom as you know it's just gonna be a lot of really terribly behaved kids making your life miserable for an hour.  Any of you guys ever feel this way? 


  • Jozigirl
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1045

    • May 03, 2011, 07:37:47 am
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 08:53:26 am »
This is a perfectly normal part of teaching.  I have one class I can't stand.  It's hardly surprising that this class is taught with the teacher I like the least of all my co-teachers.


  • yeti08
  • Super Waygook

    • 388

    • July 03, 2011, 12:58:29 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 08:57:54 am »
I am this boat also.  I really enjoy some classes, tolerate others, and absolutely loathe one.  It is a class of middle school grade 2 girls.  They have nothing in common with me and I am not one to research K-Pop and pretend to like it.  I am too old for them to have a crush on me so they are awful in class.  I dread the 2 hours a week I have with them and try to forget they even exist.  Worse yet when I tell the principal about their classroom behavior she shrugs it off and always has an excuse in her pocket.  They once complained I refused to buy them a snack for finishing their book....the nerve.  The principal ordered them pizza for their complaint.  My reasoning was if they can't do any work in class, can't stop mocking me, then why should they get a treat.  Ah hagwons.....must make them happy even when they're terrible.

I feel your pain, I'd recommend just going with the motions for that class(es).  Don't care whether you're getting through to them.  Focus on the good classes.  That's what I've done. 


  • Jozigirl
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1045

    • May 03, 2011, 07:37:47 am
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 09:40:23 am »
Each year, I've had at least one class I've loathed since I first started teaching 8 years ago.  Whenever I reach my limit with a lousy class, my mom, who has been teaching for 35 years, always reminds me not to give the kids anything more than the teacher in me.  Don't let kids affect your whole day or even your mood for a particular class.  It's easier said than done - particularly when they're being really awful. 

I've had kids here (at a foreign language high school) openly tell me they hate me and they don't want to study English because they won't need it for their specific job.  Their English is generally good enough that they can communicate this message well.  I smile and thank them for hating me (they care enough about my class to tell me this) and comment that when they have their speaking test for university entrance (a requirement as of the end of this year), some small part of them on that day will thank me for pushing them. 

I pick my battles with my horrible class: I have one kid I've completely given up on (something I've never done before) and every other teacher has given up on him too.  Not having to fight him (and ignoring him completely) in every lesson has made the class much better to teach.  I also focus on the four kids who actually try to work in that class.  If the class is really annoying me, I try to remember that they're the ones who are going to be screwed in the assessment if we don't get through all of the work.  I've already passed high school - now it's their turn.  I try to smile throughout the lesson (while mentally smacking certain kids) and, at the end of the lesson, I walk out and go and listen to some music for 10 minutes or chat to a kid I like.

In hagwons, unfortunately, the kids rule - and they know it.


Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 09:59:34 am »
It really happens lol. i work in public school and i gotta say sometimes there are a few kids who think they high class and their Sh!t doesnt stink. I have a few students in each of my classes who is annoying to the point where they make it their goal to get a response, but as a whole i dont despise any certain class. There is the great students who are in each class as well and they make it worth the while teaching kids english. Ive had some students try the "i wont need english at my job, so i wont learn it" to which i reply "What if something happens and suddenly you are at a place where you NEED it?"

most of the time it works, sometimes the kid still tries to be a smartass, but then i say more complex word and tell them to go look it up when they ask what it means lol


Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2011, 10:38:13 am »
I have a automechanics class...top that.  They have 0 interest in English and I get them for 3 hours a week.  I hate walking in the door.


  • SpaceRook
  • Expert Waygook

    • 814

    • November 18, 2010, 11:54:36 am
    • South Korea
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2011, 11:31:15 am »
Any of you guys ever feel this way?

Yes.  Knowing what to expect from the class helps a lot.  Before class, I tell myself, "OK, this is a rough class.  This class is going to be 5% as effective as my other classes.  Some kids are going to be loud and noisy.  Most aren't going to learn anything.  I'll do my presentation, handout worksheets, and then focus on the kids who care.  It will be over in 45 minutes."

I know, I know....children are the future and we're supposed to have infinite patience and tolerance.  Sorry, but it doesn't work that way.  Your psyche will get destroyed if you expect the best from them.  Anticipating reality is the best way to stay sane.



Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2011, 12:09:57 pm »
I even despise teaching some of my best classes on some days.

I really feel this is unique to Korea as I am great with kids back home and grew up taking care of em a lot (Mum was a proffesional child minder) and even felt less uncomfortable teaching homeless people and addicts community theatre back home than I do Korean students.  Two of my friends made the move to Shangers and said the kids are just so much better there.

There's someting about the Korean frog in the well outlook (or more aptly IN-look) that makes them just on the most part unable to interact pleasently with foriegners.  It's all pure passive agression.

I just had a one on one class with a kid and was being ever so friendly, warm, approachable etc and he sat there the whole time almost shaking and picking at himself or with his head in his hands as though the end of the world was happening. 

That is just not normal.


  • denimdaze
  • Expert Waygook

    • 593

    • December 30, 2010, 04:46:58 pm
    • USA
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2011, 12:49:15 pm »
Definitely.  What would the school year be without such classes?  I have one where a group of girls constantly talk to each other, pull out their mirrors, comb/brush their hair, put on lip gloss, etc.  A group of boys in the same class can't keep their hands off each other.  This is 5th grade.  Even my Korean co-teacher gets frustrated with them, and she is far from a pushover.

That class makes me appreciate the better ones so much more. :)


  • skeller
  • Explorer

    • 8

    • April 01, 2011, 01:27:21 pm
    • Seoul, Korea
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 01:06:50 pm »
Every third grade (middle school) class I teach puts me on edge.   I dread the days when I teach them.  It's 5 classes a week.   I try to focus on the 10 students out of the 35 that are looking at me and trying to pay attention, but it's just exhausting.   It's like trying to play trivia in a bar with only two people who happen to be sitting at the other side of the room and everyone in between drinking and shouting.  Really. They NEVER stop talking,  the majority of them are never looking at me. I've stopped even trying to plan interesting activities for them.  The only thing that makes me feel better is that even their Korean teachers have a hard time with them.  It's so frustrating.   

Anyway, this has been a nice little vent.  I'm feeling better now and I hope you all are too!



  • yeti08
  • Super Waygook

    • 388

    • July 03, 2011, 12:58:29 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2011, 01:14:47 pm »
I really hope some of the people who like to complain about NET's complaining see the difference between people venting about a common frustration and outright whining.  Though I'm sure someone will be in soon and say foreigners are weak....

It does feel better to know that many people are in the same boat and maybe learn something from each other.

My energy goes to the classes that actually are somewhat interested, screw the others.


Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2011, 03:14:13 pm »
My energy goes to the classes that actually are somewhat interested, screw the others.

Yeti here just summarized it best.  I did a year in public last year and am now at a hagwon.  There are more than a few classes in this hagwon where I basically don't care.  Unfortunately, not caring gets a lot harder when my last three classes of the night are middle school level and eighty, yes EIGHTY minutes long.  They were hard enough to contain for forty-five minutes at my old middle school.  On the upside, I do have some students from my old school here and I always enjoy chatting with them as their English is quite good.  I even have an elementary student whose English is so good he's in with the middle school levels.

Quote from: sasez
In hagwons, unfortunately, the kids rule - and they know it.

Sadly true.  It's the kids and their parents since the parents are the ones paying our checks and once the kids start complaining, the parents start calling.  I know it's been said before and it's hard to take this advice myself, but let it go once you walk out that door and make it so the school doesn't exist until the next day.  Taking any of this home with you is the quickest way to become the next suicide statistic in this country.


Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2011, 03:34:19 pm »
The above is why I'm looking forward to working in China soon.

Kids parents sign em up for 42 weeks and PAY IN ADVANCE at the school I'm interviewing with.  There is a contract between parents and school what is acceptable and not and if they pull the kids without good grounds they do not get a refund, thus the kids are less likely to act up and the parents less likely to let them get away with it if they do.


  • rorio82
  • Veteran

    • 111

    • March 02, 2011, 07:33:05 am
    • Korea
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2011, 04:27:45 pm »
Full disclaimer, the following you are about to read is a bit difficult to pull off, and may prove successful only if you have a couple bad classes.

The only thing I can think of saying that might "help", is teach the students that want to be taught, even if is a handful of them.  What I've found is that when teaching those "difficult" classes, give *110%*(I apologize for the cliche) of your energy to the students who want to learn.  While the class itself maybe hell on earth, I was still doing something productive and tangible, and at the end I felt better about myself and what I was able to accomplish.   


  • cinamon
  • Super Waygook

    • 263

    • May 18, 2010, 12:15:53 pm
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2011, 09:44:23 am »
I have two this year and as luck would have it, they're both on the same day.  Doesn't help that I teach them with my least favorite CT. 

I guess two bad classes out of 26 is not very bad, but still.  Hey glass half full right?!?

I just think about how I will someday see my problem students wiping my table or asking to wash my car on the streets.  Oh well.


Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2011, 10:06:15 am »
I think that everyone goes through this... I can't imagine teaching as many different classes as most of us do and not having troubles with at least one.

Sometimes there's a problem that you can fix once you identify it, but sometimes the problem is too big to fix... if it's the kind of problem where I can feel sympathetic, it doesn't bother me as much. Sometimes kids are bullied or have tough lives at home or no hope... I just go easy on them and smile it off and try to help or make their school experience less horrible.

The only classes I've ever actively despised to the point where I dreaded them were usually horrible spoiled rich kids who were outwardly racist and rude with the full support of the management. I can probably put up with your BS if you're poor and have a hard life but if you get everything you want and you're still whining and moaning and getting all indignant and filing complaints because you don't get to play BINGO or whatever, it makes me want to slap your parents. I also hate the classes where the parents have filled their kids with ridiculous and probably racist expectations of what a NET is supposed to do for them... or where the previous NET spoiled them with presents that they didn't deserve and they expect the moon for doing the barest minimum.



  • Snowytin
  • Waygookin

    • 15

    • August 23, 2011, 02:00:53 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2011, 03:48:13 pm »
My supposed 'smartest' second grade class are the spawn of the devil. As of yesterday, I had my first cry as a result of school all because of my mounting frustrations with said class. I have been here for two years and never have I felt so deflated. My co-teachers have tried to help to no avail. At the end of the day I reminded myself that it's their own future that they are messing with and not mine.

That good cry allowed me to hold my head up at school today and continue teaching the other classes who are willing to put an effort in.


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2011, 04:25:06 pm »
I'm very lucky. In six years of PS I've only had one I thought was just the most absurd waste of time. In six month of hagwon I had at least a dozen. I guess that explains why I'm here and not there.


Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2011, 06:45:15 am »
Comforting to read similar stories.  I prefer the hakwon life for various reasons but it's true, the kids rule.  I have one class that, every time it ends, I find myself seriously contemplating leaving the profession.  They are just mean!  They get endless enjoyment out of calling me:  dirty (DUR-TEE), a beggar (BEG-ARE), crazy (KRAY-JEE), trash (TRASH-EE).  I tried various things to stop it but after a little respite it just starts again, and I don't know how to stay on it all the time without seeming totally paranoid or infuriated.  The head teacher says I'm "too sensitive" and that's the extent of her intervening. (Funnily enough, right after saying that, she revealed that she gets drunk almost every night because of how the stress of the job gets to her....)  I'm thinking of separating the class into 2 groups, one in the computer lab while the other does essay stuff etc, thinking that might break up the mob psychology a bit. 

Anyway the coping suggestions are helpful thank you.  One other thing I do is pretend that they are me.  Me and my siblings did some obnoxious stuff to teachers at times when we were kids, now that I look back on it.  So when I look at them I try to see myself as a 'tween....it helps actually.  Other times, I have lost my temper.  I feel like a jail warden way more than a teacher with them.  Not what I signed up for, I keep thinking!


  • plchron
  • Super Waygook

    • 262

    • July 20, 2011, 10:24:04 am
    • Ulsan
Re: Anyone despise some of their classes?
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2011, 08:34:59 am »
I had some classes that really made me angry before. the trick is to lose your cool and let them know how upset you are by throwing a tantrum