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  • EmMargaret
  • Waygookin

    • 23

    • December 15, 2011, 11:09:21 am
    • South Korea
Ready to Cry
« on: January 18, 2012, 08:28:00 pm »
Hi,
 I was a substitute teacher for many years before coming to Korea. If you remember the way that you treated your substitute teacher... I had always heard that the students in Asian countries were very well behaved. I have a class that is making me feel like quitting. They are rude and disrespectful everyday I have them. The first day that I met this group, one student said how much he hated me.
 I am trying my best to teach the book that I was given but all they want to do is play games. They are a middle school class. Today, I had a student tell me to stop talking. I stopped and was sooo angry, I didn't know what to do. Where I work there is little to no discipline from the regular Korean teachers, but I have seen this group and they listen to the other teachers. I almost wish those bad students would quit. Any advice would be greatly helpful.
Thank you


Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 08:49:58 pm »
I'm guessing that you are in a rather 'low' status middle school?  Students know what they are doing is wrong and would never do that to a Korean teacher.

My advice is just to stop caring.  These kids will spend the next few years wasting their time in high school, probably buy their university degree at a 4th tier university and then end up as delivery boys or selling fish or meat at HomePlus because they were 'too cool' to really understand what you were doing there.

I know this because I saw a former HS student who was  selling meat at home plus a few weeks ago.  Didn't get into a good university (was too cool to study) and now is selling meat.  I asked him if he liked his job, he said he 'hated it'.  I smiled and told him 'I kept trying to tell you, but you didn't want to listen.  Welcome to the rest of your life!" (I literally said that)...his facial expression was priceless and I wandered away smiling.

Believe me...that was an awesome feeling.  But for now..you need to stop caring and just do what you do.  If not, then open the windows and turn off the heat until they decide that learning is less painful than being cold.

MC


Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 10:58:06 pm »
Quote
To the OP, they're meant to be on holiday right now. How would you feel, when you were 13, to be sitting through meaningless classes on your vacation? Try not to sweat it

They could just leave, no need to be rude.

My advice is if it's a ps school try to get their homeroom korean teacher on board.  If it's a hakwan, try to get support from admin but if they wont give it look for a better job, there are some out there.


  • Frozencat99
  • The Legend

    • 2096

    • October 09, 2011, 04:31:36 pm
    more
Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 11:54:16 pm »
I know this because I saw a former HS student who was  selling meat at home plus a few weeks ago.  Didn't get into a good university (was too cool to study) and now is selling meat.  I asked him if he liked his job, he said he 'hated it'.  I smiled and told him 'I kept trying to tell you, but you didn't want to listen.  Welcome to the rest of your life!" (I literally said that)...his facial expression was priceless and I wandered away smiling.

Believe me...that was an awesome feeling.

You got enjoyment out of that? Yuck.


Yeah, that's a new level of "wow" for me.

To the OP: What level of middle school are you talking about? Sometimes the students need to be worked on and need to know that you don't take such behaviour lightly. I know its rather hard, and its especially tiring to get consistently disrespected, but you can truly get through by disciplining them. Perhaps, if your co-teachers won't directly intervene, you can at least get them to translate. I'm not too sure what works on middle school, so I'm at a loss for what to suggest, but I've noticed both of my co-teachers selectively discipline the top dogs and the rest of them fall in line.

Keep your head up and don't let them get to you. As was said, if you're at a PS there is much hope, but not so at a hagwon.
Beware the Homosexual Industrial Complex -- http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-june-17-2013/left-behind

You can leave your heterophobia behind.


Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2012, 02:24:14 am »
OP it sounds like nobody has told you that this is camp time, not 'real study' time!

They're probably not angry at you personally so much as you think you're supposed to be teaching a real class while every single other teacher they've had during camp/winter study time has probably played games or at least come up with a fun activity for them at this time. It's probably what the teacher before you was doing… and if you started off with some normal lessons that involve disciplined, structured learning, it's not going to go over well.

I'm not excusing their behavior because it's absolutely atrocious but there's still hope for you to win them over-- they're really not demanding, and most of the games on this site would probably work for them. Don't worry about continuity or actually teaching them anything… just make sure the game is good.


  • andyfoggy
  • Super Waygook

    • 357

    • December 07, 2010, 12:11:55 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012, 02:37:34 am »
I'm guessing that you are in a rather 'low' status middle school?  Students know what they are doing is wrong and would never do that to a Korean teacher.

My advice is just to stop caring.  These kids will spend the next few years wasting their time in high school, probably buy their university degree at a 4th tier university and then end up as delivery boys or selling fish or meat at HomePlus because they were 'too cool' to really understand what you were doing there.

I know this because I saw a former HS student who was  selling meat at home plus a few weeks ago.  Didn't get into a good university (was too cool to study) and now is selling meat.  I asked him if he liked his job, he said he 'hated it'.  I smiled and told him 'I kept trying to tell you, but you didn't want to listen.  Welcome to the rest of your life!" (I literally said that)...his facial expression was priceless and I wandered away smiling.Believe me...that was an awesome feeling.  But for now..you need to stop caring and just do what you do.  If not, then open the windows and turn off the heat until they decide that learning is less painful than being cold.

MC

lol, that made me happy


Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 03:09:35 am »
You really shouldn't be happy when your students become failures… if anything, it means that you're a lousy teacher because you couldn't motivate them… and gloating like that is kind of a jerk move on your part-- especially since there's a good chance that you couldn't do much better if you were back home.   


  • EmMargaret
  • Waygookin

    • 23

    • December 15, 2011, 11:09:21 am
    • South Korea
Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 04:22:43 am »
Thank you to everyone who replied and the person who saw their HS student, I very much appreciate that comment. It's a Hagwon with a set curriculum that I am supposed to get through. CT? Who gets a CT? On the first day that I was here, I was sent  into the classroom with the curriculum by myself. It's laughable.
 I understand the boredom of what we are doing, but at the same time, I am trying to get them to read the material and then answer questions. You wouldn't think that it was such a big deal. I feel that having them answer questions about the reading would help to improve their grammar.
 I did try a kind of game last week. We were reading articles about providing advice. Each student had to write down a fictitious problem and then they traded with other students who were supposed to provide advice for that problem. It seemed like a fun idea. Those students who hate English and should not be there (my thinking) refused to do the assignment. They preferred to sit there and do nothing.
 I can't quit my contract because I will definitely get screwed if I do. I think with this one class, the other classes are good, I'm going to have to not care if they do anything. That was the best piece of advice, thank you.


Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2012, 04:51:52 am »
I'm guessing that you are in a rather 'low' status middle school?  Students know what they are doing is wrong and would never do that to a Korean teacher.

My advice is just to stop caring.  These kids will spend the next few years wasting their time in high school, probably buy their university degree at a 4th tier university and then end up as delivery boys or selling fish or meat at HomePlus because they were 'too cool' to really understand what you were doing there.

I know this because I saw a former HS student who was  selling meat at home plus a few weeks ago.  Didn't get into a good university (was too cool to study) and now is selling meat.  I asked him if he liked his job, he said he 'hated it'.  I smiled and told him 'I kept trying to tell you, but you didn't want to listen.  Welcome to the rest of your life!" (I literally said that)...his facial expression was priceless and I wandered away smiling.

Believe me...that was an awesome feeling.  But for now..you need to stop caring and just do what you do.  If not, then open the windows and turn off the heat until they decide that learning is less painful than being cold.

MC

That's awesome. Years ago in Paju, I had this neurotic CT that was always telling me, "All the children should get the chance to learn English."
My response was always, "Yeah, well they are, but if they don't want to learn they should just sit there and be quiet while the kids who DO want to learn get my attention."
Her: "But as a teacher you should make them want to learn."
Me: "No, If they don't want to learn it, I'm not going to force it on them."
Later, when I was fed up with her whole schtick, I dropped this on her: "You know, most of these kids are too dumb to learn English. But, that's okay, because Korea will always need taxi drivers, food deliverers, supermarket salespeople, postal workers, etc. None of those jobs require English, so all these kids have a future anyway."
That pretty much ended her rants about "English for all."

Really though, with all the kids who don't want to learn English because they're convinced they are going to be the next Park Ji-sun or whatever baseball star is famous, let them dream. Eventually they'll wind up as a blue collar cog.

Glad you got to rub that in the kid's face. Good on you for that.


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2012, 09:19:48 am »
Hi,
 I was a substitute teacher for many years before coming to Korea. If you remember the way that you treated your substitute teacher... I had always heard that the students in Asian countries were very well behaved. I have a class that is making me feel like quitting. They are rude and disrespectful everyday I have them. The first day that I met this group, one student said how much he hated me.
 I am trying my best to teach the book that I was given but all they want to do is play games. They are a middle school class. Today, I had a student tell me to stop talking. I stopped and was sooo angry, I didn't know what to do. Where I work there is little to no discipline from the regular Korean teachers, but I have seen this group and they listen to the other teachers. I almost wish those bad students would quit. Any advice would be greatly helpful.
Thank you

I know exactly - exactly - how you feel (though I tend to handle such situations by drinking, not crying). You've probably jumped into a well that was already poisoned long before you arrived. How long do you have to go on your contract? If it's less than four months, here's what I'd do:

- Get a list of all the parents' numbers and save it somewhere.
- Try your best to lay down the law in the class, do whatever it takes and use whatever punishments you see fit, and see what happens.
- If you get undermined by the Korean staff, march into the director's office and lay down an ultimatum.
- If nothing changes, quit.
- If your boss won't release you from your contract, threaten to call all the parents with a Korean friend.

I went through those exact steps many years ago. Oh and I should mention, make sure you have a bilingual friend and other offers lined up.


  • Driver 8
  • Veteran

    • 219

    • March 14, 2011, 07:34:49 pm
    • Ganggyeonng, South Korea
Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2012, 09:35:57 am »
You really shouldn't be happy when your students become failures… if anything, it means that you're a lousy teacher because you couldn't motivate them… and gloating like that is kind of a jerk move on your part-- especially since there's a good chance that you couldn't do much better if you were back home.

While I agree that the OP shouldn't take pleasure in this kid being "a failure,"  the notion that a student's success is entirely up to the teacher is bologna! (That movie, Waiting for Superman greatly oversimplified the subject) The teacher's job is to do everything in his/her power to lead the student to the water,  and make that water as palatable as possible, and even explain why that water is necessary to the student and in the future, but if the student refuses to drink, or the forces working against the teacher and student are so great, the student is unable to drink,  it's not necessarily the teacher's fault in the end.

You're also right though that just getting an education and working hard doesn't guarantee success anymore.  Not even close, actually. :'(


  • Frozencat99
  • The Legend

    • 2096

    • October 09, 2011, 04:31:36 pm
    more
Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2012, 09:50:34 am »
I'm guessing that you are in a rather 'low' status middle school?  Students know what they are doing is wrong and would never do that to a Korean teacher.

My advice is just to stop caring.  These kids will spend the next few years wasting their time in high school, probably buy their university degree at a 4th tier university and then end up as delivery boys or selling fish or meat at HomePlus because they were 'too cool' to really understand what you were doing there.

I know this because I saw a former HS student who was  selling meat at home plus a few weeks ago.  Didn't get into a good university (was too cool to study) and now is selling meat.  I asked him if he liked his job, he said he 'hated it'.  I smiled and told him 'I kept trying to tell you, but you didn't want to listen.  Welcome to the rest of your life!" (I literally said that)...his facial expression was priceless and I wandered away smiling.

Believe me...that was an awesome feeling.  But for now..you need to stop caring and just do what you do.  If not, then open the windows and turn off the heat until they decide that learning is less painful than being cold.

MC

That's awesome.  "You know, most of these kids are too dumb to learn English. But, that's okay, because Korea will always need taxi drivers, food deliverers, supermarket salespeople, postal workers, etc. None of those jobs require English, so all these kids have a future anyway."
That pretty much ended her rants about "English for all."


What swamp are we pulling NETs out?
Beware the Homosexual Industrial Complex -- http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-june-17-2013/left-behind

You can leave your heterophobia behind.


Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2012, 09:57:58 am »
I'm guessing that you are in a rather 'low' status middle school?  Students know what they are doing is wrong and would never do that to a Korean teacher.

My advice is just to stop caring.  These kids will spend the next few years wasting their time in high school, probably buy their university degree at a 4th tier university and then end up as delivery boys or selling fish or meat at HomePlus because they were 'too cool' to really understand what you were doing there.

I know this because I saw a former HS student who was  selling meat at home plus a few weeks ago.  Didn't get into a good university (was too cool to study) and now is selling meat.  I asked him if he liked his job, he said he 'hated it'.  I smiled and told him 'I kept trying to tell you, but you didn't want to listen.  Welcome to the rest of your life!" (I literally said that)...his facial expression was priceless and I wandered away smiling.

Believe me...that was an awesome feeling.  But for now..you need to stop caring and just do what you do.  If not, then open the windows and turn off the heat until they decide that learning is less painful than being cold.

MC

That's awesome.  "You know, most of these kids are too dumb to learn English. But, that's okay, because Korea will always need taxi drivers, food deliverers, supermarket salespeople, postal workers, etc. None of those jobs require English, so all these kids have a future anyway."
That pretty much ended her rants about "English for all."


What swamp are we pulling NETs out?

The truth is too much for you? Those are the facts. Learning a second language is hard and if you don't want to put the effort into it to study and practice, I'm not going to help you. You can get some menial job where English isn't a factor. Besides, we all know that the only reason the majority of these kids even learn English is to pass the exams to get into a good university, then get a high score on the TOEIC/TOEFL so they can get a corporate job. Fluency isn't the primary objective. Anyway, go back to your deskwarming and internet posting through your rose colored glasses. Noob


Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2012, 10:06:14 am »
YBS - good advice and mirrors my own precautions to the tee.

Point 1.  Eng for all is BS.  Some just don't and will never have the aptitude.  WE ARE NOT all perfect little snowflakes whom are all the same and all have the same potential.  I'm crap at math and always will be.  This is not a bad thing as it has pushed me in directions more suiting to my inate abilities such as drinking, gambling and womanising... uh what...

2.  The teacher is responsible for motivating the kids IS ALSO A BUNCH OF HIPPY-DIPPY BS.  To a point sure, but it does not have to be and should not have to be FUN ALL THE DAMN TIME.  If the kid wont accept that he has to be at school and make an effort to get success (as my old headmistress used to say to us - life and school are like a bank account - YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN) then there is not much the teacher can do and the kid should have to learn from his mistakes later down the road.  Hell this happened to me, I was high during mostr of my exams and got less than mediocre results.  Went to uni about 4 yrs later than my peers and did very well indeed.  Sometimes you just have to let the individual work their own thing out.

A recent study showed that all this new ager 'kids must be treated equally and given praise and high self esteem all the time and learing must be fun' stuff is ACTUALLY BAD for children's development and leads to unrealistic expectations outside of school, ego distonia problems, problems adjusting to failiure and not being able to cope emotionally with failiure or difficult situations.

Kids need some stumbling blocks along the road to help them deal with larger ones later in life.

Korean parents should just recognise that some of their offspring have no interest in English and that if they may need it later on in life, for a job prospect, or uni place that they are interested in - then tackling it then when they are motivated would be a better idea then making them suffer through 10 hrs of study a day and emotional burn-out.

9 months to go....


  • Spongeblob
  • Super Waygook

    • 428

    • March 03, 2011, 10:21:58 am
    • South Korea
Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2012, 10:20:39 am »
My goodness.  I remember what a big bag of horse expullsion I was in school.  I can just imagine my teachers comming back and saying ... "In your face Spongeblob how does it feel now mother trucker!"   ;)

You can't stop caring about the students even though they are the spawn of He double l.  Though, after awhile (short while) the idjits amongst them drive you past the border of insanity and leave you in the wasteland of what the ...

Anyway, curse of being a teacher.  It will sometimes be those selfsame little beestirrereds that grow up remembering you most fondly.   Keep trying to reach them all.  Yeah, you can shut them out and it will work but your not gonna be happy in the long run.  Being a teacher isn't just a job it is a calling.  Even here, where we are sometimes treated like dirt, a teacher is respected for their desire to teach.  Take away your desire and you take away some of your own self respect.  Imagine if your favorite teacher had treated you like a factory part and think about how it may have changed who you are today.  Everyone, including idjits, deserve a chance.  Sorry no easy answer.  Being a teacher sucks and feels great in unequal measure.  Keep trying and you get stronger.  Quit trying and you start dying inside.

Good luck.  :)   


  • Frozencat99
  • The Legend

    • 2096

    • October 09, 2011, 04:31:36 pm
    more
Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2012, 10:23:58 am »
I'm guessing that you are in a rather 'low' status middle school?  Students know what they are doing is wrong and would never do that to a Korean teacher.

My advice is just to stop caring.  These kids will spend the next few years wasting their time in high school, probably buy their university degree at a 4th tier university and then end up as delivery boys or selling fish or meat at HomePlus because they were 'too cool' to really understand what you were doing there.

I know this because I saw a former HS student who was  selling meat at home plus a few weeks ago.  Didn't get into a good university (was too cool to study) and now is selling meat.  I asked him if he liked his job, he said he 'hated it'.  I smiled and told him 'I kept trying to tell you, but you didn't want to listen.  Welcome to the rest of your life!" (I literally said that)...his facial expression was priceless and I wandered away smiling.

Believe me...that was an awesome feeling.  But for now..you need to stop caring and just do what you do.  If not, then open the windows and turn off the heat until they decide that learning is less painful than being cold.

MC

That's awesome.  "You know, most of these kids are too dumb to learn English. But, that's okay, because Korea will always need taxi drivers, food deliverers, supermarket salespeople, postal workers, etc. None of those jobs require English, so all these kids have a future anyway."
That pretty much ended her rants about "English for all."


What swamp are we pulling NETs out?

The truth is too much for you? Those are the facts. Learning a second language is hard and if you don't want to put the effort into it to study and practice, I'm not going to help you. You can get some menial job where English isn't a factor. Besides, we all know that the only reason the majority of these kids even learn English is to pass the exams to get into a good university, then get a high score on the TOEIC/TOEFL so they can get a corporate job. Fluency isn't the primary objective. Anyway, go back to your deskwarming and internet posting through your rose colored glasses. Noob

There is a difference between knowing my limits and thinking I am the end all and be all of the future of my students. To turn around and throw a hissy fit because your co-teacher, a Korean, wants you to *gasp* continue trying to motivate the collective to learn English is immature and unprofessional.

Do I endlessly try to motivate the quieter kids and the more stalwart resistors in my class to learn English? Yes. Why? Because I'm being paid to teach them English, not to try once and then move on. Will some of my students end up in menial jobs because they don't care enough about school? Possibly, but at any point they can have a wake-up call and be motivated to learn. Rather than getting a warm, fuzzy feeling in my life every time I think about my bad students working at E-Mart, I'll get it from perpetually trying to get my kids to care. I know first-hand how quickly that can turn somebody around.

Some of them are and always will be bad with languages. That's undeniable. No matter how many times we do listen and repeat, and writing exercises, some of them will still struggle to answer "How are you (especially if you throw in the 'today' curveball)?" I'd still rather that have them doing that than have myself smiling at their misery in menial labour as they get older.

Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

(19 months to go...)
Beware the Homosexual Industrial Complex -- http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-june-17-2013/left-behind

You can leave your heterophobia behind.


Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2012, 10:25:49 am »
Wow. Talk about hippy-dippy BS. If two kids out of twelve in my class have no interest in learning English and are obviously not putting in any effort to study, then I am sure as hell not going to waste my time on them when I have ten other students doing their homework, trying to speak in complete sentences and eagerly participating in the class as well as speaking English to me outside of the classroom. That's the way it is and no new age rainbow teaching philosophy is going to change that. The 60s are over. Education is quick, lean and only for the motivated. Get moving or get left behind. I'm not here to babysit.


Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2012, 10:29:40 am »
Counting down your time until you leave? Well, you are setting the bar for professionalism. Hissy fit? Far from it, pal. Try being realistic for a change. You aren't a real teacher. You're just a guest speaker modelling the language. I have actual teaching certification as well as a healthy dose of reality.
Go ahead and ride out your 19 months. 19 months later, one less slacker.


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2012, 10:30:45 am »

The truth is too much for you? Those are the facts. Learning a second language is hard and if you don't want to put the effort into it to study and practice, I'm not going to help you. You can get some menial job where English isn't a factor. Besides, we all know that the only reason the majority of these kids even learn English is to pass the exams to get into a good university, then get a high score on the TOEIC/TOEFL so they can get a corporate job. Fluency isn't the primary objective. Anyway, go back to your deskwarming and internet posting through your rose colored glasses. Noob

You can be very successful without knowing a second language, but unfortunately in this country a good education almost always demands scoring well on a largely non-communicative, confusing English test. I feel very sorry for those who can't keep up, and can understand those who just give up. If I had grown up in Korea I'd likely be at Home Plus chopping up meat.

That said, if the kid can understand 'I kept trying to tell you but you didn't want to listen' in English the first time you said it, he knows more English than many of my ex-students who did get into university.



  • Spongeblob
  • Super Waygook

    • 428

    • March 03, 2011, 10:21:58 am
    • South Korea
Re: Ready to Cry
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2012, 10:38:16 am »
Wow. Talk about hippy-dippy BS. If two kids out of twelve in my class have no interest in learning English and are obviously not putting in any effort to study, then I am sure as hell not going to waste my time on them when I have ten other students doing their homework, trying to speak in complete sentences and eagerly participating in the class as well as speaking English to me outside of the classroom. That's the way it is and no new age rainbow teaching philosophy is going to change that. The 60s are over. Education is quick, lean and only for the motivated. Get moving or get left behind. I'm not here to babysit.
10 kids move on and 2 are left behind.  Total BS and selfserving philosophy.  What happens to those 2 kids?  In the year 2012 we are seeing entire goverments collapsing because some people have been left behind and now are finding their collective voice.  The idea of teaching only those who learn is as old as the hills.  It's a cop out (always has been) and yes part of being a teacher is sometimes babysitting.  I'm here to teach not pick and choose who will live and die.