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  • jamasian
  • Super Waygook

    • 275

    • December 05, 2011, 03:02:00 pm
    • Suncheon, S. Korea
Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« on: June 04, 2012, 07:53:18 am »
Hmmmm My favorite co-teacher and I got into an argument. If the kids don't participate (sleeping/ silent) I deny them candy. If they are just naughty all class, I assign double homework. One homework needed 10 sentences but the boys had been so rowdy I assigned them 20. I figured they have a full week to finish anyway so it doesn't matter. They boys did the expected "Nooooo! Unfair~~! I don't wanna~!" and one even cried because the smartest girl teased him.

This is when she told them not to worry and they don't need to do 20. but as punishment they must do more than 10. I didn't say anything.

She has done this a few times about random things besides just homework punishments. I tell a kid to stand in a corner for excessive hitting of other students, she lets them sit within 2min. I was gonna just hold my tongue but she expressed that I keep making the kids angry and fight. I definitely don't, because not one hits other kids, or us, due to punishments. They do the typical 'no fair' thing.

So I told her that's natural and that she shouldn't constantly tell them my punishments are to be ignored. Then she said she doesn't understand me and doesn't want to teach with me anymore. This is elementary 3-6, but most punishment goes to the 6ths. (8/10) They are a pretty big class of mostly boys. Suggestions? She still wants me to plan fun lessons and make homework.


  • Cereal
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1239

    • March 16, 2011, 12:51:55 pm
    • Earth
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Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2012, 12:54:32 pm »
The most astonishing thing about this scenario is that you have to bribe students to participate.

How about failing them and making them repeat the grade again? That's what would have happened to me.

There's an incentive to study.
"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge."
Bakunin


Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 01:01:31 pm »
Why don't you compromise and do a fun lesson if they behave. That's what I do. That keeps the coteacher reminding the class to behave and the coteacher happy that I am making an attempt to make fun classes.


  • teachermc
  • Super Waygook

    • 384

    • March 04, 2010, 11:47:41 am
    • Tongyeong, South Korea
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Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 01:31:07 pm »
If she does not want to teach with you, it is kind of up to you.  Either do class her way or yours; if you choose the latter be prepared to take things over if she stops coming/participating.

I have similar issues at my main school, though it is usually not about discipline but about the plan in general.  However, I teach the most disrespectful classes I have ever seen two days a week at a school I visit without any coteacher or homeroom teacher.  Having the "opportunity" to run those classes the way I want leaves me pretty giving when I come to my main school. 

"Sure, coteacher.  Go ahead and spend 20 minutes on a chant instead of 5 minutes; I'm just glad you are here."


  • keirdre
  • Veteran

    • 111

    • November 27, 2011, 06:20:53 pm
    • Abingdon, UK
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 02:22:05 pm »
The most astonishing thing about this scenario is that you have to bribe students to participate.

How about failing them and making them repeat the grade again? That's what would have happened to me.

There's an incentive to study.

Agreed.  Getting caught in a 'candy motivation loop' is a disaster waiting to happen.  Don't start!

With regards to your second point...can students be failed and kept back a grade in Korea?


  • woman-king
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1159

    • October 18, 2010, 03:56:29 pm
    • Gyeonggi
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 02:55:19 pm »
The most astonishing thing about this scenario is that you have to bribe students to participate.

How about failing them and making them repeat the grade again? That's what would have happened to me.

There's an incentive to study.

More astonishing than the asinine immaturity of the adult co-teacher whenever the OP doles out reasonable discipline measures?

Or are you just not surprised by that anymore?  :D

Seriously, there seems to be a lot of extremes in discipline here--either people going overboard with the murderous screaming and hitting and anal-retentive strictness OR a sort of overindulgent "kids will be kids" attitude, regardless of how disruptive or even dangerous the students' antics may be.  With some co-teachers I've seen it fluctuate between the two, which is the absolute worst IMO.

OP, you need to enforce discipline in the classroom, case closed.  If your co-teacher is incapable of grasping this concept, she needs to be told that this is your classroom and you will be enforcing your rules.  Hopefully you have a head co-teacher who can make sure your co keeps coming to class, as she should be required to.


  • jamasian
  • Super Waygook

    • 275

    • December 05, 2011, 03:02:00 pm
    • Suncheon, S. Korea
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 04:43:30 pm »

How about failing them and making them repeat the grade again? That's what would have happened to me.
I believe they don't do those things.

Why don't you compromise and do a fun lesson if they behave. That's what I do.
I usually want to. They've been pushing the book so much, but maybe I'll just do 30min of one of the many bomb games. (At this school my classes are 1hr 20.)

If she does not want to teach with you, it is kind of up to you.  Either do class her way or yours; if you choose the latter be prepared to take things over if she stops coming/participating.
I'm very comfortable with teaching non-English speaking kids alone. I'd rather not do her way, because like others I don't believe in just giving candy every time I want them to learn something. It's a trap! hahaha


Yea, I'm going to try and talk about it with her. I think it'll be better to write up the things that I won't tolerate in class leading to no prizes of any kind. I'll also talk to her about the 30min of gaming thing. Even though it's not like we never play games...
::)


  • muffin85
  • Adventurer

    • 33

    • June 07, 2012, 10:08:51 am
    • south korea
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2012, 11:19:12 am »
My bf got into a little argument with his coteacher and she went from try to help discipline a difficult class, to sitting in the back and reading. I would try to come to some understanding, but if not just go ahead and do what I wanted the best I could. However, I also do not like the use of if you do this then you receive this rewards. They have their place, but overall take away from intrinsic motivation.


Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 12:07:02 pm »
I think discipline is necessary. Also, your punishments are light. I have a 3 strikes policy. If a student gets 3 strikes I make them write 100 lines, "I'm sorry teacher." With my more active co-teachers they handle the discipline. If your co doesn't want you to punish the kids then tell her she has to do it instead and stick to that plan.


  • livzy
  • Super Waygook

    • 366

    • April 21, 2012, 09:08:25 pm
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 07:09:39 am »
Hmmmm My favorite co-teacher and I got into an argument. If the kids don't participate (sleeping/ silent) I deny them candy. If they are just naughty all class, I assign double homework. One homework needed 10 sentences but the boys had been so rowdy I assigned them 20. I figured they have a full week to finish anyway so it doesn't matter. They boys did the expected "Nooooo! Unfair~~! I don't wanna~!" and one even cried because the smartest girl teased him.

This is when she told them not to worry and they don't need to do 20. but as punishment they must do more than 10. I didn't say anything.

She has done this a few times about random things besides just homework punishments. I tell a kid to stand in a corner for excessive hitting of other students, she lets them sit within 2min. I was gonna just hold my tongue but she expressed that I keep making the kids angry and fight. I definitely don't, because not one hits other kids, or us, due to punishments. They do the typical 'no fair' thing.

So I told her that's natural and that she shouldn't constantly tell them my punishments are to be ignored. Then she said she doesn't understand me and doesn't want to teach with me anymore. This is elementary 3-6, but most punishment goes to the 6ths. (8/10) They are a pretty big class of mostly boys. Suggestions? She still wants me to plan fun lessons and make homework.


I don't participate in your class but I think you're being unfair. Doubling their homework for some indiscretions seems a bit strong, why not add a line for each misdemeanor? My co-teacher (occasionally) doubles lines but she has absolute authority in our classes - not scary just very intelligent and wise. She knows better than I do as to what motivates the kids, regarding discipline. I know what gets them going and advancing, as I'm the NET and know the worst thing I could do is put them off learning English! I'd rather add different lines for their h/w but the National Tests are coming up and all of my Korean colleagues are under a lot of pressure now. You're the one who's the expert in the language, not the classroom dynamics.


  • jamasian
  • Super Waygook

    • 275

    • December 05, 2011, 03:02:00 pm
    • Suncheon, S. Korea
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 05:49:39 pm »
I don't participate in your class but I think you're being unfair. Doubling their homework for some indiscretions seems a bit strong, why not add a line for each misdemeanor? My co-teacher (occasionally) doubles lines but she has absolute authority in our classes - not scary just very intelligent and wise. She knows better than I do as to what motivates the kids, regarding discipline. I know what gets them going and advancing, as I'm the NET and know the worst thing I could do is put them off learning English! I'd rather add different lines for their h/w but the National Tests are coming up and all of my Korean colleagues are under a lot of pressure now. You're the one who's the expert in the language, not the classroom dynamics.

Hmmm I don't think we mean the same thing. They aren't copying the same sentence 20 times. They are making up sentences, as fill in the blanks really. I don't believe the kids are scared of me otherwise they wouldn't try to talk to me in class and during breaks.

When I do these punishments 8/10 students finish their work. They also happily come to my desk and demand a sticker because "I'm genius! I finished!" So good thing I'm not an NET that's detracting from their interest in English.

Also as a teacher, I would believe that you should know a thing or two about classroom dynamics. Have you not realized which kids are motivated by what? Have any idea what at least 2/3 of the classes strong and weak points are? I think doing a little of that goes a long way in impacting a student's attitude and understanding in your class.

If my co-teacher hadn't given them a choice I'm confident that most would have finished but instead, as expected, each boy did only 11 sentences. If she had absolute control I'm sure they would have been paying more attention and I wouldn't have felt the need to punish.
Luckily, she has her own computer in my class and is on it as I teach. *That's sarcasm.*


  • livzy
  • Super Waygook

    • 366

    • April 21, 2012, 09:08:25 pm
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2012, 06:52:00 pm »
Hmmm I don't think we mean the same thing. They aren't copying the same sentence 20 times. They are making up sentences, as fill in the blanks really. I don't believe the kids are scared of me otherwise they wouldn't try to talk to me in class and during breaks.

When I do these punishments 8/10 students finish their work. They also happily come to my desk and demand a sticker because "I'm genius! I finished!" So good thing I'm not an NET that's detracting from their interest in English.

Also as a teacher, I would believe that you should know a thing or two about classroom dynamics. Have you not realized which kids are motivated by what? Have any idea what at least 2/3 of the classes strong and weak points are? I think doing a little of that goes a long way in impacting a student's attitude and understanding in your class.

If my co-teacher hadn't given them a choice I'm confident that most would have finished but instead, as expected, each boy did only 11 sentences. If she had absolute control I'm sure they would have been paying more attention and I wouldn't have felt the need to punish.
Luckily, she has her own computer in my class and is on it as I teach. *That's sarcasm.*


I personally like gap fills but I would get the kids to do 1 in every three or four as a gap fill and the others as simply copying out the sentences you write for their writing practice. Maybe the more talented kids could do them all as gap fills, and you stipulate a minimum 3 gap fills every 10 sentences for everyone.* The reason I say this is because giving them such a long leash might be too much freedom for their undeveloped brains, especially in a culture that prefers uniformity and repetitive ways of learning. For example the chanting usually goes down well in my classes - they (the majority) never get bored of it. I do, so alter pacing and emphasize different syllables or actually deepen my voice an octave. It's funny when they repeat my bass tones, haha.

As to motivation - they're kids and if I give fun, varied lessons that comprehensively covers what's in the book then it keeps them going. I see PPTs (downloaded from here) going on all sorts of tangents which, although interesting for the teacher, isn't really fair for small kids who already are under pressure in exams. When I was at school if in geography lessons we'd done a third of the lessons on S American ancient culture when I knew it wasn't part of the syllabus or in the exam I might have lost interest in the subject overall, even though now I think it fascinating. Some of my peers would've loved it as they might not have felt stretched enough but I was more interested in hard sciences. As a teacher I try to engage my classes all the time but I'm a realist and know at least 25% don't like doing languages, so I sometimes low-brow to keep them in the game.

Sorry, that was a tangent but we're grown ups here ! I digress. I agree your co-teacher could be doing much better than sat looking at her monitor. My co-teacher and I take turns in teaching, the one not uses the time to check writing (discreetly going around the class) or puts up points on the board for the best table or group. At the end of class the best group gets a stamp or sticker. I took a couple of days alone last week as my co-teachers were on field trips and putting up the points and teaching simultaneously is tiring and distracting. If you don't already could you start doing that for your co-teacher and see if she reciprocates? Either that or cut the plug off her PC (half joking).

*Ten sentences; each different and covering what's been covered in that lesson. You could still up the ante by one for every misdemeanor.


  • jamasian
  • Super Waygook

    • 275

    • December 05, 2011, 03:02:00 pm
    • Suncheon, S. Korea
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 05:49:57 pm »

I personally like gap fills but I would get the kids to do 1 in every three or four as a gap fill and the others as simply copying out the sentences you write for their writing practice. Maybe the more talented kids could do them all as gap fills, and you stipulate a minimum 3 gap fills every 10 sentences for everyone.* The reason I say this is because giving them such a long leash might be too much freedom for their undeveloped brains, especially in a culture that prefers uniformity and repetitive ways of learning. For example the chanting usually goes down well in my classes - they (the majority) never get bored of it. I do, so alter pacing and emphasize different syllables or actually deepen my voice an octave. It's funny when they repeat my bass tones, haha.

As to motivation - they're kids and if I give fun, varied lessons that comprehensively covers what's in the book then it keeps them going. I see PPTs (downloaded from here) going on all sorts of tangents which, although interesting for the teacher, isn't really fair for small kids who already are under pressure in exams.

Sorry, that was a tangent but we're grown ups here!...... putting up the points and teaching simultaneously is tiring and distracting. If you don't already could you start doing that for your co-teacher and see if she reciprocates? Either that or cut the plug off her PC (half joking).


Actually, I feel like I learned something from you but also wanted you to think more of what my position is.
I never thought of gap fills as too much for them because they've produced them each time, but as they are young and not natives I can see how some may not progress. If they are always changing it up they may not notice sentence patterns. Is that somewhat where you're going with that?

I try not to use too many PPTs from here. As you said a few go off on tangents that aren't necessary to the kids' levels. I like to have them listen to their book content for listening and such. We even make random dances for their corny sing-a-longs. Everyone laughs and it's fun. Only when I know of a really interesting, very closely related video do I show it. (So far a lot of ABC's or two liner cartoons.)

Your co-teacher is way more active than mine then. I usually do walk around when she's teaching, but when I teach she's in her own world, mostly. -_-  I think I will do the addition of a line like you mentioned. On an individual level.  I still don't find my methods unfair though. It just happened to be one of those days. My students aren't wild childs
;)


  • livzy
  • Super Waygook

    • 366

    • April 21, 2012, 09:08:25 pm
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 10:53:18 pm »

I personally like gap fills but I would get the kids to do 1 in every three or four as a gap fill and the others as simply copying out the sentences you write for their writing practice. Maybe the more talented kids could do them all as gap fills, and you stipulate a minimum 3 gap fills every 10 sentences for everyone.* The reason I say this is because giving them such a long leash might be too much freedom for their undeveloped brains, especially in a culture that prefers uniformity and repetitive ways of learning. For example the chanting usually goes down well in my classes - they (the majority) never get bored of it. I do, so alter pacing and emphasize different syllables or actually deepen my voice an octave. It's funny when they repeat my bass tones, haha.

As to motivation - they're kids and if I give fun, varied lessons that comprehensively covers what's in the book then it keeps them going. I see PPTs (downloaded from here) going on all sorts of tangents which, although interesting for the teacher, isn't really fair for small kids who already are under pressure in exams.

Sorry, that was a tangent but we're grown ups here!...... putting up the points and teaching simultaneously is tiring and distracting. If you don't already could you start doing that for your co-teacher and see if she reciprocates? Either that or cut the plug off her PC (half joking).


Actually, I feel like I learned something from you but also wanted you to think more of what my position is.
I never thought of gap fills as too much for them because they've produced them each time, but as they are young and not natives I can see how some may not progress. If they are always changing it up they may not notice sentence patterns. Is that somewhat where you're going with that?

I try not to use too many PPTs from here. As you said a few go off on tangents that aren't necessary to the kids' levels. I like to have them listen to their book content for listening and such. We even make random dances for their corny sing-a-longs. Everyone laughs and it's fun. Only when I know of a really interesting, very closely related video do I show it. (So far a lot of ABC's or two liner cartoons.)

Your co-teacher is way more active than mine then. I usually do walk around when she's teaching, but when I teach she's in her own world, mostly. -_-  I think I will do the addition of a line like you mentioned. On an individual level.  I still don't find my methods unfair though. It just happened to be one of those days. My students aren't wild childs
;)

Sweet. Every teacher's different and there are so many different learning styles. I've just started using videos too and have had a bit of a dance and sing-a-long these last few weeks. Definitely not my style but when in class you gottado-what-ya-gottado, eh? I'll chat with my co-teacher about having a couple lines as gap fills as we've never done that. I'll definitely give that a try. I'm still learning as a teacher (I have no idea when that will end! haha!) but I'm now thinking keeping classes fresh is good. She was dancing in class and I really couldn't get in the groove so I used the time to grade the students on their willingness to participate/be silly, but I'm slowly getting more physical in class. It's still a steep learning curve even though I've been doing this since '06. My last job (office drone) wasn't like this ... what's going on, ha ha?


  • Avitty
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • July 11, 2012, 08:44:00 pm
    • England
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2012, 11:41:00 pm »
I agree that there needs to be discipline in the classroom but for my students, doubling their homework would be unrealsitic given their timetable. Maybe talk with your co-teacher about re-thinking your discipline strategy.


Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2012, 08:06:47 am »
Why give them candy? Like someone else said to bribe them? I think it's something only some new teachers do.

Is it some sort of consolation to make up for the poor lesson? I wouldn't manipulate the kids, I'd focus on making your classes better.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 08:13:36 am by ESLinsider »
Who is ESLinsider?


  • anon717
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • February 07, 2012, 11:07:27 pm
    • US
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2012, 03:17:21 am »
I find it completely wrong that your co-teacher undermines your authority in front of the students. If the co-teacher has a problem with the way you are running the class he/she should speak to you after the students leave.


  • Morticae
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1400

    • August 31, 2010, 12:45:33 pm
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2012, 08:31:02 am »
Why give them candy? Like someone else said to bribe them? I think it's something only some new teachers do.

Is it some sort of consolation to make up for the poor lesson? I wouldn't manipulate the kids, I'd focus on making your classes better.

No. I give candy and I've been in my school for over 2 years. Two Korean English teachers also give candy. So, about half of the English department gives candy. I've never understood the anti-candy sentiment expressed on Dave's or this forum. My classes are 90% volunteer, I hate putting a student on the spot. That can turn them off of English. I like to encourage the quiet students and candy works. The active students will answer questions regardless of the prize. If I don't have candy, or if the class is bad, I just don't give them candy and things run as normal. So what's the problem? I haven't found logical reasoning as to why I shouldn't give candy-- until I do, I will stick with what works.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5828

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2012, 09:58:54 am »
Why give them candy? Like someone else said to bribe them? I think it's something only some new teachers do.

Is it some sort of consolation to make up for the poor lesson? I wouldn't manipulate the kids, I'd focus on making your classes better.

No. I give candy and I've been in my school for over 2 years. Two Korean English teachers also give candy. So, about half of the English department gives candy. I've never understood the anti-candy sentiment expressed on Dave's or this forum. My classes are 90% volunteer, I hate putting a student on the spot. That can turn them off of English. I like to encourage the quiet students and candy works. The active students will answer questions regardless of the prize. If I don't have candy, or if the class is bad, I just don't give them candy and things run as normal. So what's the problem? I haven't found logical reasoning as to why I shouldn't give candy-- until I do, I will stick with what works.


I totally agree with this. I've taught ESL for quite some time, and found that as long as the students don't expect you to give them candy, then giving them the occasional motivator or reward can be very beneficial.

 I mean really, at the middle school level, there aren't too many intrinsic motivators for the native teacher's English class, as often the material is not tested and does not count towards a grade. Keeping their attention focused on you can be difficult, especially after exams, and the promise of a small treat can go a long way in improving the atmosphere in class.

Think of it another way, which is better, spending 50 won on a candy for a reward, or wasting 30% of your teaching time on a game that may or may not have any educational value?

Also, as a teacher, your entire job revolves around manipulating kids into doing things they would rather not do (ie: learning), and as such, the more tools you have that further that end (good classes, good relation with co-teacher, understanding of basic Korean, rewards, effective discipline, games etc), the better.


Re: Co-teacher No Longer Happy
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2012, 12:47:55 pm »
I will have to admit I am faithful to the alter of the candy. Candy changed my life.

As long as it keeps the kiddies amped and motivated to learn, I don't see the issue.

Three cheers for the sweetners. :P