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Re: Schools wanting clowns, not teachers.
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2013, 03:19:00 pm »
I definitely teach and I'm not a clown.  I teach the entire 40 min and the students don't seem to mind at all.  When I first arrived, my co-teacher asked if I can make bomb games for them.  I told her that I am an not a game teacher (although I do have fun activities) and stood my ground.  Now, I never have problems with class control or students not respecting my classes.

I think setting the expectation of how you want to teach at the beginning of the year will influence how the students behave the rest of the semester.  But, that's just my opinion.
I'd rather spend 1000 winters in Korea than have to deal through one more summer.
~Unknown waygook.


Re: Schools wanting clowns, not teachers.
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2013, 07:51:08 pm »
^I don't understand how bomb games came to represent the epitome of fun in some teacher's minds. I've had a lot more success with just having a conversation… and I've found that bomb games really separate you from the kids on the human level… you stop being a real person to them and you start being some sort of cartoonish game device/accessory. I do make them though, because I like the variety.

Granted, my classes are divided by level, and I cannot overstate just how much this helps me do my job… maybe if they were mixed I would be playing more games.


Re: Schools wanting clowns, not teachers.
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2013, 09:17:16 pm »
My current school is an After-school program. I love the school and the kids are usually very good but there has been issues with students starting to resent me due to the fact that I am a foreigner that requires the students to speak English. Is anyone else out there experiencing a similar problem?

To put things simply, there have been minor complaints that the students are losing interest because all my games require them to use their brain. The students have come out and said that the previous teacher would let them do anything. Who knows what that entailed but I am sure it meant the kids being able to runaround (something I would rather no let happen). I have been told that I am a strict teacher which has been very alarming to me considering that after talking to other foreign teachers, I seem to be very lenient. Also, the previous foreign teacher was married to a Korean so naturally he knew a bunch of the language and the kids were able to speak with him more freely.

What I want to know is, does anyone else feel like they are being shunned out by their schools because you are forcing the students to actually learn, rather than be a clown?

I get where you are coming from and I would feel the same way as you would. Try to make our games simultaneously fun and educational, that's my only advice. That and you are lucky enough to have a great job (after school is generally a nicer gig) so try not to be negative about it. If they want to give you great money and working hours for  a pretty relaxed working environment, don't complain.


  • Shinigami
  • Adventurer

    • 44

    • March 11, 2012, 06:00:21 am
    • 대한민국
Re: Schools wanting clowns, not teachers.
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2013, 11:21:33 pm »
       I can't help, but want to comment on this. Think about your situation for one moment and try to understand where your students are coming from: They are young and easily stressed. They go to many academies to better their social standing in life at an early age.   

     If you want to reach your students, you have to be able to relate to your students a little. 4th graders are not interested in form or syntax or any of the commonalities of language. They see someone from a foreign country and are adjusting to your presence. Do you honestly think that they will want to study hard when school is their obstacle from Angry Bird's Space or Minecraft? A lot of times the grammar has been taught to them already and they just need to practice it more. The same goes with vocabulary words. An explanatory methodology of teaching will be met with "Wonomin onje kunassou?" <--- This means ""honorary" native speaker, when will you be finished?"

    Instead of using an explanatory method, you should go more Socratic. Ask questions, but simple ones. Also speak in the students current grammar while emphasizing the lesson's grammar new point in order for them to understand you. You're a native speaker. Your children are not. Your an adult. They are not. They will want to play games. If you have a co-teacher that teaches grammar, ask to see her book so you can start practicing speaking while using the grammar that is being taught on his/her end.

     Lastly, play games with them, but make it solidly support your lesson. If your dealing with numbers and counters, you can play Baskin Robbins 31, but mix it up by having them use counters with nouns. (i.e. 1,2,3 loaves of bread.) You have to be interesting and effective at teaching. To reach your students, you have to be able balance education with enjoyment. If your too serious, they will shut down. Just be serious enough to show them that you want class control, but mix things in your lesson that will make them want to pay attention.

     It goes for adults, too. I had Korean teachers that just want to lecture about the ins-and-outs of their grammar when I want to speak more. Now, I have a teacher that is has a good sense of humor along with good teaching method. Ever had that boring college professor where you just wanted to walk out of his class in the middle of lecture? Your students are the reason you're here. Do you want your students to enjoy  a snooze fest? You will not answer the parents: your co-teacher will. They will have to hear all the complaints if you are not reaching the children or if you are boring them. If there was no interest in learning English, you would not be here nor would I. 


  • popeye2u
  • Expert Waygook

    • 877

    • April 05, 2011, 09:45:37 am
    • S of N. Korea
Re: Schools wanting clowns, not teachers.
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2013, 09:17:23 am »
Koreans like to be entertained.  Its part of their culture.  Just make easy games for their levels.  Kindy has to be one of the easiest.  I spend almost the whole year on teaching the alphabet, colors, feelings...etc.  Crayons are your best friend.    I think the only class that really has to use their brain is 3rd grade.  I teach them phonics in afterschool.  Basically, just make teaching a fun activity.  You can go to mes-english .com and make baseball games out of the flashcards.  4th grade loves it.  Simple is the keyword.
Illegally Screwed By Employers in Korea:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1628928127347749/


Re: Schools wanting clowns, not teachers.
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2013, 12:34:12 pm »
Shinigami: you absolutely nailed it. Bravo.
You really need to find out what the kids are into, and incorporate that into your lesson. You'll be amazed how amazed how long you can hold their attention with pictures of Angry Birds, Doraemon, or some pop idol.
Hell, you could spend 40 minutes just asking them questions about Minecraft.


  • Morticae
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1400

    • August 31, 2010, 12:45:33 pm
Re: Schools wanting clowns, not teachers.
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2013, 12:57:01 pm »
I've found that actively asking questions each slide keeps them engaged. I also bribe them with candy, others disagree with that, but I'm fine with it.

Every time students see me, they ask if we're playing a game or watching a movie. Hell no! We are not going to play a game every class. I generally do 33% games. That seems to be good enough.

Unless the worksheet is really difficult, they will buckle down and do it. I like worksheets since it keeps everyone quiet and mostly focused. Whereas with a game, it can become a madhouse.


Re: Schools wanting clowns, not teachers.
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2013, 01:18:53 pm »
I've found that actively asking questions each slide keeps them engaged. I also bribe them with candy, others disagree with that, but I'm fine with it.

Every time students see me, they ask if we're playing a game or watching a movie. Hell no! We are not going to play a game every class. I generally do 33% games. That seems to be good enough.

Unless the worksheet is really difficult, they will buckle down and do it. I like worksheets since it keeps everyone quiet and mostly focused. Whereas with a game, it can become a madhouse.

Yeah I'm gonna be doing more worksheets this year as I think I played too many games (even though they were only the last 10 minutes of class). I also use candy every now and then, but if their team wins, they have to beat me at rock, scissors, paper to get it hahahaha.


  • Morticae
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1400

    • August 31, 2010, 12:45:33 pm
Re: Schools wanting clowns, not teachers.
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2013, 01:26:17 pm »
but if their team wins, they have to beat me at rock, scissors, paper to get it hahahaha.

I often use the exact same tactic! I initially started doing it as a money saving measure.  :laugh: :laugh: