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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6440 on: April 22, 2019, 11:19:17 am »
i sometimes think about how diverse the level of interest and speaking ability has been for my co-teachers that I've had here over the years.  i've worked with some truly wonderful people here.  i understand that to achieve perfect fluent English is tricky given the time and the natural ability of the teachers involved, and also the complexity of English.  there have been a couple of teachers who've been teaching for decades who just seem to come in, teach and then they're done.  There is no real interest in speaking English with me or furthering anymore than what they need in the class.  i've never quite understood how they can't translate decades of teaching English and following grammar rules, not be able to then speak English or make the effort.  i doubt this would be the same for other subjects, would you have a science teacher who has no natural curiosity to learn all they can about science?

then there are the teachers who try really hard, go on their foreign training to the US and Finland etc and have a real natural curiosity for English, but will never be truly fluent in grammar or pronunciation.  most of my co-teachers I've had, love them as I do, fall into this category, and I suppose that makes sense. 

i'd hazard a guess that of the 30 or so co-teachers I've had, that three have perfect pronunciation, make no mistakes and are comfortable speaking only English the whole time without cracking into Korean at some point or use Korean syllables to say English words.  they don't take trips abroad at all but still have mastered English. 

not sure what point I'm trying to make, just something I was thinking about.  feel free to add any kind of teachers that I forgot.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 11:21:52 am by Ronnie Omelettes »


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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6441 on: April 22, 2019, 11:26:55 am »
feel free to add any kind of teachers that I forgot.
And then there's the I-can't speak-any-English-at-all,-but-let's-sit-down-for-a-leisurely-cup-of-coffee-and-get-to-know-one-another kind of teacher.
They're usually older, kindly, and take an active interest in the NETs. Their attention would be genuinely pleasant if it wasn't so unbearably awkward. Why insist on sitting next to me and engaging in long conversations when neither of us can communicate effectively?
   These kind of teachers always leave me feeling a bit sad as they're shining examples of all the potentially wonderful relationships that pass us by.  :sad:


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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6442 on: April 22, 2019, 11:29:24 am »
not sure what point I'm trying to make, just something I was thinking about.

That's fine, it's a thread for pointless ramblings..............  ;D

Wait.

It's not Friday.

GTFO  >:(
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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6443 on: April 22, 2019, 11:49:53 am »
not sure what point I'm trying to make, just something I was thinking about.

That's fine, it's a thread for pointless ramblings..............  ;D

Wait.

It's not Friday.

GTFO  >:(
oh, I see....  :shocked:

if it were Friday, you'd be two days away from seeing Iron Man on a 3 squillion metre-squared screen in Yeongdeungpo eating nacho chips, but with not enough cheese sauce or salsa for the amount of chips you get, meaning you have to chuck away half of the nacho chips.  then you realise that the waygooks you sold the other four tickets to are really drunk and causing a scene.  when they check their tickets and see your name on the ticket, you have your platinum membership revoked and you are laughed out of the cinema.  you try to console yourself by eating a cheongyang chili pepper, but that doesn't cheer you up either....

as it is, you have to wait seven days for all of this to happen...

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  • Aristocrat
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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6444 on: April 22, 2019, 12:44:32 pm »
i sometimes think about how diverse the level of interest and speaking ability has been for my co-teachers that I've had here over the years.  i've worked with some truly wonderful people here.  i understand that to achieve perfect fluent English is tricky given the time and the natural ability of the teachers involved, and also the complexity of English.  there have been a couple of teachers who've been teaching for decades who just seem to come in, teach and then they're done.  There is no real interest in speaking English with me or furthering anymore than what they need in the class.  i've never quite understood how they can't translate decades of teaching English and following grammar rules, not be able to then speak English or make the effort.  i doubt this would be the same for other subjects, would you have a science teacher who has no natural curiosity to learn all they can about science?

then there are the teachers who try really hard, go on their foreign training to the US and Finland etc and have a real natural curiosity for English, but will never be truly fluent in grammar or pronunciation.  most of my co-teachers I've had, love them as I do, fall into this category, and I suppose that makes sense. 

i'd hazard a guess that of the 30 or so co-teachers I've had, that three have perfect pronunciation, make no mistakes and are comfortable speaking only English the whole time without cracking into Korean at some point or use Korean syllables to say English words.  they don't take trips abroad at all but still have mastered English. 

not sure what point I'm trying to make, just something I was thinking about.  feel free to add any kind of teachers that I forgot.


It's an interesting topic of discussion, which I enjoy dissecting.

It's hard to remember how many CTs I've worked with, but I'd estimate it to be around 30. If I include Korean teachers I've worked with during extra classes, camps etc. probably about 50.

Of that 50, I've never met a single one who I'd say had better than good pronunciation. The vocabulary seems to be rather limited too, particularly adjectives; the range of choice never seems to extend far beyond good, bad, hot, cold, delicious, fun, happy and sad. Right now, I'm attempting to teach my students how to read, hear and pronounce the 5 English vowels correctly. My CT likes to repeat what I'm saying, in Korean, and mimic the vowels when I say it, but she usually gets it wrong.

I'd say there are 3 things which influence a Korean teacher's English ability:

1 - How they were taught

Quite simply, CTs teach the way they were taught and I'm going to say that even Martin will agree that the way English was taught  in Korea, 20yrs ago and beyond, was ridiculous. The curiosity of learning a new language was replaced with memories and connotations of stress, anxiety and hate, the brain creates connections between emotions/states of mind and the activity itself, when you're forced and punished into learning English, it's quite likely you'll quickly come to hate it. Confucianism doesn't encourage innovation or expression and regions which adopted this philosophy also adopted it's teachings on teaching and learning; memorise and repeat what the previous generation has done, which is a highly inefficient way to learn a language.

2 - Their motivation (probably the biggest factor)

Public school teachers are essentially tenured, whether their students improve their English ability or not under the teacher's tutelage essentially means nothing. Promotion and advancement in one's career comes down to following orders and being liked by one's seniors. So, other than an intrinsic desire, there's no motivation to stray from the broken curriculum and there's certainly no motivation to improve their own English... I mean, there're dramas to watch.

3 - The purpose of English in Korea

While it's slowly changing and the English level is higher than what I discovered in Japan, I'd say English, in Korea, isn't a language, it's a metric and a means to an end. Sure, there's the bonus of being able to speak English when travelling, but it's hard to think of English as anything more than an arbitrary metric to get into a good university, a good a promotion or gain social status. You could replace testing and studying English with the science of the potato and not much would change. The tests themselves are a joke and rely on rote memorisation, so, cram before the test, pass it and forget everything you've learned. There's no motivation to improve.

I always think of this video to stress my point, it's a basically a channel on Warhammer 40k lore (pretty nerdy stuff), but the narrator is not a native English speaker, he's Norwegian and only studied English at school. He speaks English more fluently and articulately than most native English speakers, no hagwons, no universites.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scCYN8PWrro
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 12:50:33 pm by Aristocrat »


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6445 on: April 22, 2019, 01:25:57 pm »
all good points Aristocrat...

I think also there is still not really any reason for some teachers to become fluent speakers.  It's not going to lead to a promotion or help them further their careers much while they're in their younger years.  When they're older they'll just get 'pujangnim' status naturally.  In most cases, a lot just comes down to their own drive or curiosity. 

Add in also, that with native teacher numbers dwindling that in most schools now these teachers don't have any contact with foreigners day to day.  I think it does make a difference to some teacher's curiosity and therefore increasing their ability.  This year at my school, there were two female teachers starting and they've admitted that they were embarrassed and scared of talking to me as they'd not had a foreign teacher before.  But as I've been here for years, I learned how speak to these kind of teachers so they don't feel worried about conversing.  I suppose that is another group to add in, the timid personality.  A few years back, I had one co-teacher I talked a lot to day to day, whose English was good and then she moved to a countryside school and her speaking ability noticeable decreased.  We still meet once a month for dinner, as she still complains about her decreasing ability.  If there is still one benefit of a having a decent, understanding native teacher it is to help other willing Korean teachers with their English.

I also taught the teachers in my city for two years and saw the range evidently there from elementary through to high school.  Some joined so they could escape their school for the afternoon and do a little bit of English learning.  Some wanted to hide as they felt it was scary for them to talk in front of the other teachers.  All in all, they were really nice to teach and they'd ask if I could teach them idiomatic expressions to improve their understanding of English, so for fifteen minutes each week, I'd introduce 4 or 5 idioms  with how to use and their appropriateness.  I miss teaching them, and they still talk about how they enjoyed it but that the program was cancelled by the office of education for no reason.  It wasn't costing anything but the OoE felt the need to scrape it even though it lasted for well over a decade. 

Actually, for the three teachers whose English was best, we used to bicker.  I saw that as a near fluent level.  Not bad bickering, but just that mutual understanding that there was nothing serious in our talking.  I remember one of our conversations lasted for 40 minutes about whether it was autumn or winter.   :rolleyes:  Also, these three teachers could see I grade my language when I'm talking to students/teachers etc, and all told me to speak a full speed, which I find hard to do now after so long in Korea.


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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6446 on: April 22, 2019, 01:33:45 pm »
if it were Friday, you'd be two days away from seeing Iron Man on a 3 squillion metre-squared screen in Yeongdeungpo eating nacho chips, but with not enough cheese sauce or salsa for the amount of chips you get, meaning you have to chuck away half of the nacho chips.  then you realise that the waygooks you sold the other four tickets to are really drunk and causing a scene.  when they check their tickets and see your name on the ticket, you have your platinum membership revoked and you are laughed out of the cinema.  you try to console yourself by eating a cheongyang chili pepper, but that doesn't cheer you up either....

This is amazing. hahahahah Thanks for the laugh.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Also, the Grumpypants is great.
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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6447 on: April 22, 2019, 02:32:09 pm »
I find the conversation around Korean teachers' English interesting as well. I've thought about how many Korean teachers I've met (ones I actually spend a decent amount of time with) and their varrying levels of English. At first I had thought, man most of these teachers are pretty decent at English, but the longer I thought about it, the more I leaned towards the conclusion that I had been carefully measuring my own English so they are better able to understand what I'm saying. Sometimes this was concious and sometimes subconcious, which is pretty neat if you ask me.

Thinking back now, while a lot of teachers that I've actually taught with are able to accurately translate what I say to students, I can only remember 2 who had near perfect pronunciation. And only 3 that I've been able to speak with at my natural speed.

One of those teachers was a co-teacher of mine in elementary school and very "westernized" if that makes sense. He was born and raised in Korea, but spent a couple years in the US. He hated all the heirarchy crap in Korean society, but knew very well how to play the game. He loved "western pop culture" like games, tv shows, movies, as well as food, cars, education etc. He's one of the most generous and helpful people I've met here. I really enjoyed how he used to inject little bits and pieces of western culture into the lessons we taught. He'd very naturally bring up some western difference or interesting factoid based on the material we were learning, which, would spur the students to ask other questions. It was cool seeing the kids genuinely interested things that just 5 minutes ago they had no idea about.

Another teacher was one of my middle school co-teachers. A pretty and highly intelligent young woman. I didn't spend as much time with her as I had 3 different co-teachers that year. I remember she also spent a couple years abroad and her English was immaculate. I know she was recently married, but not much else.

Lastly is a young woman I taught with in elementary. Another Korean English co-teacher. Pronunciation and fluency not as good as the others, but still noticeably higher than most other teachers. Feels good not having to check myself as often when speaking with her. You can clearly tell each of them has had intrinsic motivation to learn and improve their English. Yet all of them have been forced into teaching other subjects other than what they are most passionate about, including being homeroom teachers. It's a bit of a shame. Anyways I'm just rambling at this point.

I'm not trying to knock teachers that lack a high English proficiency. To be honest, when it comes to most teachers I meet outside of class on a regular basis (usually for athletic extracurriculars in my case), I'm happy to be able to communicate at all. Many of them can understand and communicate well enough to build basic friendships, which again, I'm happy with. That said, I have recently been feeling a sense of wanting when it comes to deeper or closer friendships with the Koreans around me. Not a ton of foreigners in my area, and those that are don't share many of my interests. My lack of Korean ability isn't doing me any favors here. Alright time to stop droning on. :laugh:
"The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword."


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6448 on: April 22, 2019, 03:12:37 pm »
I suppose you could add in that small percentage of people who have an ear for languages and are using their natural ability to good use.  But then again that alone is not enough here to get a job as a teacher.  For teachers in middle school and high school they'd have to have the grammar nailed down to.  But the two together and you're laughing.  I've had really low level students whose pronunciation is pretty good and way better than their test scores would suggest as they have a decent ear on them. 

I completely understand about how after a while some Korean teachers get used to you, your accent and your little foibles.  There are maybe seven teachers who I taught with in the past, who I've known for 7-10 years plus and as this is my last year here, it breaks my heart to think of leaving them.  If I needed help or meeting for dinner or whatever they were always there.   :cry:  obviously, if they're over in Europe I'd love them to stay. 

Another thing could be how Koreans view jobs and working life.  For middle school students and after, there is such a stress and a focus on their future job now, but then they add in their parent's POVs about what they want them to do in the future.  Even in the yearly school reports my students showed me, it has what job they want and also what job their parents want them to have.  By those terms, teaching is seen a 'stable, safe job', which could be why there are the teachers who just come in, teach and then go home without really extending themselves.  You get those everywhere mind, but in Korea there does seem to be more of focus on this.  It's a means to an end for raising a family and having a 'successful' life by Korean standards.  Also most of the students I know who want to be teachers, want to be maths teachers.  Maybe English just doesn't have that appeal, although I've found, on the whole, the Korean English teachers to be more quirky and interesting than other subject teachers.


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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6449 on: April 22, 2019, 03:30:18 pm »
Veeeery fortunate one of my students asked me if I was taking a graduation picture tomorrow, otherwise I would've had no clue it was even happening.

*sigh*
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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6450 on: April 23, 2019, 08:39:13 am »
i sometimes think about how diverse the level of interest and speaking ability has been for my co-teachers that I've had here over the years.  i've worked with some truly wonderful people here.  i understand that to achieve perfect fluent English is tricky given the time and the natural ability of the teachers involved, and also the complexity of English.  there have been a couple of teachers who've been teaching for decades who just seem to come in, teach and then they're done.  There is no real interest in speaking English with me or furthering anymore than what they need in the class.  i've never quite understood how they can't translate decades of teaching English and following grammar rules, not be able to then speak English or make the effort.  i doubt this would be the same for other subjects, would you have a science teacher who has no natural curiosity to learn all they can about science?

then there are the teachers who try really hard, go on their foreign training to the US and Finland etc and have a real natural curiosity for English, but will never be truly fluent in grammar or pronunciation.  most of my co-teachers I've had, love them as I do, fall into this category, and I suppose that makes sense. 

i'd hazard a guess that of the 30 or so co-teachers I've had, that three have perfect pronunciation, make no mistakes and are comfortable speaking only English the whole time without cracking into Korean at some point or use Korean syllables to say English words.  they don't take trips abroad at all but still have mastered English. 

not sure what point I'm trying to make, just something I was thinking about.  feel free to add any kind of teachers that I forgot.


It's an interesting topic of discussion, which I enjoy dissecting.

It's hard to remember how many CTs I've worked with, but I'd estimate it to be around 30. If I include Korean teachers I've worked with during extra classes, camps etc. probably about 50.

Of that 50, I've never met a single one who I'd say had better than good pronunciation. The vocabulary seems to be rather limited too, particularly adjectives; the range of choice never seems to extend far beyond good, bad, hot, cold, delicious, fun, happy and sad. Right now, I'm attempting to teach my students how to read, hear and pronounce the 5 English vowels correctly. My CT likes to repeat what I'm saying, in Korean, and mimic the vowels when I say it, but she usually gets it wrong.

I'd say there are 3 things which influence a Korean teacher's English ability:

1 - How they were taught

Quite simply, CTs teach the way they were taught and I'm going to say that even Martin will agree that the way English was taught  in Korea, 20yrs ago and beyond, was ridiculous. The curiosity of learning a new language was replaced with memories and connotations of stress, anxiety and hate, the brain creates connections between emotions/states of mind and the activity itself, when you're forced and punished into learning English, it's quite likely you'll quickly come to hate it. Confucianism doesn't encourage innovation or expression and regions which adopted this philosophy also adopted it's teachings on teaching and learning; memorise and repeat what the previous generation has done, which is a highly inefficient way to learn a language.

2 - Their motivation (probably the biggest factor)

Public school teachers are essentially tenured, whether their students improve their English ability or not under the teacher's tutelage essentially means nothing. Promotion and advancement in one's career comes down to following orders and being liked by one's seniors. So, other than an intrinsic desire, there's no motivation to stray from the broken curriculum and there's certainly no motivation to improve their own English... I mean, there're dramas to watch.

3 - The purpose of English in Korea

While it's slowly changing and the English level is higher than what I discovered in Japan, I'd say English, in Korea, isn't a language, it's a metric and a means to an end. Sure, there's the bonus of being able to speak English when travelling, but it's hard to think of English as anything more than an arbitrary metric to get into a good university, a good a promotion or gain social status. You could replace testing and studying English with the science of the potato and not much would change. The tests themselves are a joke and rely on rote memorisation, so, cram before the test, pass it and forget everything you've learned. There's no motivation to improve.

I always think of this video to stress my point, it's a basically a channel on Warhammer 40k lore (pretty nerdy stuff), but the narrator is not a native English speaker, he's Norwegian and only studied English at school. He speaks English more fluently and articulately than most native English speakers, no hagwons, no universites.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scCYN8PWrro

Having done teacher training here for 10 years, I've met a lot of Korean teachers from elementary to high school. Generally I've been pretty impressed with their work ethic on training courses. They do what they're told, speak in English all the time and have a good attitude. I'd say in about half the courses you come across someone who causes problems - lazy, bad attitude, criticises everything etc...which is a pretty good ratio. I don't know if that has anything to do with selection for the courses - maybe you have to be a high flyer to get accepted. Some of the teachers seem to have been on a lot of them.

As far as speaking English goes, a teacher with a good accent, for example, is rare but I have come across them occasionally.  You get the ones who have lived abroad but also sometimes ones who just studied there for a year or so who made a real effort to sound like a native speaker.

Their knowledge about teaching is very good but quite often it doesn't translate into effective teaching when they do peer teaching or get observed with their own classes. I assume this has a lot to do with the fact they they learn communicative teaching on training courses but rarely teach it in real life, due to the attitude of their principals or other restrictions at their workplaces. 


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6451 on: April 23, 2019, 09:12:04 am »
I assume this has a lot to do with the fact they they learn communicative teaching on training courses but rarely teach it in real life, due to the attitude of their principals or other restrictions at their workplaces. 

This is something I've noticed having worked at all levels here.  Elementary school seems to be the 'fun' teaching with basic sentences and simple grammar and not really in need of a English major to do it.  I also found it to be the most stifling and suffocating teaching here in Korea for a native teacher.  It does seem heavily reliant on the textbook cd and repetition and I've yet to work in an elementary school that hasn't stuck religiously to the textbook or been hell bent on finishing it.  Most of my students who want to be teachers want to be elementary teachers, maybe it seems like the easiest of the three, but obviously the most competitive.

A while back, I remember in middle school there was a push for pair/group work to help students understand English and to help them use it in a more creative and productive way.  I suppose that is where Korean English teachers can use their experiences from training abroad and to try and use more diverse methods of studying to teach the students.  Also nowadays, there are some middle schools who don't have testing for students but using that time instead to help them find their careers.  From an English teacher's point of view, having teaching without testing is a novel idea but I'm not sure how useful it is for the students, considering they'll be back at the testing by high school.  Also the text book is not followed as much in middle school, just some bits.

Then by high school, it is just a lecturing style because there is so much cramming for the university entrance test.  When I talk with my students, they'd love to have my style class for other subjects where I keep my teaching talking time below 30-40% and they get to work together doing pair/group work.  The maths teacher, for example, will be 100% lecturing without questions.  I suppose that is needed because of the sheer amount of stuff to cram in.  I'm sure it has its benefits but when an English teacher goes abroad at great expense or has some kind of blue sky thinking for teaching English in high school, it's kind of wasted in the system.  This is where I've met most of the jobsworth English teachers.  They go in, lecture and go home (well not even that, they go out drinking to avoid their wife when they have the time).  Learning English like they do in high school is kind of soul sapping.  I love my co-teachers but whatever their teaching or speaking ability, they're sucked into the high school English vacuum, where diversity and originality is not really needed.  From the textbooks, they only do the long text and that's it, as that is what will be in the tests. 


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6452 on: April 24, 2019, 07:58:13 am »
In 2008, Arsenal were going to play AC Milan in the Champions League and I used to put a small bet on if I felt like it.  They drew the first game in London 0-0.  For the whole week preceding the second leg, I had eggs for breakfast.  Every egg I cracked for the whole week had two yolks in it.  So I put Arsenal to win 2-0, which they did.  So I got a small bit of cash for that.

Fast forward to today, I want to put something on the Man United-Man City game tonight and for breakfast today, strange for Korean eggs, I cracked open two and both had two yolks in.  So I'm not sure if I should put on a 2-2 draw for that game.  United are playing shit at the moment and essentially a 2-2 draw could hand Liverpool the title, and I'm sure the odds are pretty good for that .  Problem is, Arsenal are playing Wolves tonight too.  So maybe the yolks are telling me that game is 2-2.  Damn it.  2-2 in both games would be a good pay out.  hmmmm...

stupid superstitions and stupid yolks. 


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6453 on: April 24, 2019, 10:02:03 am »
Mechanical pencils, avatars, hot weather, US politics . . . where the banter at? Y'all not gon discuss some Arya Stark sideboob or something that makes me not want to rub kimchi in my eyeballs and snort Hongoh  through a hollowed out chopstick. 
Who is here in 2019?


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6454 on: April 24, 2019, 11:28:16 am »
lol
i took a makeup bag away from a student (LOL WHY U BRING IT DOH) and then we had a whiteboard game where students write a sentence using the key expression based on the gif/picture i show them.

her group wrote: the student is crying because the teacher hit her.
...
erm..should i be worried?
lol
jkjkjk
i think...i mean....im definitely thinking way too deep, right?...right....aint no way a 14 year old is playing mind games with me..... lololol
i just thought that was funny but tbh, that sentence was kinda creepy...in our school, teachers definitely do NOT hit students or touch them EVER.
however i know in certain hagwons, teachers lightly whack students and parents are totally cool w/ that/fully aware. ... :shocked: :huh:


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6455 on: Yesterday at 09:18:19 am »
In 2008, Arsenal were going to play AC Milan in the Champions League and I used to put a small bet on if I felt like it.  They drew the first game in London 0-0.  For the whole week preceding the second leg, I had eggs for breakfast.  Every egg I cracked for the whole week had two yolks in it.  So I put Arsenal to win 2-0, which they did.  So I got a small bit of cash for that.

Fast forward to today, I want to put something on the Man United-Man City game tonight and for breakfast today, strange for Korean eggs, I cracked open two and both had two yolks in.  So I'm not sure if I should put on a 2-2 draw for that game.  United are playing shit at the moment and essentially a 2-2 draw could hand Liverpool the title, and I'm sure the odds are pretty good for that .  Problem is, Arsenal are playing Wolves tonight too.  So maybe the yolks are telling me that game is 2-2.  Damn it.  2-2 in both games would be a good pay out.  hmmmm...

stupid superstitions and stupid yolks. 

stupid huevos dickhead...

4 yolks meant that in the Arsenal game, it'd be 3-1 which is four goals in total.  And the United-City game would be only two goals.

Learn to read your yolks better...

My name makes me sick now...


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6456 on: Yesterday at 02:01:05 pm »
For the most part, I prefer it when they separate the low level students from the higher level students. It makes it easier to plan lessons according to their needs.

But it's a double-edged sword, too, especially in middle school, because the low level students aren't beginners. They're just beginner level. And to be at beginner level in middle school requires a certain amount of dedication to not learning a ****** thing (with a few exceptions). So, of course, this can mean they're difficult students in general. And when you stick those types of students into a single class with no other types of students to act as a foil against the attitude that lent to why they're at the bottom of their classes in the first place, you can end up with some incredibly life-sucking classes.

This year isn't too bad. But I thought it worth mentioning that there's been a coordinated effort from two classes in particular, and I confirmed through my network of snitches that it's because certain students believe that my class should serve as free time for them, so they're hoping to frustrate me enough to give up on all of my planned lessons.

Haven't really decided how much I should flex on them, yet, but they've already watched me roll up my sleeves, so they should know something's coming. Part of me, though, is just tired enough to make them write sentences all class long and see how they like that for their free time.


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6457 on: Yesterday at 02:13:21 pm »
Haven't really decided how much I should flex on them, yet, but they've already watched me roll up my sleeves, so they should know something's coming. Part of me, though, is just tired enough to make them write sentences all class long and see how they like that for their free time.

I haven't run into a situation where I'd need to discipline students like this, but I'm curious... what would you do if they just refused to write the sentences?


Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6458 on: Yesterday at 03:27:07 pm »
Haven't really decided how much I should flex on them, yet, but they've already watched me roll up my sleeves, so they should know something's coming. Part of me, though, is just tired enough to make them write sentences all class long and see how they like that for their free time.

I haven't run into a situation where I'd need to discipline students like this, but I'm curious... what would you do if they just refused to write the sentences?

I've only ever had two students who absolutely refused to do the work given them even after I've spoken to them in private outside of the classroom, and I just escorted them to the teacher's office where they had to stay for the duration of my class. This had to happen to both of them a few times before they backed down and fell in line, though.

I get a lot of support from my school and coTs, so this has always been a good option for me, and it's never failed.

It might seem kind of strange, but the worst problem students in my school actually tend to participate in my classes and will even keep the other problem students in check, usually because I'm not asking for much from them and they like me enough so why not, but also because they're a little more street smart and are better at choosing which battles to fight. My class just isn't worth it to them. And I'm nice to them and give them candy, so win-win. If all I want them to do is to speak, then they'll speak. These are the kids that come from bad backgrounds.

The ones I usually have the most problems with are those who don't necessarily come from bad backgrounds, but their families aren't the most functional or supportive. So, the spoiled kids, and sports kids that parents are trying to turn into the next celebrity.