Tagged: Mean Kids

Mean Kids Give Teacher a Hard Time

Middle schoolers; if the sign said ‘pull’ they would push.  They are (without comparison) the most difficult group of kids for me to teach. Coming from a full day of school prior to arrival in my classroom, their behavior is most indignant; always interrupting the lessons with baiting questions or babbling non-sense. Are you married? How tall are you? Is your nose real?

“Teacher, what did you do this weekend?”

I met up with this friend of mine named G-Dragon (a well-known Korean Pop Star they obsess over) and we had a couple non alcoholic drinks, then played Starcraft until our eyes bled. He said he was famous or something. You ever heard of him?

“G-Dragon!? Really Teacher???”

Yeah. You want to meet him? I could arrange it — if you are sitting down, quiet, and listening all class to the lesson.

“You lie, Teacher… You lie!”

It gives me a chance to connect with the students on a more personal level, so that is nice. Recently, this backfired. One week after the above exchange, I got a journal entry from this one particular student titled I Hate You. It read,  “You, I don’t like. For false talking favorite man singer”.  She closed with, “friend say G-Dragon best in USA!! We are starting fan cafe. True. You are false!”  A week later during the same class, I turned around from the whiteboard, and everyone started laughing. Strange… I didn’t hear anybody fart, speak Korean, or hit them selves in the forehead. Then one them blurted out, “We are smarter than you, Teacher!” Sure you are, Sally. Now let’s finish learning how to ask for more peas.

I found out (after the fact, of course) that one of the angels took my storybook and hid it in the back with the other books.  Those meddling little… Normally, not such a big deal, but when a fellow teacher needed to borrow the book after class, and I couldn’t find it in my basket, I wasn’t laughing. Before seeing them again, the class was berated by two sets of Korean teachers and moved from the fifth to the first floor. Next week’s journal entries should be marvelous..

My first day of teaching

Nobody got hurt, broke out into tears, or told me to fuck off, so I’d call that a good day. The anxiety up until now was immense, you know, because I’ve NEVER WORKED WITH KIDS BEFORE! Many questions I’ve been asking myself. How are students going to react when I take charge of the classroom? Will they listen, or just look and laugh? Do I discipline them? Am I really about to go through with this? Prior to my arrival, the rhetoric was much simpler. “Oh its different over there. They take education very serious, and I’m sure you’ll have no trouble at all with the kids.” Foolish of me (and you) to believe that was true.

The bottom line is that a seven year old is a seven year old no matter where you are. They eat boogers, push, shove, scream, and laugh their asses off for reasons I have long since forgotten. All that aside, they are a wonderful group of kids that read, write and speak English remarkably well for their age.  English TV and Movies has helped for sure; anything with glasses is called “Harry Potter.”  Good behavior is rewarded with stickers, which they are gung-ho about getting; I miscounted how many one student was supposed to get today and he went ape shit. “Teachah! Teachahhh! You not give enough sticker!!” he screamed jumping up and down, violently shaking his sticker book with both hands. Jesus Christ, Timmy– calm the fuck down and get Teacher a glass of water. Bad Behavior is pushable a number of different ways. The older kids must stand in the corner with their hands above their heads, sometimes holding a trash can. The duration for which they have to comply should never exceed their age i.e. 8 minutes for an 8 year old, etc..  If this method fails, its off to the revered Korean teacher they go. Say what you will about certain disciplinary actions being too jarring or abusive for a child, but the fear in their bright little eyes is absolute, and does not fail in the classroom.