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wrist slittin'

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January 14, 2010 | 05:15pm
Mood: aaaangst

Today was not a good day.

My wintercamp class consists of ten kids, ages 9 to 13, who do not want to be there. It's winter break from their normal schools, and instead of letting their kids stay at home and watch TV or club baby seals or whatever children do these days, their parents send them to English lessons at my school.

Most of my kids are okay. They don't do their homework, and they don't listen, and their collective level of English isn't THAT bad. But today - okay. So. I come into the class, and one of the kids is sitting on the floor, crying. "What's wrong?" I ask him. "We were fighting and I hit him," another boy says. Okay. They made up, the first boy stopped crying, and I started class.

A third boy started to make a ruckus. This kid - who will henceforth and in the future be known as "The Antichrist" - is fairly bad at English, and he doesn't pay attention at all. He started to hit another kid. Then he hit another. And another. I yell at him, then I bring him outside and yell at him, then I yell at him again. I move him to a corner, then I make him stand with his arms raised above his head facing the wall, and it goes on like this. He refuses to speak English. He refuses to stand. He refuses to read. He sat on his book for part of the class. He kept on throwing things - like magnets or pencils - at the other kids. By the time the class was halfway over he had hit every single kid, kicked most of them, and he made two of them cry - one of them twice. The other kids started to object and yell at him in Korean. They suggested I hit him. (Korean teachers are apparently not opposed to this.) As tempting as it sounds, I don't. I literally can't teach because this brat is distracting everyone. Finally I decide to bring him to the principal's office. He refuses to go - physically refuses. I can't drag him off the floor. I go down to get a Korean speaker to help me. We go up and he's huddled in a corner sobbing. The Korean speaker gets him to go. By this time class is over and I feel like a failure at life.

Then I had a break, after which I had my kindergarten classes. That was, um, not much better. Well, actually it was significantly better, but my kindergarten classes always refuse to be quiet and listen. I managed to teach what I needed to teach, but by the end of my second class I felt like screaming.

After that I go back to the teacher's room, but I'm stopped by the elevator by one of the secretaries at the front desk. Apparently the mother of one of my level 1 kids called; her daughter is being teased by a boy in her class. I had no idea. Then I go up and study Korean (and contemplate stabbing myself in the eye), and the same secretary comes up and says that the mother of one of the boys in my wintercamp class called and asked about what happened, and whether he was at fault. No, he wasn't, he was one of the good kids today - for a change.

My final class of the day went fine, but the kids are always rambunctious and, honestly, I'm exhausted and frustrated and I'm so, so happy the day is over. I may work fewer hours on Tuesday/Thursdays but that doesn't necessarily make up for how nightmarish these days tend to be.

In other news, today I received my paycheck for orientation. It's not much. However, my February paycheck is going to be HUGE. Absolutely massive. Totally not complaining. (Much.)

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Comments {9}

chickye

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from: chickye
date: January 14, 2010 08:19am (UTC)
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lol @ Korean teachers not being opposed to hitting students. I think America should follow, I mean after all they do score higher in just about everything!!

Keep it up, teaching is hard work and enjoy that fat paycheck!

This entry was very entertaining!

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Adam

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from: aodh
date: January 14, 2010 08:28am (UTC)
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You're LAUGHING at my PAIN!!!! >O >O :P

Haha, thanks! Yeah, I enjoy teaching overall (and the money too!) but sometimes - well, not so much...

I don't know if America should necessarily follow Korea's example - kids are in school from 8am to 10/11pm every day (regular school + out of school lessons - English, piano, taekwondo, etc). It's AWFUL for them. No wonder they get better grades, they have no time to do anything but study.

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Tess

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from: mintsonpillows
date: January 14, 2010 02:38pm (UTC)
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It sounds like if your life would be made into a movie right now it would be like those typical "new teacher comes to the ghetto." only..it isnt the ghetto it's just kids who don't want to learn..lmao. Wow Ive had almost no sleep so excuse my random comment, but you get me right? In the end the kids start to adore the teacher though!

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Adam

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from: aodh
date: January 14, 2010 11:01pm (UTC)
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hahaha oh my god you're TOTALLY RIGHT. I'm horrified. Although I will say this: I've asked my kids if they want to learn English, and everyone in that class said "Yes! English is fun!" except for The Antichrist. "NO!!!!! ENGLISH IS BORING AND HARD!!!!"

hopefully you're right and they'll all start to love me by the end of the movie - er, semester. I wouldn't hold my breath though. ;)

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☆ Jennay Pants Meridius MacLeod ☆

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from: lillongdogwuvr
date: January 14, 2010 09:39pm (UTC)
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ugh every class these days has an antichrist. im kind of glad im taking a small break from teaching. not sure how long its going to last since it is my major. i needed it though.

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Adam

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from: aodh
date: January 14, 2010 11:02pm (UTC)
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oh god, there are more of them? I teach something like 25 different classes during the week and I've really only spotted 2-3 antichrists. good on you for taking a break - you don't want to be sick of teaching before you even begin...

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☆ Jennay Pants Meridius MacLeod ☆

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from: lillongdogwuvr
date: January 14, 2010 11:50pm (UTC)
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that's here in america where parenting has gone down the crapper. i cant say the same for korean kids. :-)
thats what im thinking!!

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Adam

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from: aodh
date: January 15, 2010 05:52am (UTC)
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haha, I don't think parenting is all that great here either - lots of helicopter parents and grade-obsessed parents = neurotic, self-absorbed people. :(

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☆ Jennay Pants Meridius MacLeod ☆

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from: lillongdogwuvr
date: January 15, 2010 07:10am (UTC)
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ew.

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