The thing that never ceases to amaze me about my boys is how fucking gullible each and every single last one of them are. I was in an ornery mood today, perhaps because it was a Monday and I woke up at the ass-crack of dawn for no apparent reason, somehow also still tired. Rather than being Moody Teacher, which I was for much of the last part of last week, I decided to be Mean Teacher instead. Which meant I spent the whole day seeing how many students I could dupe into believing something, or falling for some asinine trick my grandfather used to play on me when I was little. This included:
- Telling them I had decided to run away to a girls' school, because girls listen better. With a straight face. Which they believed. To which I then added that their Korean English teacher agreed with me, and would be coming with me. Which they also believed, until they confronted the Korean English teacher about it and she looked totally confused.
- The ol' what's-that-on-your-shirt trick.
- Followed immediately with the if-your-hand-is-bigger-than-your-face-you-have-cancer self-slapping trick, which they fell for without thinking twice.
They then tried to get me back by having a stage-whispered argument using hand motions and everything and telling me I had something on my chin while touching their foreheads. Good one, guys.
As rowdy and unruly as they can get at times, they've got this idea in their heads that teachers are somehow unimpeachable that I always find endearing. Teachers never make mistakes, never tell a lie, and know everything. This always amazes me when it carries over to the foreign teacher as well.
For example, one time during a class while they were working on exercises, one group somehow got into a discussion about sign language. They called me over to ask a question: Teacher, how do you say _______ in sign language? I thought they were joking, until I realized they were all earnestly sitting there, staring up at me and waiting for an answer.
Boys. First of all, I don't know what that word means because it's in Korean. Second of all, what in the world made you imagine I know sign language? And lastly, double super extra what in the world made you imagine I know Korean sign language?
Oh. You saw it click on all their faces. My co-teacher, who had been quietly observing this interaction from a few tables away came up behind me and whispered, "You are a teacher, anyway. You know everything."
Boys, if only it were true....
This has really started to pop up all over my C classes, especially my second grade C classes. Even though I don't speak Korean in the classroom, my ability to understand it has helped me as a teacher immensely, because I'm able to know when they've clued into something or when they're still lost, based on the Korean that starts to blossom all over the classroom. The C level students especially need to see that they've got the right answer in Korean before they will be willing to try to come out with it in English. When I'm still looking unsure as they call out the Korean answers, they will not venture to try it in English at all. However, when they can see that they've hit on the right idea in Korean, when I'm able to turn around and say, "That's right. You're right. Now say it in English," we're able to get there much more often. I also know when I can move on from one thing to the next, or when I need to stop, go back and try it again.
This has resulted in a definite understanding amongst my C level classes that I am completely, a thousand percent fluent in Korean. Which is the same thing that has happened at the study room, where I do use Korean with the students quite often. Now, where my A level students will refuse to say anything at all to help me understand what they're wanting to say, my C level students will come out with entire paragraphs in Korean and then look at me as though I've completely betrayed them and am purposely withholding information when I won't answer back with what they need in English.
God bless 'em for having so much faith in me. I'm afraid it's a bit misplaced, however.