What just happened?

Oi vey. Third period class currently getting their asses kicked by my co-teacher. I don't even know what that was about, but they got next week's class with me cancelled as a punishment, two of them were taken out in the hall to get smacked around, and now the whole class is locked in the classroom being berated. And this is a very, very reasonable co-teacher they've pushed to this level.

I was seriously having issues keeping it together with them. They weren't trying to be bad. They were actively engaged in trying to understand what was going on. But they would not shut the fuck up long enough to figure it out. They just kept mumbling and shouting out in Korean, discussing it amongst themselves. Neither me nor my co-teacher could get a word in edgewise, in either English or Korean, long enough to get the concepts across. They kept interrupting us with their own attempts at interpreting what we were explaining before we even had a chance to explain it. Even after we stopped them several times to explain that they needed to actually listen to understand, and to stop talking. It was fucking bizarre.

Anyway. That was unexpectedly frustrating. And I feel bad for them that they're in serious trouble over it, because I do think they were honestly trying. They just lost the fucking plot as to how to best go about that. But then again, sometimes stupid behavior needs correcting just as severely as willfully defiant behavior, when the end result is the same, and when gentler approaches haven't worked. Either way, I'm ready for Thursday now.


3gyupsal said...

That's super frustrating, but it's also pretty cool that those classes got canceled for two weeks. I had a situation like that last year, were pretty much the whole middle school third grade class just kind of sucked.

Go check out www.theonion.com. There is an article on there that might cheer you up. I would give you the link, but my school blocks computers from going to that site.

Anonymous said...

the punishments you describe in this blog sound so serious & creativity-annihilating... ;(


I'm no Picasso said...

3gyupsal -- Unfortunately, the Onion is also blocked from my school. :(

ABS -- The thing is, I'm the first one to criticize the fuck out of the education systems both here in Korea and back home in the States. Huge issues. They are basically mechanisms of socialization -- not actually *education*.

However. Today was a student-oriented activity day that should've been a piece of piss for the lower, more active students. They've spent the last two weeks designing their own robots. All they had to do today was listen to me explain the voting process, stand up and show off their robots and then give their opinions about what they liked or didn't like about each robot. Literally a completely student dominated class. They needed to listen for five minutes. They couldn't pull it off.

Why? Because we have Thursday off of school and the third graders get to go home early today, therefore in their heads they're already on vacation. There's a difference between not fitting into the box and not being able to get your shit together for long enough to figure out what's going on around you. Today was just a bad day.

Anonymous said...

"There's a difference between not fitting into the box and not being able to get your shit together for long enough to figure out what's going on around you."

I was thinking of the subject of punishing students (in general) that you talk about from time to time. I don't mean to (i) pick on you in particular or (ii) pick on exactly what you describe in the above post. For (i), I don't happen to read other blogs that talk about teaching/punishing students. It's not one of those things I particularly enjoy reading. And for (ii), the above post gave me an avenue to say something that has been on my mind. It would be cool to hear your thoughts on that subject, though maybe you already have somewhere.

The Student's Guide To Nail Polish said...

*slinks in*

Hey. I've been lurking for a while, but never actually commented.

OK, so I'm a year eleven student in the UK, and what you've written sounds exactly like one of our classes...

We don't hate the teacher or anything. She's a lovely woman. It's just we talk mainly because
a) this is a fast track class. We did Spanish years 7-9 and for the best part of that, people understood what was going on and it was easier than French. As a result, most people passed with at least an A.
b) We have a couple of dedicated troublemakers in the class.
c) She'll do a starter activity and have it drag on for 25 minutes out of a 55 minute lesson. People get bored and talk.
Plus, she's not a native English speaker so she makes mistakes sometimes which people take the piss out of her for (which I REALLY don't agree with).
Er, yeah. Just an insight, maybe that would help your collegue. Anyway, interesting blog post. :)