4.07.2011

In general.

Just a general mash-up of recent goings-on, then.

Me and Head Teacher, we're working it out. I'm mostly too fucking busy now to be in the office for long enough for her to say anything too abominable. She has, however, taken to giving me hugs with very little warning on the regular. That's right -- skinship: we've got it. I don't know. I'm not a hugger. I don't generally feel the need to hug my colleagues ever, let alone on a fairly regular basis. But what the fuck. At least she seems to have no clue that she drives me up the wall. That's something I've worked fairly hard on, because she's not trying to be a cunt. She just kind of is one. Some people just are. That's the way God made them, I guess. And making them aware of it rarely does any good.

I've also put a lot of effort into trying to find her funny, rather than irritating. For example, today during the English teachers' class, we were talking about Las Vegas. Fuck knows why. But she was trying to tell me how much money she lost/won. But she left out the operative word. I started to try to ask her which it was, but she thought she had already worked out what my question was going to be ("How much?") and just settled onto answering that one about seventeen times in a row without giving me the audible space to actually ask the question. The result was her repeating "fifty fifty dollars fifty fifty fifty dollars fifty fifty fifty fifty" in rapid fire, just like that, for approximately thirty seconds. I just stared at her, and then pretended to cough in order to cover up the huge laugh I was about to come out with, due to the pure absurdity of the situation. I mean.... really? You're an actual person right now?

She does that a lot. Assumes she knows what I'm about to ask and then repeats a totally useless answer for a good, long while without giving me a chance to interject and explain that that's not what I'm trying to ask. Or, if I don't constantly nod and say "right.... right.... right...." while she's talking, she'll get stuck on a word and repeat it about fifty times until I say "right" and then she'll move on. I realize she's got insecurities in English, or whatever, but if you're not sure of what's going on, it's usually best not to bulldoze over the other person while they're trying to clarify. That's what she is though -- a massive fucking verbal bulldozer.

Speaking of verbal bulldozing, today the after school class decided it would be funny to clown me while I was scolding some students by "listening and repeating". I mean. I'm trying really hard not to be a scary bitch. I am. But that was just well out of order. I've made a promise to myself not to shout in that class at all, or even raise my voice. Because it's too much -- they're too little. But the look I gave them spoke volumes and they cut the shit. Things are coming along, though. I had to break up one team today because they couldn't stop being cunts to each other, but now they've been mixed in with other groups where they are all the outcasts, so that's fun time over for them. It's also been made very clear that throwing shit is not an option. I laid it out for them once, very clearly. One kid, Hyeonjoon, lost his darling little head and tossed an eraser into the air. The horrified looks everyone gave him when they saw me see it put him straight, though.

Like I said, they're not trying to be bad. Which is why I've got myself on shouting restriction. They're just still at that age where they can't hold a lot of information in their little brains at the same time, and things slip out from time to time. It really doesn't help that there are only two kids in the class who have even a basic knowledge of anything at all in English. For example, I was getting dead frustrated today when I was saying, "Listen! Listen!", trying to get them to stop shouting out answers to the last question so I could explain something, and they just continued on. Then I remembered that they don't fucking have a clue what "listen" means -- I changed to, "Be quiet!" and they instantly fell silent. Then, I explained that "listen" is the same as "be quiet" and they nodded -- aaaaah!

We're just going to have to take it one step at a time. I held Taehyeon after today, because he had a little trouble not talking too much during the lecture. I told him, in the most basic words I could muster, that he helps me a lot during class, because he's always trying to give an answer, and he always pays attention. And that I need him to keep talking, and keep giving answers. That I like that. But. But. But. I just repeated "but" until suddenly his face shifted with realization and he nodded --- ah, I know! Too much talking, right Teacher? That's right, Taehyeon. Too much talking. I explained that he is his team's leader, and also a leader in the class, so he needs to take some responsibility not to go off course too much. He puffed his chest out and gave a staunch acknowledgment of the task I was giving him. Hopefully, Taehyeon will be mostly an asset from now on.

Other than that, my regular classes are going really well. I don't know what the deal is, but we rarely have any problems at all these days. The kids are well on board with giving it their all in nearly every class, including the lower level boys. That shit is normal at the beginning of the semester, but it's usually tapered off by now. They're still going strong, though, and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Now, there's just one little thing I'd like to add: in the last 24 hours, the following Google searches have led to my blog:
  • sexy asian guys
  • bondage man
  • shirtless asian guy
  • gong yoo shirtless
  • hot shirtless korean guys
You all need to get off the internet and go get laid. For real. 24 hours. And a couple of those were more than once. Get it together, now.

5 comments:

aprilantipodal said...

One of my new coteachers has the same repetition thing as your Head Teacher and it is driving me insane. I'm teaching at the front of the room, she decides to throw a ppt I've never seen on the screen, I ask her how she wants me to handle it, and she flaps and says "PPT PPT PPT!!" instead of "it's a game" or "it's for this chapter's vocabulary" (most of them are so poorly made that it's hard to guess what she's getting at). Why does she keep cutting me off with the same word? Why does she do this in front of the students? I don't know, but it's fucking exasperating.

Mr. Spock said...

I don't really understand what you mean by not yelling... I have to yell at my 4-6 graders from time to time, it's just part of the job. It's not anger, it's just theatre. You need to sell the image of anger so they know that what they have done is unacceptable. Maybe it's because I have over 600 of them filing through each week and I don't have time to sit each troubleamaker down and have a (translated) heart-to-heart. I have no problem yelling because all the other teachers yell from time to time, and their parents DEFINITELY yell (and hit) so it's nothing they haven't seen before. Maybe they don't always know better, but they will after that. Also, since they don't understand English, shaming them in front of the class (often much more effective, just ask my co-teachers) is not usually feasible.

I'm no Picasso said...

I'm not saying I don't yell ever. I understand well how to "act" angry. But I need to adjust to these guys' level of understanding first, and get to a place where I'm sure they understand what's expected of them. For example, that thing with "listen".... they didn't know what I was saying. For all they knew, I was saying, "Keep shouting out more answers!" It's not fair to turn around and shout at them for that.

It's going to take *me* a while to understand *them* first, so I need to keep the shouting under control in the meantime, until I can work out what exactly is bad behavior and what is just a misunderstanding. Just my way of doing things.

aprilantipodal said...

I'm not sure where you are on things like hand signals, but I teach elementary and all my kids - right up to grade six - hang on my hand motions to help them through understanding me (I try to avoid translating as much as possible). A lot of them are more visual than auditory. They learn to associate "Listen!" with a hand cupped at my ear, they watch my hands to see if they should be listening or repeating during drills, they get hints for a word they are reaching for. I know they have to move onto more grownup teaching styles at some point, but for your younger kids who are struggling, it's better than losing them altogether.

I'm no Picasso said...

Haha, it's not really going to be a problem after a couple of weeks. The thing is, they've never been in my class before, so they aren't used to my language --- sign or verbal. One way or another, I'm going to have to teach them what certain things mean. And in that case, I'd rather teach them to respond to my verbal cues. The problem with visual signals for things like "listen" and "be quiet" and "sit down" is that the students often are not looking at you when you need to implicate them. Using hand motions during lessons, however, is just a given.

But once I explain "listen" one time, it only takes them a couple more times of hearing it and faltering to get it down. Problem solved.