So. Obviously I have a house guest and have not had nearly as much free time as I usually do. Which is kind of shame, because the students have been a bit classic this week.
One thing I will say is that the after school class is coming around nicely. One big issue I cracked was that letting them work on their own or in groups on their assignments just was not cutting it. Nobody bothered to put these boys in my class based on any kind of a level, so some kids were racing ahead and finishing everything, while others were still trying to figure out what the fuck was even going on. I put them in groups right away, and have continued to reorganize the groups based on both bad behavior combinations and mixed levels so they could help each other along, but the margin was still so wide that eventually the higher kids got tired of helping the lower ones along.
So now, we do all of our work together as a class. And it's worked a charm. The higher level kids get to shout out all the answers and prove how smart they are, while the lower level kids can follow along just filling in the blanks until the subject matter has been repeated enough times that they finally figure out what it is they are writing. And then they start to pitch in. We also don't have any more issues with the few really troublesome rascals in the bunch getting their entire group distracted with their nonsense, because everyone else in their group is focused on calling out their answers and copying down everyone else's, so eventually they just get bored, give up, and start doing their work as well.
Jooyeong, by the way, is a fucking champion. The very next day after that entire thing went down, he came straight into class with his head held high, sat in the very front row, gave me a big ol' smile and said, "Hello, Teacher!" And he's been a fucking model citizen ever since. He even rides the other students to stop fucking around and get their shit together. He makes a point of calling me over during every activity to proudly show me all of his answers. Jooyeong and I are basically pals for life now. We went through the fire together, and came out stronger on the other side.
The boys also took the "foreign worker" thing to heart -- last week, a photo of an Indian man came up in a PPT and they started to giggle. I clapped my stick on the podium and said, "Didn't we talk about this already? Do we think that foreigners look funny?"
Wide eyes and serious faces. No, Teacher. Not funny.
Donghyeon. Donghyeon didn't learn from Jooyeong's example. Donghyeon said "씨발" on Monday while I was standing right there. Now. Donghyeon did not say it to me, or for the other students' amusement in front of me. He just said it. So we stayed about five minutes late to play a little game of "Let's Make a Deal!" Basically, it goes like this -- you want something from me, then you have to give something to me. For example, if I take up your cell phone for having it out in class, you have to give me something in order to get it back. In this case, Donghyeon wanted me not to take him to the teachers' office to face a Korean teacher. So I asked Donghyeon what he would give me in exchange.
No, thank you. Not interested. And besides, Donghyeon, don't I have that already?
The other students were so enthralled by the theater of the whole situation that they didn't even mind that the bell had already rung. They were sitting quietly in their seats, all eyes to the front, better than they ever do when I'm actually teaching.
How about a dance, Donghyeon? Give me a dance?
The other students cheered, and we all started clapping a rhythm together for him to move his little ass to. He couldn't make himself do it, try as he might. So I said I would settle for a song.
For those of you who think it sounds too cruel, I'll have you know that I chimed in and sang along with him, since he chose one I actually happen to know -- "곰 세 마리가". In retrospect, I should have made him sing a song in English. But live and learn.
Today, I also accidentally called an entire class to 손 머리 attention. I was standing in front of the room trying to get them to settle after the bell for them to go to give a closing speech about how the material had been difficult, and they had done a good job, but next time I would like to hear a little less talking. I was holding my stick in my hands, and kind of casually rested it on top of my head. One student assumed that I was demonstrating what I wanted them to do (since that is what I do, most of the time, after all....) and I heard it start to spread throughout the room. Before I knew it, there they all were with their little hands on their heads staring straight at me, waiting. Hilarious. I mean, I guess I'll take it.
Lots of other stories to tell, but I'm being rude. I did want to give one of these kinds of updates though, because they are my favorite. The students are still the apples of my eye. And, honestly, if it weren't for them today, I might be on my way to jail for murder (more schedule fuckery, poor communication and overtime work from HT). So, there you have it.