Somehow I let yesterday turn into a massive shithole of suck, all down to three students in my afternoon class. The rest of the day was absolutely lovely. But I'm a shuddering, insecure excuse for a person. What can I say?
No. The little shits just hit a nerve when they decided to take advantage of the fact that there is no Korean co-teacher for these classes and rub it in my face that I'm a foreigner who doesn't speak Korean, which basically resulted in me totally losing my shit and giving a lecture called, "Why Treating Foreigners Like Shit Is Not Okay".
I actually feel a little bad, in the bright sunshine of a Friday afternoon on a day that consisted of my students being nothing but positively lovely. Most of the kids in that class are great, and really do want to be there and be learning. It's just amazing to me how far south a class can go if you get even one bad egg (for you, Mags) in the mix. They were dead silent and looked horrified during the entire lecture. I guess it really came through how upset I was, which wasn't necessarily my intention. After class ended, several students came up and congregated around the podium, while I straightened my papers and packed my stuff. They're second graders, so they can't say much of anything in English, but they tried their hardest to say what they wanted to, by all repeating rounds of, "Teacher..... how are you?" with big, wet, concerned eyes. And today, three students from that class came by to find me, specifically to ask things like, "Teacher... okay? Okay?"
Deadpan had me for his regular class today, and although he tends to act like a bit of a shit sometimes, he knows that I know and like him, and he goes out of his way to keep his shit on the respectful side of nonsense. He too went out of his way to ask me specifically how I was. Then, when I was walking around checking exercises, he revived a game we used to play with each other during winter camps.
I saw him eyeing me up as I moved toward his direction. "Oh SHIT!" For no apparent reason.
"Ya.... Seung-jik-uh.... how many times have we had this talk? That's a BAD WORD. Don't say it in class. Ya.... listen.... outside of school? Okay. Inside of school? NO." Of course, I can't keep myself from grinning every time I give him this lecture, every word of which he understands at this point. He just gave me his big, charming, dimpled smile in response. Ah, that kid.
I had my deadbeat class today, but actually managed to breathe a little life into those boys. I think the problem really is that I'm just not used to a well-behaved class, as my co-teacher pointed out last week. If there's not at least some level of pandemonium, I feel really uncomfortable, as the target of quiet stares standing at the front of the room. They got a bit cheeky toward the end, after I got them talking. We were working on "what do you want to be?" and there were a few shouts of "fly boy", "street fighter" and "playboy!" They were, as I suspected they would be, reprimanded by the uncomfortable co-teacher for this, but I just laughed and said I think those are probably more hobbies than jobs.
Ah. They're mostly amazing. I guess three shitfuckers out of 1,500 ain't bad. Still, I'm tempted to get some of my most loyal third graders to catch these three little shits on their walk home one day....
Meh. It's just a dream.