Monday, October 8, 2012

Burnout on Boys

I know I've written about how much I love Korea, the things that confuse me and make my daily life just a little more trying, but I haven't really talked about my job much. And honey, I just need to vent. If you're not so into that, you so don't have to read. But right here, right now, I'm getting my vent on. And if you have something to vent about, you just go right ahead and leave it in the comments sections because let's face it, it's a scientific fact that misery loves company.

It's about my sixth grade boys. I know I was all, "Oh, dang those sixth-graders sure do think they're funny" and all. But the situation has seriously devolved into something heinous. There's no effort to even mask their disdain for me anymore. Many will just begin shouting while they're in their seats--if they are in their seats. When I turn my back to write on the board, the class erupts into chatter and lewd gestures. They are perpetually whispering to each other. Who am I kidding? Whispering would at least be semi-respectful of the fact that I'm teaching a class, here, people.

It's more like perpetual talking, laughing and shouting.

I've tried every approach. I've tried the no-nonsense kick-the-kid-out-of-class if-you-don't-want-to-learn-I-don't-have-to-teach-you approach (of course, my head teacher just puts them back in class). I've tried the Korean method, that is, have them face the wall for several minutes (although the Korean teachers will often have them do it for a full class period). This was also futile--they just turned around every chance they got to make more lewd and disrespectful gestures behind my back. I've tried the allow-the-class-to-be-fun-but-reign-in-control-when-necessary (while my natural approach to teaching, this turned out to be a lot more fun at my expense than I was prepared to handle).

Today, I tried my very first show-them-that-it-pays-to-be-a-good-student by giving everyone who behaved themselves Reese's. But the six (out of ten) boys who didn't behave themselves just bullied the others into sharing and then, as I walked by, popped it into their mouths with a loud, mocking laugh.

I don't have the time, energy, or will to explain to them how very little I care if they learn. But the thing is, they are negatively impacting those students who do want to learn. They make it difficult for them to hear what I am saying, put down those students for answering questions, and waste a lot of class time with their shenanigans.

I'll admit it. I'm at the end of my rope with these kids. Their disrespect is truly astounding and I can't believe that a country that so profoundly ingrains respect to their elders from a young age would produce such devil's spawn.

Ok, so rap with me. Tell me I'm not the only one whose day was steeped in BS.


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