Thursday, February 19, 2009

But Teacher!

One detail that I have found in teaching is the little quirks about it that drive you batty. Call them pet peeves if you will. My main pet peeve? Tattling. Without fail, in almost every class I have (kindy and older), there comes the familiar refrain of "TEACHER!!!!" It usually happens right as I am getting started with my lesson for the day or just getting to an especially crucial part of the lesson that students need to hear. Either as a sharp bark or a long, drawn-out whine, the sound is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

When I ask the offending student what could possibly be the matter, he/she replies with "so-and-so is talking/eating/writing/drawing/picking nose/spitting/insert gross or rude activity here." And most of the time it's something fairly innocuous, so I'm left wondering why the heck it bothers this student so much. Especially since they could resolve the situation easily by saying "Hajima!" (Korean for "stop it!") But I know they secretly do it so that they might get their classmate in trouble with teacher and face the punishment of standing out in the hallway with hands held over head. Sadistic little creatures aren't they?

Another pet peeve of mine is when I spend a good deal of time explaining things to my students, and ask them if they understand (to which they reply yes), only to find when they do their homework they do a half-ass job on it. I hate wasting my time with students if they are not willing to pay attention and learn. Going to an academy isn't a given; it's a privilege to have that chance and to have a foreign teacher.

But revenge is sweet. Since my students in one class failed so miserably on their homework for last week, I wrote out a test for them taking the questions from their homework. I told them that they should study their homework if they wanted to make a good grade, because this test would be quite important and go on their report card. Let's see how they do now...

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